DOWN THE GARDEN PATH

It may surprise you to learn that there is a public space just minutes from our doorstep that links back to ancient Greece. TheIN Noosa team discovers eight hectares of stunning garden that’s home to almost 100 different species of birds and a wide range of fauna.

by @JohnCaruso on Friday, 16 Sep, 2016

Our fashion editor Heidi knew she’d stumbled across the perfect spot while recently exploring the Noosa Botanic Gardens, scouting for a spring photo shoot location.

Just a short drive from the hinterland town of Cooroy, on the shores of Lake Macdonald lies a garden with beautiful water views, an open-air bush chapel, fern house, lily pond, winding paths, picnic areas and a Greek-style amphitheatre.

The site was originally farmland when council resumed the site in the late 1950s and part of the area was used to create the Lake Macdonald water supply.

A local resident, Ida Duncan, didn’t like what was happening to the area with old car bodies and general rubbish being dumped on the site so she approached council for permission to clear it and with the help of a hand full of locals Ida removed the weeds and rubbish.

Funding from a government community employment program was used to start construction of the botanic gardens in 1987 and two full time staff were employed to continue to maintain and work on the site with the officially opening to the public happening in August 1990.

Make a day of it next time you have visitors in town; open every day and free to use. Pack a picnic or use the BBQ nearby and if you’d like to get more involved, why not volunteer to help by joining the Friends of the Botanic Gardens. There’s a link below.

Attractions

Amphitheatre: Used for community events and performances and a popular location for outdoor weddings.

Zen garden: Three large rocks surrounded by mounds planted with Zoysia and a stony creek bed dividing two colour tones of pebbles representing Mt Cooroy, Mt Cooroora and Mt Cooran along with the hills, hinterland, beach and life giving water ways.

Fern house: Originally used as a bird aviary on the Noosa North Shore, it was donated to the gardens in 1991 and converted to a fern house. Currently closed pending renovations.

Open air bush chapel: Perfect for smaller ceremonies with mass plantings of orange and red hippeastrums laid out near the lawn surrounding the chapel.

There’s a real sense of peace and tranquillity as you explore the abundance of native and exotic plant species in the Noosa Botanic Gardens and you can check out more as a stunning backdrop with spring fashion on page 63 of this issue.

Read more articles by @JohnCaruso

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