As part of the botanic garden residency I am able to work in both the city botanic gardens and the Mt Coot-tha botanic gardens. A visit last week to the mangrove swamp situated at the edge of the city botanical gardens cradling the Brisbane river was fascinating and inspirational. Painting and drawing mangroves at low tide has kept me busy. I look forward to a high tide visit soon.
I have been spending time by the lake in the Australian Plant Section of the botanical gardens walking and writing and staring at the reflections on the water .
The Arid Zone......Thorns....During the month of April I enjoyed the arid zone with it's beautiful Aloes and Euphorbias and the succulents in the Cacti and Succulent house. I also enjoyed meeting Prue who looks after the succulents,the fern house and the tropical Dome.
The Temperate Zone......Petals....... on the other side of the lake the Camellias and Magnolias are flowering. What a beautiful sight!
This week I went to the Botanical gardens and sat on the park bench. No need to take a photograph. No need to pick a specimen. No need to do anything.
Look at the lake. Smell the swampy water. Listen to the birds. Feel the gentle morning breeze on my skin.
the picture of the lake taken on the 17 March
Monday mornings I go early to the botanical gardens to collect specimens to paint during the week. I carefully select, cut and take them back to my studio. They are placed in a row of glass bottles on my work table. Each day I select a single flower to focus on. I try to simply paint what I see .
pastel drawings of this week's specimens hanging in the studio.
Mount Coot-tha was home to the Turrbal Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years before European settlement. After settlement the summit was cleared, leaving a single Eucalpyt tree. This gave rise to the name One Tree Hill, which remained in place until 1880, when the area became a public recreation reserve. The name Coot-tha comes from the Aboriginal word ku-ta meaning honey. This area was where the Aboriginal people collected honey from the native stingless bee. Coot-tha means ‘place of honey’.