How does our garden grow?

16 November 2012

Visitors value the beautiful garden setting of Australia’s first zoo.

During Garden Weekend on November 24th and 25th, they can meet the horticultural team that keeps it all looking so great!

This annual special event will treat visitors to a wonderful insight into what it takes to care for the diverse gardens within the Zoo, from the authentic Japanese Garden to the newly landscaped Main Drive.

All the Zoo horticulturists will be out and about to chat to visitors and answer their questions as well as offering behind-the-scenes tours.

The weekend activities will include talks, tours, special displays, and additional signage highlighting significant trees, such as the historic Moreton Bay Fig which dates back to the 1860s.

Sustainability tours of the Zoo will include the wetlands, the floating islands in the Japanese Garden Lake (which help to filter the water by removing nutrients from the waterbirds), the water treatment plant (which provides recycled water for the gardens), and the new HotRot composting machine – the first in Australia.

Plant Nursery tours will include a talk about the major task of providing enough food for the invertebrates, such as the endangered Lord Howe Island Stick Insects. 

Delicate butterflies are surprisingly voracious when in their caterpillar phase, and each species has a definite dietary preference.

There will be a Backyard Bug display of insects often found in Melbourne gardens, a display of carnivorous ‘Plants with Attitude’, and  a display of the wide variety of plant-based foods that Zoo animals eat.

Kids will be able to do chalk drawing along the Main Drive and also pot up a small flowering native plant to take home.

Other conservation and horticultural groups will be making guest appearances:

  • A display of orchids, thanks to the Victorian Orchid Club.
  • A bonsai display, courtesy of the Glen Waverley Bonsai Club.
  • Friends of Royal Park will talk about their work in maintaining biodiversity within the parklands.