Thursday, February 14, 2008

Where in the Gardening World is Chookie?

Bloomingwriter asked,
Tell your readers a bit about your hometown, your state, province…something that really tells us where you are in the world. What’s really special about your community? Pretend you’re trying to entice visitors to the region, and remember—what might be obvious to you isn’t necessarily obvious to even the blogger in the community next door.
I've already dealt with this question a bit here, in terms of geography and climate.

My part of Sydney is not the part that international tourists tend to visit a lot, though I suppose some of them come out to Sydney Olympic Park for sporting events. My municipality is mainly residential, with some light and a little heavy industry. It is one of the most ethnically diverse parts of Sydney--only a quarter of the 60,000 residents are native English speakers.

The municipality is bounded by Parramatta River on the north, and the main Sydney Water Supply Line on the south. At the eastern end is Rookwood Cemetery, and to the west is Duck River and its parklands. I live up the Rookwood end.

Few probably visit Rookwood Cemetery, but perhaps more should. It is beautiful -- one of the largest cemeteries in the world, full of history and of rare plants. Rookwood and Sydney Olympic Park not only provide local residents with open space: they keep the air clean, no mean feat considering the number of people who pass through the area to work each day. I used to work in the grittiest part of Sydney and it was a pleasure to breathe clean(er) air when I alighted from the train at home. I love Rookwood now, in late summer. The grasses grow tall around the leaning sandstone headstones, creating romantic pictures under the gum trees.

Rookwood is home to the rare Acacia pubescens, the Downy Wattle. It is a small pretty shrub a couple of metres in height, with blue-green ferny leaves and scented wattle-balls in spring. An ideal garden plant, one would think, but apparently it is extraordinarily difficult to propagate. Root cuttings are the most reliable, and you can't take too many of those for fear of damage to the parent plant. One of my ambitions is to grow it.

Sydney Olympic Park is home to some of our rarest plant communities and an astonishing variety of animals. Further details (including some pics) here. They hold a series of free outdoor concerts each February. We're planning to go to the Sydney Symphony one shortly.

Come over for a cuppa some time...

9 comments:

jodi said...

Great post, Chookie! I'm sorry I was slow getting here--between naughty internet service and deadlines, I missed getting your link up even though I got your comment posted earlier. It's up now, and I've been for a visit...another fun blog on my daily reading! cheers for participating...we're getting an awesome showing out of Australia.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

How interesting Chookie. I will look forward to more about your garden.

Ross Nevette said...

Hi Chookie, great to read blogs from other parts of the world...

Cabs said...

Nice post! Thanks for all the links. It sounds just wonderful in your spot in the world. I hope you'll come by my New England garden for a visit terranovadesign.blogspot.com

Chookie said...

Thank you all for posting a comment! I have enjoyed paying return visits.

Thank you again, Jodi, for this project -- it has been fascinating!

I loved reading about the flood at Lisa's blog and how puzzled her dog was.

Ross, a pleasure to hear from SA! My favourite flower is the freesia, and there are quite a lot of SA natives that do well here.

Cabs, good luck with the open garden day. Looking forward to hearing how it went.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Chookie hello !
I see you mentioned a beautiful cemetery too ! .. I'm glad I'm not the only one that is fascinated by one. Your place in the world sounds very nice indeed !
Thanks for the information !
Joy

Kerri said...

I enjoyed reading about your little Aussie corner Chookie. I was born in Penrith but my mom and dad must've lived somewhere near you in their youth. They grew up around Ryde and Epping. I guess that can't be too far away. I've never been to Rookwood, but I've heard of it. Sounds like a pretty place.
I sure could use some of that Aussie sunshine right now. We're in the middle of a snowy weekend!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

A cemetary with a cafe? Now that's progressive! I think it is really great that Rookwood offers so much for the living besides mature large trees that are the usual highlight of most cemetaries.

Chookie said...

Thanks again for these comments; I'm still reading through all the GBGP posts myself.

GardenJoy4Me is still suffering from winter cabin fever, from the look of things. Of course I'm jealous of the sow-bound ones. Imagine a whole season where weeds didn't grow!

Kerri, my Dad lives in the Ryde municipality! Now there's a part of the world with lovely gardens and trees!

Mr McGregor's Daughter likes the cafe at Rookwood; I must go back for another tour there and test the coffee. I promise I will let you know the verdict!