Round the world in the Great Glasshouse
This is the time of year in the Great Glass House at the National Botanic Garden when every few feet you have to stop, admire and exclaim. The variety and range of the plants housed there is just superb. I’ve always loved the Great Glass House but it just seems to get better and better. I usually try to go in there whenever I am at the Botanic Garden doing my volunteering duties and today was no exception. After I had finished my jobs I put my bags in the car and went off with my trusty camera to see what was new since last week. Not that I claim to have seen everything last week but you know what I mean.
Last time I wrote I mentioned that Phylica pubescens had been cut back and, last week, I was delighted to see that a new one has been planted. It looks as if it’s doing alright but I’ll keep an eye on it. I walked along through the Canary Islands (so to speak) and spotted a beautiful figwort (Scrophularia), walking on through Chile and the Jovellanas are just stunning. If you see them, do stop and look at their pretty polka dot centres. Then right in front of me were the huge buds of the Puya berteroana. One of them is just opening its beautiful flowers. My husband, who had joined me by now, was convinced that someone had stuck some artificial flowers on the plant. I could see his point. They are quite unlikely. The colour of the flowers is amazing and, together with its size, it really is a sight to see.
We crossed the bridge with its beautiful Hardenbergia comptoniana on the rail and as we came into Western Australia, a large Callistemon speciosus in full bloom filled the view. The lovely red ‘bottle brushes’ are just so well named. They really do look like bottle brushes. I almost walked past Agonis flexuosa with its weeping branches and pretty little white flowers. Not that I knew what it was until I looked for its label. Almost at the end of Australia I came across a little bush of Verticordia plumose so low down that I almost missed it. As I stood up from looking at that little bush my eye was taken by a bright, bright red. Wow – look at that. My husband was nowhere to be seen so I had no-one to share this beautiful flower with. What a shame. I found out later that it is Banksia coccinea and is one of the Garden’s rarities. Isn’t it stunning? At this point in our visit we were back around to the doors nearest to where our car was parked so after a quick visit to my little fluffy friend Phylica in South Africa, it was time to go home. If you get the chance to visit the National Botanic Garden, now is a really good time to go to the Great Glass House where you will