Explore Western Australia

Our horticulturist Catherine talks through some of the botanical wonders in the garden.

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What to look for in December

Outdoor gardens

Amidst the festivities of the Christmas period, the Sense of Place Garden comes into its own, with shimmering grasses, like the beautiful Deschampsia flexuos, glowing beneath the spooky white stems of Rubus cockburnianus and the strange shapes of the lancewoods, Pseudopanax crasifolius and P. ferox.

Our talented temporary displays team has decorated the Street, Ice rink and other hotspots around the gardens, with a seasonal array of horticultural delights, to brighten even the darkest December day.

In winter, the architectural shapes of our magnificent agaves and silvery astelias become more visible in the Outdoor Med, where flowering cyclamen can also be found, along with the first Narcissus of the season.

Mediterranean Biome

‘Christmas trees’ of vibrant Cyclamen once again herald the arrival of the festive season, while garlands of chillies and Chinese lanterns light up the Med Terrace. A bed overflowing with paper-white Narcissus provides a cool contrast, and we are trialing over fifty different species of tender Salvia, to discover which ones will flower best over Christmas. 

Rainforest Biome

The spectacular Rainforest Canopy Walkway has been planted up with 52 different species of orchid – look out this month for the beautiful Brassia, native to Central America and the West Indies.

Amongst the tropical crops, coffee is in full fruit, bearing lovely red and yellow cherries. These small, round fruits contain the coffee beans.