Autumn came and went down here with barely a flush of colour. Our summer was long and hot and it wasn’t until mid May that the weather finally broke. The few autumn trees planted in parks and gardens put on a quick show then, as the storms raged from the Southern Ocean, they blew off just as quickly.
The autumn cold comes earlier inland and lasts for longer. I’d been wanting to get out the Botanic Gardens in a small country town about an hour’s drive inland to see the autumn colour but I didn’t make it until last Sunday afternoon.
I was almost too late. The full flush of autumn had passed and many of the trees were already bare.
The gardens were created in the 1990s to take advantage of the 250,000 gallons of water that bubbles up from a natural spring every day. The water is collected into a holding pond then channeled into a free flowing stream that feeds two large lakes.
The vibrant autumn foliage and the sound of running water are in such marked contrast to the dry grasslands of the surrounding plains I felt I had stepped into another part of the world.
Most of the tree species are unfamiliar to me and some appear to be growing in the water. Visiting so late in the season most of the foliage was in the water too!
One side of the gardens terminates in a narrow road way which is flanked by a row of private houses – no doubt the prime real estate location in town.
The gardens are quite small and once I’d wandered along the length of the stream there was nothing to do but return back the way I’d come.
It was definitely autumn’s last hooray.
I wonder what the gardens will look like in spring…