After the soothing mistiness of the Cloud Forest Dome, the Flower Dome came on strongly. I wish I had my shades cos it was a riot of colours.
The Flower Dome showcased countless flowers and plants from almost all the continents of the world; too many to enumerate but I had a few favourites.
Topping the list were the clumps of red and yellow Anigozanthos. I could have been in Australia; the kangaroo paws looked that good. I guess the microclimate in the dome suited them to a T.
Other Australian natives I saw were the xanthorrhoea, leptospermum and protea – lovely. I was looking forward to seeing the grevillea but unfortunately they were not in bloom. I guess the other flowers and plants kind of made up for that.
There were lovely fuschia standards, clumps of hydrangeas, unusually colored liliums, clematis, camellias and more.
There were some unexpected finds; I chanced upon a small lavender plant in one of the flower beds almost overwhelmed by the more flamboyant roses, clematis, foxgloves and rambling sweet peas. A fragrant treat that had me wishing for more.
And somewhere near the cacti and succulents of the semi-arid section I saw a most unusual plant with what looked like the pyramiding shell of a tortoise. This was the Dioscorea Elephantipes or hottentot bread plant. Apparently its thick and massive stem is a source of food and is rich in starch. Utterly fascinating.
And then there were the baobabs from Africa with their huge swollen trunks, and the intriguing monkey puzzle tree from South America – the first I’ve seen in this part of the world.
But surely the real aristocrats at the Flower Dome had to be the 1000 year old olive trees from Spain. I was awed by their gnarled trunks and slivery grey leaves – it just isn’t the same seeing them in the olive groves of France or Italy. I wonder at the logistics involved in transporting these precious living fossils across the oceans; an amazing feat.
The latest updates shows the Flower Dome reflecting the splendour and charms of autumn. If only I could be there right now! If you’ve yet to visit GBB and you love plants, then you’re in for a huge treat! Happy mid-autumn festival, everyone!
And to my three dear friends who walked me through GBB and gave me that great tour, many thanks once again. I had a whale of a time!