Billbergia nutans 'Queen's tears'


As it's bursting into bloom right now in SLM’s gardens, we are revisiting a bromeliad with the evocative name of ‘Queen’s tears’. This showy plant can be seen in several large pots at Elizabeth Farm, and at Vaucluse House. It makes a very pretty addition to a plant-stand, where its elevated flowers can be admired more easily

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Aloe arborescens ‘candelabra aloe’

The red-orange flower spikes look striking against the yellow clay colour of the lime washed walls at Elizabeth Farm.

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Autumn Blooms at Meroogal

A bright purple flower which has small yellow disk florets in its centre

Last week I visited Meroogal to find the gardens draped in fabulous Autumn colour.

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It's Tecoma Time Again

Bright orange-red flowers surround the shiny green foliage of the Tecoma crowing over the timber arbour at Rouse Hill House and Farm

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Autumn bonanza

Garden scene.

As summer’s heat finally fades, autumn’s lengthening shadows and burnished golden sunsets signal the start of a busy season for the Horticulture team at Sydney Living Museums, with many garden plants bursting into colourful life.

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Look Out Below, Bunyas Above

A wheel barrow full of Bunya cones from the Bunya Pine at Vaucluse House

It’s been a busy few months in the Gardens Team, spring has hit us hard and fast. The rain combined with the warm days has left us fighting to keep up with the rapid speed of grass growth at our properties, let alone the rest of our work. Wednesday’s heavy rain has given me some down time to show you the size of our Bunya Tree (Araucaria bidwillii) cones that have fallen during the recent high winds.

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‘Springter’ Arrives at Vaucluse House

The view through the fountain garden at Vaucluse house in Spring is very colourful

Now that our daylight hours are growing longer, the shallow ebb of Sydney’s winter warms into the few weeks before the spring equinox. This transition is very interesting; it’s an exciting and productive time for all of us birds, bees, lizards and gardeners alike.

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Wisteria Welcome

Close up of the Wisteria sinensis at Vaucluse house showing the lilac purple hues.

I might be a little late to the party in sharing the news, but better late than never, right? The Wisteria at Vaucluse House is in full glory draped along the front of the house colourfully announcing springs arrival.

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Camellia japonica 'Jean Lyne'

The interesting coloring of white and pink from the camellia 'Jean Lyne' flower At Vaucluse House.

A beautiful medium-sized, late-season cultivar raised by George Linton at Somersby and released commercially by Hazelwood Nurseries in 1941, Jean Lyne was one of the most popular Camellia cultivars – although now only rarely seen in gardens.

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Lord Howe Wedding Lily – Dietes robinsoniana

The flowers of Dietes robinsoniana are a pure white with yellow markings towards the centre

Now flowering at The Mint this little-known species of Dietes is endemic to Lord Howe Island. It features large white flowers and is the tallest of the Dietes genus. It was introduced to mainland Australia in 1869 by Charles Moore, director of the Sydney Botanic Garden, who collected it on Lord Howe Island during a long South Pacific scientific expedition.

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In this Plant your history blog, Sydney Living Museums’ gardening staff and curators share their knowledge and observations about the gardens at SLM. From basic plant information, gardening techniques and tips, through historic versus contemporary understanding of gardens, to what’s currently in bloom at our sites, they have plenty of insights for you.

More about Plant your history.