It was a delight to find Greenhouse in Perth. We stumbled across it while looking for breakfast. Like many stumblings, it was just what we were wanting, even though we didn’t know what we were looking for! I was entranced.
How can you go past a place that has pot plants covering its outside walls?
Or has spades as doorhandles?
Or gives away compost?
But what really sold me was a visit to the toilet. 🙂 The hand basin was integrated into the toilet cistern. So, when you washed your hands the water flowed back into the cistern, rather than be wasted down the sewer. How neat is that? And how easy?!!
King’s Park is a glorious treasure just a few kilometres from the centre of Perth. It sits proudly on the hill, looking over the city and the Swan River. If you do decide to visit, make sure you take one of the free guided walks through the park.
This area of the park has tree lined avenues, manicured lawns and the War Memorial.
But it is more than this. Two thirds of its 4km square area is natural bush land, as well as the Botanic Gardens. And in the Gardens is the boab tree. Australians may remember an article on “Gardening Australia” about the boab’s journey from up in the Kimberleys to Perth. If you don’t know, let me tell you the story. But first, have a look at this mighty tree, Gija Jumulu.
For 750 years this elder of the tree world grew in Telegraph Creek, near Warmum, northern Western Australia. It grew on the land of the Gija people, who used it and other boabs for bush tucker. Apparently the fruits taste like sherbert and are used to treat gastric conditions. Boabs store water, which indigenous people are able to harvest.
The recent resources boom in the Kimberleys meant that a new bridge on the Great Northern Highway was more important than the tree. Fortunately it wasn’t bulldozed down, but moved to Perth, a gift of the Gija people to the people of Western Australia.
The 36 tonne tree travelled 3200 kms to reach Perth, making it the longest land journey of a tree that size — a hard record to beat! The map on the plaque shows its journey.
It looks rather unhealthy but it has settled in well. There are still some rough patches on its bark but the arborists are confident that they will heal. It is deciduous which accounts for its poor looking leaf growth. So here’s to the next 750 years! (Interested in finding out more? Follow the link to a fact sheet on the Gardening Australia website.)
Some more photos of the stunning Western Australian flora.
And I can’t leave you without a photo of the iconic kangaroo’s paw.
My family and I visited Perth many years ago, when I was about 7. We travelled over from Melbourne by train, a long, but very exciting journey. I remember my Dad eating an olive for the first time. He didn’t like the taste, so he put it into his matchbox. 🙂 I also remember that we got stuck in the train for a few extra days. There was heavy rain when we were out of Kalgoorlie, so heavy it washed away the tracks.
London Court is one of the few things I remember from Perth. Its quaintness must have stuck in my mind.
Of course it is pretend, idealised London, but not without its own charm. As an adult I see that the charm comes from its decorations as well as from its over-the-top fake Elizabethan London. I was delighted to read about its opening in Wikipedia.
It was opened
in lavish ceremony on 29 July 1937. Mitchell [former Premier] described the arcade as being “unique in Australia” and that it “would be an ornament to the city”.
The opening was celebrated with a three-day ‘Ye Olde English Fayre’ which attracted several thousand visitors and which raised £2,000 for the new Perth Hospital at St Georges Terrace and Irwin Street. The Fayre featured volunteers dressed in Elizabethan style costumes and included evening dramatic programmes and musical items, including excerpts from Twelfth Night, madrigals and folk singing.
My Fella and I had a quick trip to Perth early in the new year. It’s on the west coast of Australia, 3438 kms away from Melbourne. (Really you need to travel in Australia to realise how big it actually is.) While it is a coastal city, it looks towards the wide Swan River.
Western Australia is rich in natural resources such as iron ore. Consequently, Perth, the capital of WA has been through a number of boom periods, times when the catch-cry has been “Pull down the old and raise up the new!” Maybe the planners are learning because work happening with this boom seems to be keeping some of the old.
This is a new bell tower built down on the banks of the river. The bells have come from St. Martins-in-the-Fields in London. Its sail shape represents the yachting history of Perth and Fremantle. More of that in a later post.