Autumn delights and African beauties
Planning for an autumn walk can start on the roof of the World Heritage Exhibition Centre. To the west, the swamp or red maple, Acer rubrum, will colour well at April's end. Towards Wheeney Gap in the east, the Brunet Meadow display will be best in late May, even early June, though some trees will colour in that area before then.
Sugar maples, Acer sacharum, colour mid month in the Residence Garden and the colour change for the many cultivars of the Japanese maple, Acer palmatum, covers April to June. One of these, Acer palmatum 'Atrolineare', is our Plant of the Month . Also, pink and white nerines and sasanqua camellias provide floral beauty.
Below the Residence Garden, the Brunet oak lawn is covered in deciduous trees. Two forms of Fagus sylvatica: the copper beech and the cut-leaf beech and the ancient conifer, Ginkgo biloba, prepare their radiant display during April.
Sargent's cherry, Prunus sargentii, graces the Wedding Tree Terrace and as a contrast, a walk through to the African section of the Rock Garden will demonstrate how much autumn colour is produced by daisies, kniphofias, ericas, proteas and lobelias from that part of the planet.
The Eurasian Woodland surrounds the De Ferranti Shelter and the Australian Woodland boasts banksias, daisies, Eucalyptus approximans in flower and the native grass lawn.
A ground cover in front of the Northern Pavilion is formed by ericas and associated heath plants. From here, a foray into the North American Woodland can commence. Ashes, Fraxinus species, have mostly coloured and fallen while maples, Acer species, and oaks, Quercus species, are colouring well and a good crunch beneath the feet and rustle in the trees can be enjoyed.
Gold still clothes the Fraxinus excelsior 'Aurea' above the low road through the Brunet plantings and the claret ash is turning.
Roses linger in the small rosarium with 'Lamarque' arched above and 'Madame Isaac Pereire' along the outside fence. Salvias, mostly in purples and blues, brighten the perennial beds.
El copique or Chilean bell flower, Lapageria rosea, the national flower of Chile, graces the South American section of the Gondwana Forest with its rich-pink flowers visible overhead as the path from the entrance drive dives into the forest.
The Jungle is now open to all garden visitors and its well formed paths provide a gentle interaction with real Blue Mountains rainforest. Add to this the availability of a garden shuttle ride back up the hill to the Visitor Centre and Restaurant, for those that need it, and the allure of the wild becomes more compelling.
Near the Northern Pavilion you can visit the 'Pod Pod' sculpture, part of our Gwuulya Garri Dilya, Laughing Children's Garden.
Many of these plants have featured as Plant of the Month.