On Thursday 20th August, a group of AILDM members and students were guided through Roma Street Parkland for a walk and talk by some of the dedicated Horticulture care team.
We met at the lush and relatively new Garden Room Cafe in the lower parkland, where once stood the old rail yards, with Operations Manager Paul Hoffman and Hort curator Matthew Hayes to start our walk. Paul has been at the park since it opened almost 20 years ago and was able to brief our members about what differentiates Roma Street Parkland from the other parks around Brisbane.
Roma Street Parkland is a show garden, and hosts numerous events throughout the year and are known for their high standards in garden and lawn presentation. It is absolutely immaculate.
From its original design by Landscape Architect Lawrie Smith, this garden has emerged as one of great value to the community and has had numerous changes throughout its 20 years, but all staying true to its original design intent. Lawrie, now retired, still volunteers his time regularly with garden tours in the parkland.
The maintenance of these facilities is a big operation, as we moved through to the centre of the park overlooking the Celebration Lawn we could see staff going about their jobs replanting for Spring floral displays and manicuring the oversown Rye making the lawn look like a green velvet blanket. It is such a relaxing place to walk through and enjoy.
As we meandered through the Spectacle garden in Colin Campbell place, we were reminded of the reality of tree protection zones where they had lost a large original Camphor Laurel and how this had reacted with the works of the construction period. The maintenance of the trees is all carried out to the highest standards to protect all mature trees and a team of Arborists and consulting Arborist regularly work in the Parklands inspecting and monitoring tree health. The twists and bends of the path reflecting the Brisbane river, the Crotons carving their way and connecting the various gardens linking to the Dreamtime and Rainbow Serpent, slow you down as you take on the abundance of Tropical and Sub tropical foliage and displays. These gardens are about showcasing Sub Tropical plants from around the world.
It was interesting to hear how they capture about 90% of run off for irrigation purposes and how the elevation and contours throughout the parkland present challenges. I am pretty sure we were all in awe of the volume of work involved to keep these gardens to these standards and discussion were had about soils, mulches for specific purposes and the way they make their own soil on site using manures from local stables and the Ekka and all their composted green waste is recycled into the mix. They are proud to be proactive on reducing chemical use and using biological control for numerous pests such as mites.
We concluded the session with a walk through to the Children's Garden and Playground visiting the recently built area as well as the original play area. It is very interactive and they have used the natural slopes in the design of the area amongst the shade of the Palms and large Fig trees. Hosting school groups for outdoor learning and using the edible gardens is a fantastic way to integrate play and learning.
It is a year round show garden, constantly changing and well worth the visit and to be guided by the team maintaining these beautiful gardens gave us all a great insight to the other end of the spectrum in which we work. For some of us we put everything we have into our designs and hoping it will be cared for to develop into its original design intent. This is just that, a complete dream of thoughtful interactive design with a well executed evolving maintenance program respectful of the origins.
This tour was organised as the AILDM QLD monthly 'Round Table' meeting for August. Members and friends are invited to join these meetings for coffee, a chat, and sometimes a tour of an interesting project. Watch our news page and calendar for details of future meetings.
Our next meeting will be at Civosity Park, 24 September. Details >