Thursday, April 17, 2008

Araluen Botanic Park, WA

In 1929 J.J. Simons established a holiday camp for the Young Australia League (YAL), on 60 hectares (150 acres) of deep shaded valley at Roleystone. Creeks running through the long valley created a cool moist climate, thus making it an ideal site for his dream garden. Simons called his valley, “Araluen”, an Eastern States aboriginal word meaning “singing waters”, “running waters” or “place of lilies”.

League members and volunteers created pathways, roads, steps and terraces. Structures were designed by leading Perth architect W.G. Bennett and built from local stone and timber.

In Spring, Araluen featured tulips planted on the terraces and in the Grove of the Unforgotten. It proved popular and the early gardens thrived in Araluen’s climate.

One of the many features still in existence today is “The Grove of the Unforgotten”, built in memory of 88 YAL members killed in the World War 1. A series of terraces descends a steep slope flanked by pencil pines formed in the shape of a lyre, the symbol of music. A waterfall cascades through the terraces and finishes in a reflection pond.

Changed circumstances saw the YAL sell Araluen in 1985. Encouraged by strong community support, the State Government purchased the Park in 1990. The Araluen Botanic Park Foundation (Inc.) became incorporated in July 1990 with the aim of working with the WA Planning Commission to restore the Park. Since 1995, the Foundation has managed the Park under lease from the Commission.

For more information on these lovely bushland gardens see Araluen Botanic Park .

Formerly the swimming pool.
Terraced lawns

Reflections in the pool

Chillies in tubs.

Grasses in a dry creekbed (swale)

Waterfall down the Avenue of Remembrance

(If any photos drop out, right click on red cross and on Show Picture. May need to be repeated a few times.)


Noella said...

Ah! At last I am first on to comment! You've captured Araluen well, Frances, and taught me a bit of our own history!

Isn't it a delight to find a green oasis after a long, dry summer, and aren't those reflections just magnificent?
Congratulations on some excellent compositions.

verobirdie said...

This is a beautiful visit you are offering us. Thanks so much!

Alice said...

Thanks Noella and Verobirdie. It's such a lovely place to visit. I also took photos inside the split-log restaurant but they are too dark. It was a very sunny day and several of the garden photos are rather over-exposed, which is a shame.

shellyC said...

LOVE the coloured tubs of chillies!!!

Kerri said...

That truly is a delightful place, Alice, and you've captured it beautifully in your photos.
I feel like I've had a peaceful and refreshing stroll with you and Richard, taking in all the wonderful sights, scents and sounds. Thank you so much for sharing the beauty.
Is that a pink Agapanthus in the last picture, and do you know the name of that lovely blue-flowered shrub in the 16th photo?

Barbara said...

It must have been a wonderful feeling to have this park just for you alone to walk. Great pictures! I love to stroll in Botanic Gardens (this one rather looks like a big park).