Dazzling autumn colours, more stinky plants, new Masterclasses revealed, Tasting Australia, History Festival, waterlily wonders & more!

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All the latest from Botanic Gardens of South Australia

Welcome to the Botanic Gardens of South Australia e-newsletter where we keep you up-to-date with all things Adelaide, Mount Lofty and Wittunga Botanic Gardens.

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VIDEO: waterlily wonders

Double the beauty in our Amazonian timelapse

Our latest YouTube clip brings you timelapse vision of not one, but two stunning Victoria amazonica waterlilies flowering over a 48-hour period a few weeks ago!

This season has been one of the best in recent memory for the South American jewels in our Amazon Waterlily Pavilion, with flowers opening up (albeit briefly) every fortnight or so.

Read more about the Victoria amazonica's fleeting yet striking dance at our website.

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New Masterclasses

Learn from SA gardening legend Sophie Thomson!

We've added four new gardening Masterclasses to the 2016 schedule since our last newsletter, including Get Growing with the one and only Sophie Thomson!

The new Masterclasses cover pruning for fruit; establishing a healthy, productive and sustainable fruit and vegetable garden; growing ferns; and fern propagation techniques, and each allows you to learn the latest techniques from industry experts.

And with our recent Art of Bonsai and Plant Propagation Masterclasses having sold out, you'll want to be quick to secure your spot! For more information and to book visit our website.

Also sign up to our Training and Workshops newsletter to keep abreast of new Masterclasses coming soon, including one on understanding your soil and another on cool climate flowering shrubs (e.g. rhododendrons, magnolias & camellias).

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What's in bloom?

Discover what's looking good at Adelaide, Lofty & Wittunga

Heading for a Garden visit soon? Keep an eye out for these highlights on your travels!

Adelaide: The Victoria amazonica waterlily is still flowering regularly - catch it soon before it takes its winter rest. The Economic Garden is bursting with weird and wonderful produce including 'Budda's hand' lemons and custard apples.

Mount Lofty: While the Garden's autumn colour has past its prime, there are still pockets of colour certainly worth the drive to the Hills. Also keep an eye out for Japanese windflowers, hellebores (in the Woodland Garden) and natives like Epacris impresa in flower around the place.

Wittunga: Proteas are the big ticket item right now (including neriifolia, repens, coronata and 'Pink Ice'), while bursts of colour are also being provided by Hakea laurina (pictured), Eucalyptus caesia ssp. ceasia and Erica cerinthoides x coronata.

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Kicking up a stink

Adelaide plants giving the Corpse Flower a run for its money

Mere months after our second Corpse Flower (Titan arum) unleashed its decaying stench into the world at Adelaide Botanic Garden, it seems some of our other plants have got ideas.

The above plant (Aseroe rubra, spotted by visitor Shayne Calliss near the Australian Forest) is known as the starfish or stinkhorn fungus, and it was the first native Australian fungus to be formally described in 1800.

It also produces spore slime that has an intense smell of rotting meat or faeces. Yuck!

Similarly, a handful of female Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) trees north-west of the Economic Garden have started dropping their fruit that, when squashed, smell similar to that of vomit or off cheese!

The nuts inside (not smelly) are a delicacy in Asian cooking and the Ginkgo tree - native to China - also has various uses in traditional medicine.

Even so, perhaps watch (or smell) your step when in the vicinity of these otherwise beautiful trees!

Like our Facebook page and follow our Around the Gardens Blog for more fun plant facts.

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Visitor shot of the month

It was always going to be from Lofty, wasn't it?

If you've visited Mount Lofty Botanic Garden in the past few weeks not only would you have experienced one of the Adelaide Hills most iconic sights, you'd have seen scores of camera lenses trained at the autumn panorama of scarlets, bronzes and yellows.

Thankfully the ensuing masterpieces have popped up on social media with an abundance comparable to the amount of leaves in the Garden!

But it was this gem from
Earth Art Photography - the light streaming through to the yellow leaves - that tickled us just right.

Don't forget to tag us in your shots from the Garden on Instagram (@botanicgardenssa) - we love to see 'em! 

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Botanic Gardens Blogs

Bees, endangered daisies, Garden Guides and more

The mercury is dipping - must be time for some autumn reading!

New on the
Seed Hunters Blog, the South Australian Seed Conservation Centre team heads along the Finniss River in search of the rare Grass daisy (Brachyscome graminea, pictured atop this newsletter).

How did they fare? Read on to find out, and help the team save SA's plants from extinction by
making a donation.

On the Around the Gardens Blog we look at
the gorgeous winning rose from the recent National Rose Trial Garden People's Choice Weekend; say goodbye to one of Wittunga Botanic Garden's favourite sons; and catch up with Garden Guide Judy Morton.

Meantime the City Crop Blog looks at why bees are so important to lucerne pollination; and the Little Sprouts Blog reflects on the garden Visiting Program's first year in action and recent plantings and harvesting news.

Pour yourself a cuppa and get reading!

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SA History Festival

The Friends bring you a slice of history at all three Gardens

South Australia's History Festival is upon us once more (1-31 May) and history buffs can get their kicks during special guided walks at Adelaide, Mount Lofty and Wittunga Botanic Gardens.

Adelaide's tour provides a portrait of the Botanic Gardens of South Australia's second director, Richard Schomburgk (1811-91, pictured), and allows you to discover his great contributions to the Garden and the colony of SA.

Mount Lofty's tour looks at the history and transition of the land upon which the Garden sits (from forest to farm to fabulous).

While at Wittunga you can learn why and how plants get their names, with an intriguing look at the history of Latin and common names.

See the full schedule at our website.

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Taste the Garden

With Tasting Australia, Adelaide Botanic Garden, 1-7 May

Tasting Australia - one of the country's most anticipated culinary festivals - kicks off this Sunday 1 May, allowing you to celebrate the best of SA food!

Harvest the Landscape guided walks around Adelaide Botanic Garden will take place daily from 11am to 12:30pm from 1-7 May, for a mere $5 ($2 for kids). Discover (and taste test) the stories behind our many culinary plants.

Or, for something a little more exclusive, learn about the eat local and seasonal ethos of Anthony Myint and Chris Kiyuna from San Francisco's The Perennial restaurant, along with the Botanic Gardens Restaurant's very own Paul Baker (Wednesday 4 March, 12-4pm, $180).

Bon appétit!

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