When we got to Hobart, Tasmania we decided to roam around. One of attractions we decided to visit was the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Grardens, mainly for the Japanese Garden, the highlight of the garden and the subject of the photo above. The sheltered, landscaped grounds of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens hold historic plant collections and a large number of significant trees, many dating from the nineteenth century. It also has an increasing number of important conservation collections of Tasmanian plants and the world’s only Subantarctic Plant House. Prior to European settlement local Aboriginal tribes used the site, and traces of their occupation are still apparent. A number of historic structures, including two convict-built walls, date back to the Gardens’ earliest days.
The majority of the gardens are large spaces of grass. In 1829, Governor George Arthur ordered the construction of a heated wall to protect frost tender plants and extend growing periods of fruit trees on the boundary of the Colonial Garden. In the milder climate of Van Diemen’s Land, fruit trees flourished without artificial heat, and the convict-built wall was only heated for a few years. Perhaps to rival Arthur’s wall, Governor Sir John Eardley-Wilmot also ordered the construction, also by convicts, of a wall 280 metres long on the eastern boundary of the Gardens. The walls provide structure and unique heritage value to the Gardens.
The Japanese garden was designed by Kanjiro Harada, Japanese Gardena landscape architect from Yaizu, Japan, Hobart’s sister city. It’s beautiful in every season, with cherry blossom in spring then irises and water lilies in summer. The stunning Japanese maples put on a dazzling display in autumn, followed by the winter tracery of bare branches and conifers of all shapes, sizes and colours and camellias and azaleas flowering in the cooler months. The garden is a popular location for weddings and photographs (and is available for hire), and will always reward a quiet visit and contemplation.