Saturday, January 2, 2010

Royal Botanical Gardens - Ian Potter Foundation's Children's Garden

This is a map of the garden from the RGBM's website. I love maps like this. They're so much like maps at the start of children's picture books, with enchanting names and soft colours. The garden itself might be the best place in Melbourne. I had no idea this thing even existed until we visited the Observatory cafe at the gardens.
With a large group of Josh's family, we trouped into the gated garden, immediately seeing a bunch of soaked children playing in a fountain and trees so varied and dense that you forgot there was a road immediately behind and joggers on the Tan.
Wolf is completely obsessed with trees, so this was amazing for him. Passed from one member of the family to another, we went around the Lavender Labyrinth, past the Wetlands and into the Bamboo Forest. The towering bamboo is incredible; though you know it is a planned garden even grown ups can't help getting swept up in the sense of secret 'discovery' and 'exploration' that ducking through tunnels of trees creates. If we were enjoying ourselves I can't imagine how much fun kids have there.
There is just so much to see and do and it gets children incredibly interested in nature.
The best part (to me) had to be the Kitchen Garden. It is such a beautifully planned raised bed food garden; I want one just like it someday! They are growing a huge number of things. From memory: corn, artichokes, capsicum, cabbage, radish, chives, onion, garlic, purple asparagus, zucchini, parseley, Vietnamese hot mint (which I let Wolf smell, which he didn't like), lemon, persimmon, tamarillo, passionfruit, strawberry, grapes, currants and probably another 20 or 30 things that I've forgotten. Just loved it. Must have walked round and round a dozen times. Can't wait to see it in the Autumn when everything has ripened! You're not supposed to eat anything though; but I suppose it happens irregardless.
The Children's Garden really is the most enchanting place I've ever been to. Can't wait till Wolf is old enough to be running around exploring in there himself.

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