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  • Ellen Mary

Nature in the city


Sometimes I feel like the luckiest girl in the world! Recently I travelled over to Dubai and then on to Sydney where I mainly toured gardens and landscapes for a few weeks. I did skip the Dubai miracle garden, whilst I am sure it is stunning, a whole bunch of Begonia’s, Petunias’s and Geraniums wasn't on the schedule this time.

If you visit Sydney, the Royal Botanic Garden is not to be missed and neither will it be missed since it's prime position just by the Opera House. There are points where the feeling of peace and relaxation with stunning views is actually quite overwhelming (and no it wasn't jet lag). You can simply walk along the waters edge and view the gardens from the pathway but exploring deeper into the gardens opens an imaginative and fascinating world of plants. Plus - its free! Just the way nature should be. From Rhododendrons to the stunning Silk Floss Tree, a Dry Garden, an Oriental Garden to a Fernery, Palmhouse and exhibitions there is so much to treat the senses. All with the backdrop of tall Sydney city buildings. Its a perfect combination of how we can live a modern city life with nature working hand in hand.

One garden I hadn't visited on my last trip to Sydney was the Chinese Garden of Friendship. I’d heard how extraordinary it is so I was excited to discover a new haven in the City. Just on the edge of China Town in Darling Harbour I wasn't really sure what to expect - apart from the obvious. Even the entrance hides what’s to come and the tall walls on approach show only the tree tops towering above. Creating that sense of exploration in visitors, there isn’t any point in the garden where you can see the whole garden but at every twist and turn there is something exceptional to admire. From beautiful waterfalls to bamboo, willows and pretty pavilions to just simply sit and relax. There is little noise from the City, whilst it can be heard, the trees and nature provide natural soundproofing and the sense of pure tranquility the garden takes you far away from normal daily life to deep within yourself. Thats what nature does. It’s good for the soul.

Another smaller spot to note is the Barangaroo Nature Reserve. Sitting on the edge of a new development at the other end of Darling Harbour down towards Dawes Points. There is a walk/run track and cycling path running along the water with a stargazer lawn, benches amongst jungle like planting to admire the views and enormous sandstone rocks making the area look beautifully in keeping with the spot. It's a lovely walk if you are heading out for a coffee.

My conclusion - Sydney is a great example of how to do nature in the city seamlessly.

Take a wander with me around the garden by watching my YouTube video HERE