Bats and Blossom

I have just enjoyed a gardening treat, a visit to Sydney’s Botanical gardens and of course the garden shop. But before I get to the shop I have to talk about fruit bats.

Strange fruits! Bats among the blossoms

Strange fruits! Bats among the blossoms

They are everywhere in the gardens and doing a lot of damage to the trees so there is a plan to relocate about 7,000 of these threatened mammals to another colony on the north shore. They were part of the ecosystem long before the gardens were established and like all native animals have been forced out as settlements intensified and vegetation was cleared. It is hard to believe with so many in one place that they are threatened but it is symptomatic of what is happening world wide when species find one safe place of refuge, they are moved on. In this case because of the damage they are doing to the trees in the gardens. What a complex problem! In this, the UN year of Biodiversity it is important to consider providing habitat in all of our gardens for our native species so they are not crowded into very small public spaces.

Wondeful colours on display

Wonderful colours on display at the Sydney Botanical Gardens

Speaking of native species the success story of coming back from the brink isthe Wollemi pine. It was thought to be extinct until a few specimens were discovered a few years ago in the Blue Mountains and now it is being grown everywhere including in the Gardens.

Wollemi pine: the living dinosaur

Wollemi pine: the living dinosaur

The amazing Wollemi pine story

The amazing Wollemi pine story

Keeping up with the trend for sustainable gardens is the entrance which has changed to water efficient plants but I am not sure about the location with a water feature in the foreground.

Water efficient plant bed complete with water feature

Water efficient plant bed complete with water feature

I was also taken with these bromeliads which at first appear to be in a parasitic relationship with the tree but no, according to the information board they are merely using the trunk as support and do not feed from the tree.

Bromeliads growing on a tree

Bromeliads growing on a tree

My final visit in the gardens was to the shop…it is such a lovely bookshop with quite a few botanical prints and I came away with one of a Tasmanian Waratah, (telopea truncata) by a Tasmanian botanical artist Sylvie Gerozisis. I have tried to grow a Tas Waratah several times in my own garden but have given up..I am at sea level in a very mild climate and it just doesn’t work.

One thought on “Bats and Blossom

  1. Christine, you make such an important point about a large number of any species (it could be plant or animal) appearing to be doing well when they can actually be under threat.

    The complexity of the problem’s compounded when people only know what they see – in this case, so many bats that they’re regarded as pests. It’s so much harder to create awareness and appreciation of an issue when it involves something missing from a landscape.

    If anyone’s considering habitat for native species in their gardens, they might consider joining their local Gardens for Wildlife program or at least getting some tips from the program websites. One of the best things I’ve learnt is that even small gardens can be made more wildlife friendly.

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