Eucalyptus tereticornis
Forest red gum

Cheryl Hodges, 2015. © The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.

Elizabeth Bay House seen from Arthur McElhone Reserve

The garden estate established from 1826 by Colonial Secretary Alexander Macleay was renowned as one of Sydney’s loveliest – a ‘botanist’s paradise’ blooming with plants introduced from around the world. Today traces of this once-famous garden can be found through the streets of Elizabeth Bay.

Photo © Leo Rocker for Sydney Living Museums.

Entrance to Elizabeth Bay House
Conrad Martens, 1836, watercolour
Caroline Simpson Collection, Sydney Living Museums

Artist Georgiana Lowe, herself an avid gardener, visited Alexander Macleay’s garden in the early 1840s. She responded enthusiastically to its picturesque qualities, depicted here by painter Conrad Martens (1801–1878): ‘As we went along the wild walks, cut through the wood, the native trees, covered with flowers, the views of rock, trees, and water were enchanting’.

Grotto in the garden of Elizabeth Bay House
Robert Hunt, c1858, albumen print
Sydney Living Museums

The eucalypt woodland at Elizabeth Bay appears in this 1858 photograph of a rock overhang, which formed a natural grotto in the grounds of Alexander Macleay’s garden estate. The grotto survives today, with the addition of a supporting pillar and decorative stonework, at the bottom of Arthur McElhone Reserve.

Forest red gum

Eucalyptus tereticornis