Thursday, 26 May 2016

Mount Lofty Botanic Garden

A view across a formal lawn with tree plantings with Adelaide Hills in the distance
The Mount Lofty Botanic Garden in the Adelaide Hills is a very popular destination for South Australians, especially in autumn when the foliage changes colour. Here are more photos from a recent visit

Nature is a great inspiration.  May these photos evoke the creative spark within.

a thin, straight level path leading into the distance with steep slopes on either side. The land slopes from the top right to bottom left of the photograph.The ground is carpeted by brown fallen leaves.
Mount Lofty Botanic Garden is on a sloping site. 
There are two entrances: upper and lower.  

The lower entrance (off Picadilly Road) is the entrance I used during my last visit many, many moons ago (B.C. 'Before Children').  It has level paths (wheelchair accessible) that wind their way around a lake.

A wider asphalt path curving into the distance. Two walkers can be seen at the end of the path. A raised garden bed is on the left and the land slopes away down to the right. The sunshine penetrates between the spaced plantings of trees.
A level path at last! I'm not sure where this one leads.

I didn't realise that there were two different gates to the park. When I returned this year with my family, we entered at the upper entrance (off Summit Road) after following signs from Mount Lofty Summit.

Three toadstools popping up between the fallen leaves.
I was confused to discover that the paths into the park were not what I remembered.  I began doubting myself, wondering whether I had mixed up the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden with another.   

The Summit Road entrance was at the top of the hill and the garden was steep.

Looking down from a higher vantage point, one can see a windng narrow path with a few walkers below. The path weaves its way between native trees and shrubs under dappled sunlight.
A view from the upper path.

Heading uphill on a narrow ashphalt path which has a sharp bend at the top as it curves around a tree. Vegetation encroaches at the sides of the path.
Narrow, winding and steep …
The access paths were narrow and winding; dangerous for any unaccompanied wheelchair user and many paths were impassable.  It wasn't until a passer-by told me that there were two gates to the park that it all made sense! We had arrived at the wrong entrance; no wonder I couldn't recognise the paths.

The tops of exotic trees in the foreground with the Adelaide Hills in the distance.
A view across the valley.
My intrepid family were determined to explore regardless so I got to see a part of the park that I had never seen before. It is beautiful and the views are amazing.  I am more determined than ever to continue on my fitness routine to be able to walk this path one day.

Looking skyward to the canopies of half-bare trees with brown leaves.
Autumn canopies under a blue sky.

Above view of two toadstools on a bed of fallen leaves.The largest, central toadstool top is brown with white dots. The dots appear to be arranged in concentric circles. At the bottom of the photo a smaller, reddish brown toadstool is pushing its way through the earth.
Fascinating fungi.

If my memory serves me correctly, the lake was bordered by a stand of deciduous trees which gave a spectacular autumn display, enhanced by their reflections in the water.   I was hoping the children would come across that scene during our visit.

A mix of deciduous trees on a lawn in the foreground with taller native trees in the background.
Autumn colour mix of native and exotic trees.

Looking skyward to see the canopy of another deciduous tree.The remaining leaves are mainly yellow and green. The sunlight brightens the colours as it penetrates the leaves.
Pretty greens as the sunlight penetrates the foliage.

We couldn't reach the lake safely from the upper entrance but that didn't matter.  The weather was glorious–clear skies with a warm breeze; unseasonally warm, shorts-and-tee-shirt weather. 

At the sides of the photograph are flowering plants like roses while there are native trees in the centre and background.
Formal plantings give way to the native bush.

Small green shrubs in the foreground with vertical trunks of a native bushland behind.

I love how the garden provides fauna habitat by preserving tracts of natural bush.

Cool-climate ferns provide and understorey for the taller trees.
This bush is typical native vegetation of the Mount Lofty Ranges.

We enjoyed our adventure as we tried to navigate tricky pathways but were eventually forced to turn back; it was too dangerous and we were tiring.

Treetops in different shades of green and yellow against a clear blue sky 

It gives us a reason to return soon (using the lower entrance) to show the children the lake vista. 

A wide bare tree. The branches spread out low and wide.
Even when the trees are almost bare,
their skeletons have a ghostly beauty of their own.

I do hope we can revisit before all the trees become bare because the autumn colourscapes are magnificent.

A mix of foliage shapes and colours, dark green, reddish brown, light greens and yellows
A variety of shapes, colours and textures; perhaps to inspire a crochet design?
A dirt track passes a stretch of native forest with tall, thin vertical tree trunks with foliage at the top.  A couple of tree trunks can be viewed close-up in the foreground at the sides of the photo.

We emerged from the bush track to find a clearing with a seat for enjoying the views.

A clearing where three paths meet. One path winds down the hill where there are two walkers ascending.  The hill slopes away to a valley. The hills on the other side of the valley can be seen in the distance.

I hope you have enjoyed my view of the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden.
Do you have a favourite garden?

(Please tell me in the comment box at the end of this post. I love getting to know you.)

More widely spaced trees are showing off their autumn colours in browns, greens, reds and yellows. 

Links & References

Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, access via Summit Road or Picadilly Road, Crafers, South Australia:

Lots of people have posted photographs on Instagram using the hashtags #mtloftybotanicgardens and #mtloftybotanicgarden:

May I also draw your attention to the beautiful blog Adelaide and Beyond by Dianne, a fellow South Australian who has posted her own "Ode to Autumn" from Mount Lofty Botanic Garden:

A toadstool with a very flat cap which is an orange-brown with white dots. 

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  1. Lovely pics Jodie! I've not been in that garden for many many years. Not so much autumn colour here in Sydney - we haven't really even had autumn, yet. I saw a frangipani tree around the corner yesterday that was putting out new flowers...! We need a trip up into the Blue Mountains to really get the beauty of the seasonal changes, so might have to schedule one soon!

    1. I'm glad you like the pictures, Kaz - a few memories of SA! I've heard a lot of talk about parts of Australia not having had a proper autumn with last week still being unseasonably warm. I can't believe your frangipani is flowering - aren't they settling into dormancy at this timne of year?

      We have had a good autumn this year - nice days, cool nights and some good rains. The chill is setting in this week with our first temperatures below 10 degrees and the heater has come on. You will definitely need a heater in the blue you have any favourite spots in the blue mountains? It is a lovely part of the world with spectacular scenery (if the winter fog hasn't rolled in!).
      I do hope you get to pamper yourself with a nice side trip soon. :-)

  2. You certainly took us on a beautiful tour, stunning.

    1. I'm disappointed that I couldn't get down to the Lakeside Trail (I've since learned that is the name of the trail I was hoping to find) because that has many more beautiful photo opportunities but what we did see was still beautiful and enjoyable.

  3. Thank you for the gorgeous nature tour. I loved the toadstools and the fungi the best. My favourite garden these days is my back porch - pansies, mimulus, Jade, gernaiums, fuschias and herbs And a huge bleeding heart bush too.

    1. Your garden sounds like a pleasant place to be, Mary-Anne. Maybe you should put some more photos of it on your blog this season. I have geraniums in window boxes but they need re-potting and tidying up. Which herbs do you use the most? Parsley and chives are popular in my famnily menus this season.

      My exercise this year has been digging out mushrooms that have come up in my back lawn so that bunny won't eat them - I can't tell if they are poisonous or not so out they come. Those toadstools in the botanic garden were spectacular finds... they must have been about 10 cm (4") in diameter and their tops had deep red colours in them graduating to a golden colour near the edges. These colours look a little faded in the photographs and despite being amazingly coloured, it was easy to walk right past the toadstools because they blended in so well with the leaf litter. Apparently there are 'magic mushrooms' growing in the Adelaide Hills which have hallucinogenic properties!

      The only fungi we eat though are from the green-grocer's!
      Do you eat mushrooms?

  4. Sorry you did not make it to the lake area, but like you said it gives you reason to go back soon. The park looks very beautiful.

    1. It is a lovely place, Meredith.

      Perhaps I should have done some homework before we went to the botanic garden because then I would have discovered that the path I wanted is now called the Lakeside Trail. Renovated and re-opened in 2015 it is now an 'interpretive trail' and designed to be accessible for people of all ages and abilities. You can find out more about it (and see a pretty picture of the lake) at this web page:

      I've probably missed the best of this year's autumn colour now that winter is definitely coming in with shorter, chilly days and cold nights.

      Regardless, it was still a fun visit and quite the adventure to explore new paths and see different scenes. I am very lucky to have some beautiful gardens relatively close to home. You can be sure of future tours!

  5. You have to go back! This place is gorgeous.

    1. I definitely will go back, Amalia! I'm not sure when exactly. It will be when I am well enough, have enough time and energy to spare across the week and when someone is willing to drive and accompany me. Every now and then, the conditions coincide at which point I seize the day!

  6. Such beautiful pics Jodie!! The colours are beautiful. I tend to forget that it's your Autumn atm! The fungi and toadstools are so fascinating! hope you have a lovely week ūüėÉ x

    1. I'm glad you have enjoyed the photographs, Sharon. It can be funny to be online and see postings of the opposite season when we are well ensconced in our own! In terms of crochet, it is a good reminder to see winter projects in summer because it gives me plenty of inspiration to get started on the winter projects early and have them ready in time for the cooler weather. Winter projects seem to take longer. It is winter now and I am taking stock of my scarves and mitts and what colours need to be added to the collection. Such an imposition to crochet some more! (not) ;-)
      I am having a productive week, thank you, with a scarf currently on the blocking board. Likewise, I hope you are having a good week also. Cheers! :-)