Saturday, 3 June 2017

'All About Flowers' - The Calyx

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney has a world-class facility which opened in June 2016. As part of the celebration for its 200 year history the Botanic Garden opened an attraction called The Calyx. This new addition is integrating the Arc glasshouse (completed 1987), however the pyramid glass house (opened 1972) has been demolished to make way for this new addition, as it was deemed to be hazardous due to the degrading supports for the many panes of glass.

There has been a previous post on the Calyx and the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney on 1 July 2016 when I visited the first display 'Sweet Addiction: The Botanic Story of Chocolate' which was outstanding.

The Calyx building is an integrated mix of indoor and outdoor areas, with the ability for changes to these exhibition spaces possible. 

In many species of flowers, the calyx consists of leaf-like structures at the base of a flower that protect the flower during development. These leaf-like structures are individually referred to as sepals. There are often as many of these sepals as there are petals. The design of the building is stylelized on a flower calyx.

The new exhibition is called 'All About Flowers' and this opened in May and will remain so until 30 July 2017 with a gold coin donation entry. 

Massed moth orchids looking fantastic.

Massed Chrysanthemum Dendranthema grandiflora

Hydrangeas were used to ring one of the raised bed.

Wonderful orchids

Gerbera Daisy

I won't even attempt to give an accurate full list of the flowers in the entire display however from memory the vertical wall was a living mosaic of predominantly Colourwave Princettia in Bright Pink, Deep Pink, Candy Pin and Max White. These were interspersed with ornamental sweet potato Ipomaea cultivars, Dichondra silver falls and many other plants, all in small pots to make up the overall living mosaic. As the flowers and foliage plants are in pots they can be easily changed when they fade or become spent.

This also applies to the five raised island beds with each island having a limited combination of massed flowers - Gerbera Daisy, Chrysanthemum, Moth Orchid, Dianthus, Cyclamen with Hydrangeas, Jacobaea, Maidenhair fern, Cymbidum Orchid, Phlebodium fern and Zygocactus either as statement pots or surrounding the other flowers. It appeared that palm stumps were used around each of these island raised beds.

This visit to the Sydney Royal Botanic Garden was in the company of a four year old boy. I thought it might be interesting to include what 'floated his boat' on this outing.

A priority for Hugh was that HE would hold the map so we could track our progress through the Botanic Garden. So map in hand we made our way to The Calyx. Along the way he raced full pelt down the rose pergola and pavilion, zigzagged on the paths through the rose gardens all while re-enforcing his left from right at full pitch. 

Joy of joys! At The Caylx there were puddles to splash in (left from the early morning watering of the plants). This kept him very busy for quite a while.

He thought this rather large example of a flower rather neat and wanted to talk about each part - big discussion point this!

The 'Microeye' was the absolute hit of the day. There was a tray with mixed pieces of flora material for children to examine under the microscope with the image displayed on the screen. This totally fascinated Hugh and he spent quite a lot of time here.

Everything from that tray was examined in minute detail - he even had to see what his sultana snack looked like too.

The magnetic tree was the next to take his interest. The drawing material in the background didn't really capture his interest.

Hugh seemed to be fascinated with the botanical illustrations on the glass doors and pushed my knowledge somewhat......

Our day continued with a ferry and bus journey but before we left the Botanic Garden we had to rest his little legs on the Botanic Garden Choo Choo Express before we headed off to Circular Quay and more adventures.

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