My Husband Went to Australia and All I Got Were Plant Photos

David traveled to Australia this month; I stayed home with the cats. Yes, the cats. Who had more fun? OK, don't answer that. I did train him well, however. David did not take photos of architecture and people, rather he came home with plant photos. Whether or not David knows the plant names is irrelevant -- he takes them now and questions later. Much like a lot of us, actually. 

I invite you to sit back, relax and enjoy autumn in Sydney and Adelaide and Kangaroo Island via the eyes and words of the Husband, David.

Hello, Everyone. G'day! as my Aussie friends say. How ya goin'. Mate? Hey, first up is the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. We've visited before, you can see that post here. In the hectic pace of a city of 4.5 million, the garden is a wonderful refuge.

Most of Australia is dry, so plants that thrive in dry weather are well-represented.

One of several lovely fountains and statues. 

Tamara was surprised to see these Japanese anemones. But it is autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, after all. The days were warm, sunny and the nights just a bit cool. Like our "Indian Summers" here in Oregon in late September and October.

With business district of the city in the background, this is an interesting placing of old concrete bits and parts of buildings and bridges and whatnot. Not a graveyard, exactly, but fun. 

Sydney has a new park. It is made up of native plants and sandstone blocks. 

Newly planted, it will surely fill in quickly and provide a lovely promenade along the harbor.

Reminds of that rock formation in Ireland. Something like the Staircase of the Gods. 

I love this.

The new Barangaroo Reserve will grow onward, too, as it connects to Darling Harbour.

Now we move to South Australia. I visited Adelaide's botanical garden on Mother's Day.

Tamara here...I think I would have really enjoyed this. I have not been to Adelaide, hopefully someday.

I found this crazy tree. Hey, they eat meat-pies in Australia. Why not a sausage tree?

Kigelia pinnata or sausage tree, native to Africa.

This is the native landscape portion of the garden. Gum trees and wattle bushes. All it is missing is a wombat or a wallaby. 

Araucaria heterophylla. This is one of my favorite, all-time trees, a Norfolk Island Pine. I have not seen one so large. One of these days I will have to visit Norfolk Island. It is somewhere in the Coral Sea northeast of Queensland.

I don't know much about the Adelaide garden. It began in the mid-1800s, I think. I know Adelaide was settled by well-to-do English folks. Unlike Sydney, which started as a penal colony.

Puya alpestris.

It was a great day to just wander around and appreciate the trees.

This is a sweet little conservancy. Built about 100 years ago, it was recently cleaned and restored to its original grandeur.

This is so lovely.

A great many yuccas in bloom. I guess due to it being fall down there? Tamara here -- I think these are Agaves....and maybe Danger Garden's favorite Joe Hoak - or some version of it??

Getting ready to bloom.

Okay, we are moving now to Kangaroo Island, which is the first settlement in South Australia. Folks found the soil not great for farming, though perfect for stands of blue gum and pine trees. My friends own nearly 1,000 acres on the west end of the island. Tamara and I work hard on two acres. Can you imagine 1,000? OMG! Well, it is lovely out there. Nearest neighbors are five miles away. Heavens!

Gums trees in the ravine, pine trees across the field.

Mushrooms! Not to be eaten, I am told.

My friends are sheep and bee farmers out there. I do not know the name of this ewe.

Here's a wattle bush. Very common plant across Australia.

Not sure what this is, though I can guess. This plant builds a columnar base as it grows upward.

Here are some sweet birdies pecking around in a park in Kingscote, the island's "capital," which is home to 1,500 folks and a couple of dozen pink-grey parrots.

I suspect this is a Norfolk Island Pine.

I walked on a beach that was not sand as much as shells. Tiny, broken shells.

And some beach plants.

Not to mention some softball-sized sponges.

Nope. Not Ireland. This a classic depiction of the eastern half of Kangaroo Island's landscape. Green fields, sheep and gum trees in odd shapes and sizes. 

Now, back to Sydney on the way home. My hotel was across the street from the royal gardens.
Lucky me! Hey, the garden is marking its bicentennial this year. Even the sign is plant-based.

200 years old! Yikes!

I liked this fern growth on these palm trees. Sweet ferns.

I like this toothpick of a palm tree. 

Nearly finished is The Calyx, a new nature-based destination inside the garden. It opens in June. Here's a link to their website. Tamara here - I need to go see this when it's complete. Anyone with me?

My hand, a big leaf.

This small area is full of textures and types. Tamara loves this stuff.

Striking Hibiscus.

Ginger, anyone?

Rhododendron 'Archangel' -- Vireya rhododendron, an Australian hybrid of R. konori bred by Graham Snell of Highfields, Queensland.

I loved this strange tree. 

It's like an old book glued to this tree. Very strange.

More birdies!

Oh, just cockatoos hanging out in the shade. Nothing to see here.

And a giant Banyan tree. 

Finally, this tree fell over a few years ago and they dare not straighten it. You know, this tree reminds me of Australia. It is a bit odd, folks drive on the left side of the road, and they make the best of whatever happens. But through it all the tree and the culture grows and strengthens. Give me Australia any day, any week, any time. I love it.

(Tamara here. We did see this tree in my very first post about Australia, but it's worth repeating. For another Aussie post but not specific to Sydney, you can revisit that here.)

You know, I photographed these pictures to stay in cosmic contact with my dear wife, who puts up with my worldwide ramblings. These are my gifts to her (and the cats, too)!

Thank you, dear Husband. I love the photos and the opal earrings, too -- you are the best gem of all. That's it for this week at Chickadee Gardens. As always thank you for reading and putting up with something a little different (the Husband)!! Until next time, happy gardening! 


  1. Plant photos to whet your appetite! Ask him to bring you there next time he goes :)

  2. You guys are too adorable. That was a fun post.

  3. Thanks for the wonderful tour! I really want to visit Australia one day. Meanwhile, I make do planting all the Australian plants I can find in my SoCal garden. I think the variegated agaves in the photo from Adelaide are A. desmettiana variegata.

    1. Oh, GO! It's a fun and beautiful place.

  4. Yep, not yuccas but agaves and Kris got it A. desmettiana. A parent of 'Joe'...I want to go to Australia!!!

    1. Go go go go go! Maybe you and Kris can go together...or form a plant-based vacation tour. I'd go on that!

  5. I have always wanted to go to Australia! Great pictures!

    1. It's a really fun place, Matthew. I highly recommend it. If you're a Europhile like me, it was a nice change of pace. I'm speaking of the last times I went, not this time although this looked very fun for David.

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you, Carl! Thank you for reading and for commenting, too.

  7. Little did I know that my morning would include a trip to Australia. Thanks you, David and Tamara.

    1. Hee's always an adventure with David. You never know. It travel all over the place with David every day, such is the fun in this household.

  8. You trained Dear Husband very well! He did a great job.

    Xanthorrhoea may be the grassy/spiky trunked plant.

    1. Hee hee..thanks, Hoover Boo! And thank you for the i.d. on the trunked spiky thing. Appreciate it!@


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