Adelaide, South Australia

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Moreton Bay fig tree on Plane Tree Drive, Adelaide at Botanic Garden

 

Had a great day yesterday wandering around the Botanic Garden in Adelaide. The most beautiful day and the surroundings were very peaceful and relaxing. It is important for us to ‘get back to nature’ away from phones and work stresses and just be!

 

We went through the Conservatory full of rainforest plants we continued on our day of peaceful meanderings and discovery.

Next we happened upon a female duck and her five ducklings foraging in a man made waterway nearby. Also, on the same path was a sculpture made of glass sheets in the shape of a wave. Very impressive.

The sun was out the birds were everywhere, and we trundled along towards the Santos Economic Botany Museum. Wonderful place which was probably fairly dated looking until, it was restored recently.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE MUSEUM

The Museum of Economic Botany in Adelaide has its origins in a previously existing museum in the Botanic Garden. Without a formal name, this building was generally referred to as the ‘rustic temple’ due to its façade being modelled on the Parthenon of Athens, and was built in 1863. It operated as a museum, though it was rather small, and entirely inadequate for the vision for the Botanic Garden held by Director Schomburgk. By 1870, when it had acquired 1500 objects, the building was significantly overcrowded. When it reached 2000 objects by 1876, Schomburgk concluded that the situation was untenable, and a new building was required. In 1877, he petitioned the Government for funding for a new Museum of Economic Botany, to bring Adelaide in line with other Australian colonial capitals which already had their own. His pitch was expressly economic in nature, arguing that the knowledge brought by its construction would encourage diversification in rural South Australian planting patterns, and thus grant a significant boost to the local economy. As this request was made at a time of economic prosperity in South Australia, the Government readily endorsed Schomburgk’s plan. Construction of the building began in 1879 and finished in 1881, and was explicitly based on the example of Kew Gardens. It had sixteen windows of eight feet height, designed to allow in a large amount of sunlight to illuminate the exhibition cabinets. It was built in the Greek revival style, and cost £2900. After the transfer of museum items from the rustic temple, it became officially known as the Wood Museum, hosting a variety of Australian and foreign examples of timber.
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