Illawara 2016 — Day 2: Wollongong Botanic Garden

20160326-DSC05649

The second day in the Illawara saw us vis­it the Wollongong Botanic Garden. We’d swapped kayak­ing out for the gar­dens ini­tially due to the price of kayak­ing ($50 pp), which was prob­ably just as well as D, T and N were nurs­ing sore legs from the Kiama Coast Walk.

20160326-DSC05592

They ran out of maps for the Gardens, but this map for the exhib­it ‘Sculpture in the Garden’ served just as well. The art­works are avail­able for pur­chase (upwards of $20,000).

20160326-DSC05641

This is It Was You I Saw Up Ahead by Tamsin Salehian, an art­work inspired by one of the last examples of a half-house in Australia.

20160326-DSC05655

A short dis­tance away is ‘Plume No 2’ by Didier Balez and Paulineke Polkamp.

20160326-DSC05703

It’s not a par­tic­u­larly large garden com­pared to the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, but we were in time to catch them in bloom. D and T were happy to relax on a bench, absorb­ing the scenery, while N and I roamed around the flower­ing plants.

20160326-DSC05693

These reminded N and me of pipe clean­er crafts.

20160326-DSC05593

The bloom­ing flowers were more inter­est­ing than the sculp­tures on display.

20160326-DSC05653

That said, I’ve no tal­ent for identi­fy­ing plants. At all.

20160326-DSC05673

The shape of the flower on the left reminded us of lav­ender, but they don’t have the tell­tale scent, while the shape of the sal­mon col­oured flowers (right) reminded us of geese.

20160326-DSC05711

They also come in plain white, and red and white!

20160326-DSC05683

There seem to be a dis­pro­por­tion­ate num­ber of pink/​purple flowers in the world.

20160326-DSC05700

The flower and leaves of the plant on the right were covered in a furry sub­stance that looked like some defense mech­an­ism against insects/​animals. N and I did not touch!

20160326-DSC05934

Sitting some 100 – 150m away one time, D and I con­tem­plated wheth­er the flowers in the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney were canna lilies or sun­flowers. They were canna lilies — we’ll nev­er for­get! And doesn’t the flower on the right have the pret­ti­est petals?

20160326-DSC05729

These golden yel­low flowers are just perfect.

20160326-DSC05741

I may not be great with identi­fy­ing plants, gen­er­ally, but I know these are angel’s trum­pet. Fifteen years ago, my loc­al coun­cil man­dated that these plants be removed from back­yards as all parts of the plant can be toxic.

20160326-DSC05740

They also come in pink. According to Wikipedia, effects of inges­tion [par­tic­u­larly of the seeds and leaves] can include ‘para­lys­is of smooth muscles, con­fu­sion, tachy­car­dia, dry mouth, diarrhea, migraine head­aches, visu­al and aud­it­ory hal­lu­cin­a­tions, mydri­as­is, rap­id onset cyc­lo­ple­gia, and death’.

20160326-DSC05746

This Australian bottle tree lives up to its name with the shape of its trunk.

20160326-DSC05749

The suc­cu­lent sec­tion is full of spiky plants and The Architecture of Diversity Illawarra 400 by Sharnie Shield.

20160326-DSC05758

This huge aloe vera reminded me of Davy Jones from Pirates of the Carribean.

20160326-DSC05764

Almost everything is giant, but nurs­ery-sized suc­cu­lents are around too.

20160326-DSC05756

This was the largest cluster of flowers we saw in the suc­cu­lent section.

20160326-DSC05767

Are all suc­cu­lent flowers small?

20160326-DSC05775

D points out this fern and notes that as a child he’d noticed tiny little eggs lin­ing the under­side of its leaves. They’re still there, and a quick Google explains that while ‘at first glance, the tiny dots on fern leaves may look like an insect infest­a­tion .… As flower­less plants, ferns use these struc­tures as cases that hold their repro­duct­ive material’.

20160326-DSC05777

I won­der if birds have pecked away at each lay­er on this trunk?

20160326-DSC05788

This is Urban Myth by Geoff Overheu, argu­ably the most visu­ally and con­cep­tu­ally fas­cin­at­ing of all the sculptures.

20160326-DSC05790-1

The artist’s state­ment reads:

This work is about cre­at­ing that nar­rat­ive with­in the viewer’s ima­gin­a­tion, one that encom­passes all people, no mat­ter where they come from or where they may live.

Barriers take away any neces­sity for us to make decisions. Their func­tion is to guide, dir­ect, pre­vent or divide the flow of human­ity, be it people, cars, bikes, etc. No decision is required once we are con­fron­ted by a bar­ri­er. We simple fol­low the silent instruc­tion that it gives without any recourse to think­ing. The imagery used in the bas relief sec­tions is of past philo­soph­ers, Popes and pop icons, along with the detrit­us of every­day life.

What have the images of Aristotle and Plato got to do with a plastic bar­ri­er? What are Popes doing in the mix? This imagery depicts entit­ies that can form bar­ri­ers to our own think­ing by using their status to guide, dir­ect, pre­vent or divide the flow of our thoughts.

The mater­i­als used bookend two peri­ods of human civil­isa­tion from the Bronze Age to the Plastic Age.

20160326-DSC05792

We stumble across a chalk draw­ing of a pair of parakeets.

20160326-DSC05794

.…which is right in front of Felix Allen’s Forests of Ancient Illawarra.

20160326-DSC05800

These are the roots of a tree, but they look like an army of bird sculptures.

20160326-DSC05810

A fat duck lazes about in the sun — doesn’t even startle when I get close.

20160326-DSC05814

D and I climb up a flight of rocky stairs for a rest, only to find a flight of prop­er stairs down the oth­er side.

20160326-DSC05813

This ori­ent­al fix­ture is the Kawasaki Bridge, presen­ted to the City of Wollongong as the fifth anniversary Sister City gift by the City of Kawasaki in Japan.

20160326-DSC05819

This is a rep­lica opened in 2005, the ori­gin­al bridge hav­ing deteri­or­ated as the mater­i­als used were not suit­able to Australian weath­er. Bridges that have a curvature sim­il­ar to the round body of a drum (taiko) are referred to as taiko-bashi.

20160326-DSC05815

Near the bridge is Ralph Tikerpae’s Into the Future.

20160326-DSC05817

T spots the nest of a male sat­in bower­bird. These birds col­lect blue objects to dec­or­ate their nest in a bid to impress a pro­spect­ive female part­ner.

20160326-DSC05825

N spots an unmov­ing liz­ard under the Kawasaki bridge…

20160326-DSC05829

…and more pretty flowers near the bridge, which three, loud, middle-aged Chinese women have since mono­pol­ised for their selfies.

20160326-DSC05834

A sign tells us there’s a wed­ding sched­uled in the rose garden later in the afternoon.

20160326-DSC05596

And we fin­ish our time at the Garden with the duck pond.

20160326-DSC05897

The algae covered area sur­round­ing the island extends to the area with the bridge.

20160326-DSC05603

Signs abound as to what you can and can’t feed the ducks in the pond.

20160326-DSC05612

We’re not here to feed the ducks, but we do enjoy watch­ing them swim around the pond.

20160326-DSC05621

These are the two old­est and biggest ducks.

20160326-DSC05611

D thinks the white is the male and the brown is the female, as the brown one always fol­lows the white.

20160326-DSC05931

We spot a gaggle of baby ducks…

20160326-DSC05893

…they’re not that pretty up close, though.

20160326-DSC05916

N named this duck ‘Classic Duck’ as it has all the fea­tures of a story­book duck.

20160326-DSC05626

Classic Duck has some styl­ish moves. As does its friend.

20160326-DSC05635

I’d call this the clas­sic duck you see in doc­u­ment­ar­ies. So pretty!

20160326-DSC05882

And this poor fel­low had the mis­for­tune of being called the ‘ugly’ duck by D. It’s feath­ers are a mess.

20160326-DSC05839

And finally, a pair of dragon­flies to break up all the duck photos.

20160325-DSC05557

After spend­ing the after­noon play­ing boardgames, we head out to Wollongong Central.

20160326-DSC05964

There’s a ded­ic­ated brownie store — the first I’ve seen of its kind!

20160326-DSC05982

And the food court has fas­cin­at­ing decor, with rolling pins lin­ing the columns and colan­der ceil­ing lights.