Love Your Nature – An Explosion of Colour at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

I love colour!

Yes, I do have a small selection of black and more muted clothing, but I will jazz it all up with a hot pink scarf or bright red lipstick. So, when I saw the vibrant posters advertising the ‘Love Your Nature’ display at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, I simply couldn’t resist.

Join me for a short, but colourful stroll. You may need your sunglasses to dial the volume down on this wide and high blaze of colour! 😊

The Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG – not the Notorious one) is a green oasis in the centre of Sydney. I suspect it acts like a set of lungs – sucking in all those car exhaust fumes and exhaling clean air. It would also be a place of escape for the city’s workers. Out of their offices and high-rise buildings they teem during lunchtime to walk, run, play and de-stress. If I worked in Sydney, I would definitely be one of those many lemmings, escaping to this green haven.

As well as the usual diverse and beautiful garden, shrub and tree displays, the RBG is home to sizeable fern/hot houses and the Calyx building.

The Calyx building was opened in 2016 to host exhibitions, conferences and as a general meeting place. The design is described as ‘the sepals of a flower, typically forming a whorl that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a flower bud‘ (Source: RBG) and, while it is an impressive design, I was surprised by the small amount of actual useable space. Maybe I am far too practical and far too little artistic.

The clever gardeners at the RBG have transformed the rear of the Calyx into a riot of colour. The theme of this display – Love Your Nature – not only delivers a stunning visual impact, but also describes the interesting and sometimes outlandish ways that plants breed.

The main feature of ‘Love Your Nature’ is a wall approximately 30m long containing 18,000 heuchera plants in a rainbow of colours. The plants have been arranged in a flowing, swirling pattern and apparently there are secret words hidden in the planting, although I missed all that. Puzzles are not my strong point.

I acknowledge the skill of the design and the challenge of maintaining such a large display in good order. How would you ensure that all the plants are the same colour and size? What happens when one plant decides to turn up its toes? They would have to have a big back-up supply of plants of a similar size and colour. What was I saying about me being far too practical?

As well as the flower wall, there are a number of raised garden beds contrasting different plant species and explaining their individual methods of reproduction. A favourite of mine were the orchids. I love how sculptural they are, as well as their diverse shapes and colours. I am yet to try growing orchids at home, although I have been told that they are not as difficult to care for as people make out.

The succulent display was a stark contrast to the ferns and other delicate plants. All the plants have their own unique and interesting way of ensuring their survival and sustainability. I was fascinated by the yucca pollination process. Apparently ‘female moths deliberately pollinate Yucca flowers, then lay their eggs inside where the larvae can eat the developing seeds. Lots of hungry caterpillars mean the plant loses out, so Yuccas eject flowers with too many eggs! To avoid this, moths coordinate their egg-laying locations, using scent to mark ‘occupied’ flowers’. (Source: RBG) How clever is that?

The ’Love Your Nature’ display is not just for Green Thumbs. Non-gardeners like me are welcome and there are passionate volunteer attendants who are just busting to share their knowledge and answer your questions. My approach is much simpler – “Yep, that’s a nice plant”, “That’s a nice plant”, and “That’s a weird one”. I have a very low-tech approach to flora!

While the display is worth a visit, don’t go with very high expectations. It is only small and there is not much to it other than flowers and plants with small information signs. This is a garden after all, so what was I expecting? Depending on your level of interest, you can spend a pleasant 15-20 minutes here and then wander off to enjoy the rest of the Botanic Gardens.

It is a pretty inane statement, but I am consistently dazzled by the cleverness of Nature. Whether I am walking through the bush or through a highly manicured area like a Royal Botanic Garden, the diversity, beauty and power of what Nature creates boggles both my eyes and brain. We think we humans are so clever, but Nature has done it all before we have even dreamt it.

Love Your Nature Display at Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens
So much colour!

How lucky are we to have green spaces such as the RBG to remind us that there is so much beauty in the World? And solace in Nature?

Do you have a favourite green place?

The Basics

What: There is no entrance fee to enjoy this display, however they would appreciate a donation to continue their work.

Where: The Calyx is located on the southern edge of the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens. The closest entry gate is on the corner of Macquarie and Bent streets.

When: The Love Your Nature display is open from 10am-4pm each day, but check their website as sometimes they close it for private functions.

Why: To look and learn about flowers and plants, specifically their reproductive mechanisms.

How: The easiest ways to get to the Botanic Gardens are on foot or by public bus. Car parking is scarce in this part of Sydney and expensive.

Who: Children will love this display as the air is full of butterflies supping on the pollen of the many thousands of flowers.

Related Posts: To learn more about Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, why not join one of their free walking tours? Check it out here.

Related Blogs: Jo also loves a walk through nature and often, her walks are in the salty air too.

Read About It: In love with heuchera plants? Then grab a copy of ‘A Monograph on the Genus Heuchera’. Light reading including ‘its taxonomic and geographic position; its generic unity; its hybritidy; and its synoptical treatment’ and only AUD$96.74! Go straight to Book Depository.

#sydneywalks #travelinspo #shortwalks #royalbotanicgardens #thecalyx #loveyournature #greenthumbs #gardeninspiration #succulents #gardenwalks #flowerwall #colourfulblooms

29 thoughts on “Love Your Nature – An Explosion of Colour at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

  1. Yet another thing to go on my “Sydney” list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It may not be there by the time your Sydney visit comes around, but I am sure there will be something equally beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When natures used in an artistic way is definitely a highlight for me. I love walking around public gardens and this one is lovely, Mel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am lucky if I can get things to grow let alone be artistic!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for all that colour in the middle of our white winter 😊 Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess this is where I don’t tell you it is 35C here today! 🙂


  4. Fabulous! I’ve said this before, Mel, but if only I lived a bit nearer I’d be there like a shot! You did have me puzzling over those words though. I had the laptop upside down, sideways…. Many thanks, darlin!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How dangerous would it be if we lived in the same country?!! 😉


  5. Now, that’s colour galore! I think it must be some very clever person (or is it creative?) who arranged those plants by colour in such an artistic flowing pattern! Oh, and I have a soft spot for succulents – no two look the same! Haha 😄, I’m with you about my knowledge (not) of plants, but I love looking at them and appreciating their beauty! Thanks for a bright and colourful stroll!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure. I am sure you would find a tonne of similarity between the flora of Aus and RSA.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Orchids, ferns, AND succulents? Those are my favorite plants all in one place, so clearly I must visit this botanic garden at some point! I really like the wall of flowers as well, though I admit, I also don’t see any words in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad I could be of service and bring you some floral joy! 🙂 Have a good day.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d be there like a shot! The Botanic Gardens is my ‘go to’ place whenever I have visited Sydney. Usually walked to and through from the Circular Quay. It always feels so calm and peaceful despite the nearness of the city skyscrapers. I aim to visit at least one garden whenever we go away, but my favourite green space for now has to be my own little patch of nature where Heucheras are my favourite foliage plant (the slugs and snails leave them alone which is a major bonus!). Thanks for taking me to this exhibition Mel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You almost sound like a local and you definitely sound like you know what you are talking about when it comes to plants! Happy gardening…or when it warms up a bit over there.


  8. Absolutely beautiful – I am always drawn to orchids and I love all the purples and pinks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am a fan too. They are just too perfect for words.


  9. So colorful and great photography. Adding this to our list. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Duwan @MakeLikeAnApeman February 10, 2023 — 5:07 am

    I love seeing flowers out in nature and have never been really big on botanical gardens. But I am always surprised when I visit one that it is always much more enjoyable than I think it will be.

    I love the idea of making art or sculptures with plants. And how nice the garden is free!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess it depends on the garden design. I am not in love with highly manicured gardens too, but I do acknowledge the skill involved in keeping them tamed….if that is your thing.


  11. Thanks for sharing these images this..Maybe we should return back Australia sometime. Anita

    Liked by 1 person

  12. These orchid flowers are gorgeous 😍.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nature is so clever to generate such brilliant colours.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close