Extending The Olive Branch

Plastic pots of Olives taken as cuttings from the first Australian olive at Elizabeth Farm

In one of our previous posts I spoke about Sydney Living Museums’ senescent trees and how we are working to ensure their survival at our historic sites. Just over a year ago we started a project to ensure the survival of the Elizabeth Farm European olive tree (Olea europaea), which is believed to be Australia’s oldest living cultivated olive tree.

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Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis)

Fallen Tecoma flowers create a bright red carpet at Rouse Hill House and Farm

The Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis) is currently in its magnificent full bloom at Rouse Hill House and Farm. This erect scrambling evergreen shrub has been widely planted on the property, in particularly along the arbour path. A native of South Africa, this hardy plant was widely used in ornamental garden situations and also provided dense stock hedging. Though be warned this exotic can become invasive along coastal areas if uncontrolled.

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Working Alongside an Aging Tree Population

Tall bunya pines and palm trees photographed against the sky

Looking after some of the oldest houses and museums in New South Wales also means we have some of the oldest plantings living alongside each of those properties. Naturally as built structures get older they require conservation and repair, as likewise does our aging – or senescent - tree population. We are working hard to prolong and maintain these plantings - but with the acceptance that unfortunately no tree species lives forever.

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Summer Scorchers Don’t Trouble This Old-Fashioned Beauty

The lilac Crepe myrtles at Rouse Hill House and Farm

Crepe Myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) flaunt their crayon-pastel coloured flowers from Christmas until the end of February and revel in hot summer weather.

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Old Garden Stalwarts Unfazed By Heat, Provide Colourful Summer Displays

The clear blue sky contrasts with the red blooms of the summer display in the Vaucluse House Fountain Garden

When the temperature soars and Sydney sizzles, your hydrangeas might flop, but many favourite old garden plants soldier on without a hint of stress, providing dazzling colour and perfume.

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Seasons Greetings

Ceratopetalum gummiferum

On behalf of the Sydney Living Museums staff and Gardens Team, all our very best wishes to you and your family for the festive season. Thank you for your support in 2017 and we look forward to seeing you in 2018. Don't forget to come and visit the gardens this summer as there is still so much in bloom to see.

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Beautiful and Tasty

Pineapples fruiting at Vauclue House Kitchen Garden

At Vaucluse House gardens, one of my favourite areas for the little ones, and for the not so little, is the kitchen garden with its seasonal vegetables, fruits and other yummy produce. One of the stars of the kitchen garden is the pineapple plants (Ananas comosus) that do not fail to surprise and put a smile on our visitor’s faces.

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Jubilant Jacarandas

The vivid clusters of the Jacaranda Tree at Elizabeth Farm

Sydney's suburbs are turning purple, it’s that fantastic time of the year when the Jacarandas blossom. Check out the images of our Dream Trees currently in bloom at the Sydney Living Museums properties.

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Prairie Nymphs at Rouse Hill

A pair of Herbertia in bloom at Rouse Hill House and Farm

The recent rain has brought out one of Rouse Hill’s tiniest garden jewels – the bright blue flowered Herbertia.

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Busy as a Bee at Rouse Hill House and Farm

Raking at the Rouse Hill House and Farm working bee 2017

As you may have seen from our previous posts we like to organise working bee’s at SLM’s properties throughout the year to get staff involved and out of the office; it also helps us to get on top of those jobs that have fallen behind or been forgotten about and the help of many hands definitely produces great results. For some of our staff the working bees can also be a chance to get to visit and know the property for their first time, as the majority of our staff are based at our head office in the city, The Mint.

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About

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.