Here in the Blue Mountains we have a powerful emotional attachment to the glorious Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens. I remember how surprised I was when the entry fee was removed. How often does that happen anywhere? It’s not the issue of saving a few dollars that delights me, it’s the symbolic, welcoming .gesture. These are cool climate gardens, featuring both native and exotic flora. The birdlife is amazing…..and the views.
THE GARDENS UNDER THREAT
When fire swept through Mount Tomah in 2019 the Blue Mountains Community Facebook site went crazy with worried people asking if the gardens had escaped damage. Unfortunately they hadn’t, with an estimated one third of the area being burnt. All the buildings were reported to be intact though…what a relief.
Here are just a few images, taken on one of my many visits;
Below is the bloom of the spectacular native waratah, floral emblem of New South Wales.
INSPIRATION FOR AN ARTIST
The waratah features in a wonderful, multi-panel artwork titled The Seasonal Moods of Mount Tomah. Inspired by the gardens, it was recently installed at the Blackheath Bar and Bistro in Govett’s Leap Road.. The artist is Rachel Szalay.
Let’s not forget the banksias in The Gardens, a treat for visiting native birds as well as humans.
Sure enough, I can spot a banksia flower in the second block of panels. And that looks like a white cheeked honeyeater in the centre, feasting on nectar of some kind.
Do pop into the Bar & Bistro when Covid restrictions are lifted.
NOTE – The Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens are open, though not the visitor’s centre. Entry is free.