Melbourne-based writer and journalist. Purveyor of finally crafted radio plays. A Muppet of a man.
The Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne are some of the most lovely gardens that I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting hopelessly lost in. Perched on the edge of the Yarra River, they hug the Melbourne cbd and give a welcome splash of green to an otherwise urban landscape.
On an unseasonably warm day in June I wandered through the gardens and eventually found the herbarium, right on time to interview Professor Tim Entwisle, director of the gardens for ABC Radio National program Off Track. We went for a leisurely wander and chat (I believe the word ‘promenade’ is more appropriate for the gardens) discussing the relevance of gardens, what makes a good garden, and about any plants along the way that took his fancy.
We eventually reached the greenhouse and Tim proudly showed off the Amorphophallus titanum, more commonly known as the corpse flower, quietly growing in a giant pot. Named for the rather unique, pungent smell it emits, this giant of the plant kingdom produces one flower every seven to ten years and it lasts for 48 hours. This plant flowered in December 2012, and there’s a bit of a competition amongst all the botanical gardens as to who can grow the biggest.