Saturday, May 5, 2012

Guilfoyle Centenary

Today the Australian Garden History Society held a seminar to "celebrate the creative vision and horticultural skill of William Guilfoyle – the Director of the Royal Melbourne Botanic Gardens (1873–1909)". The morning consisted of addresses by various speakers on Guilfoyle's life, achievements, and legacy. But the highlight for me was the guided tour of the botanic gardens after lunch.  I joined a group taking the "long tour", and spent the whole afternoon enjoying a new perspective on the gardens.

Of course we visited the well-known spots, such as the Temple of the Winds erected by Guilfoyle to honour Governor La Trobe. Inside, looking up:
Surely there's a quilt design in that?

And it goes without saying that there were lots of wonderful plants to enjoy:
Flower of the "wild rose" (Diplolaena grandiflora), not a rose at all, but glowing on a rainy afternoon. The rain was enough to keep crowds away from the gardens, but not enough to dampen our enthusiasm.

The best bit of all was getting closer to this building, and seeing what is behind the hedge:
Gardens House, which was Guilfoyle's home while he was Director. He used the private gardens around the house to demonstrate his ideas for the whole botanic gardens. They are not generally open to the public, as the house is used for private functions.

Approaching the house, which was built in 1856:

Curved garden beds, and views to the next patch of lawn:

Always a touch of red.

What a great day out!

1 comment:

  1. Now that's an outing i would have really loved, old gardens and historic houses are my favourites.