"No Four Walls" Sculpture Unveiling
Simone Eisler's delightful sculpture "No Four Walls" was installed in the Pandorea Garden earlier this year. It was officially unveiled on a lovely Sunday afternoon when guests gathered to celebrate its addition to our Gardens.
The sculpture was made possible by a generous donation by the family of Harry Laidlaw. Harry was a foundation and life member of the Friends, and contributed a great deal to the Gardens especially in its early years. The Laidlaw family recognised Harry's dedication to the Gardens, and commissioned the 'No four walls' sculpture in his memory. The design for the piece was inspired by a poem written by Harry which honours the regenerating power of spending time in the natural world.
Horizons Draws First-time Visitors to the Gardens
Horizons is the annual Sunshine Coast Arts Festival. It spans 10 days and takes place at several venues across the coast. The Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens is one of the main venues and several visitors expressed their pleasure in being able to experience the art installations, workshops and artist talks in such a beautiful, natural space. Many of these people were first-time visitors to the Gardens.
The art works were creatively installed along an art trail which began at the Arts & Ecology Centre and wound through the bush along the Lagoon Walk and back towards the Open Lawn.
Researchers use Drones to Locate Koalas
Using drone mounted thermal cameras flying above forest canopy, researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast recently located four koalas within the area of the Gardens. Yes, four!
The research team have often visited the Gardens with koala and scat detection dogs but this is the first time that drone technology has been employed. Their work helps build knowledge of the distribution and movement patterns of our local koala community with the aim of caring for and conserving this precious species. More information about the koalas at the Gardens here.
Sunday Workshops - Get Creative with Native Plants
Every 3rd Sunday of the month, a new and interesting workshop will be held at the Gardens. The inaugural workshop was fully booked and thoroughly enjoyed. Maurice Flaherty, of the Sunshine Coast Bonsai Society, offered inspiration and information on how to accomplish the transition of Australian native plants to bonsai. Maurice demonstrated how to create a bonsai melaleuca forest then each participant chose a native plant to craft into their own bonsai to take home with them.
In September, the topic is Caring for Native Stingless Bees. The workshops start at 9am and bookings are required. More information can be found here.
New Pathways to Whipbird Experience
After rain, it has often been a muddy trek to the Whipbird Village and Walk. New paths will make access to this wonderful children's play area easier, especially for strollers and wheelchairs.
Thank you for using the detours in place while the project is being completed. We've been held up by more rainy weather.
Another Successful Natives Naturally
It was wonderful to see how much visitors to the Gardens enjoyed this year's Natives Naturally "Small is Beautiful" event.
All workshops were booked out and much was learned. The Coolum Native Nursery sold out of plants - taken home for that special place in someone's "small", "beautiful" home garden! The sausage sizzle was enjoyed to the very last sausage. The cafe did a roaring trade. Guided walks were well attended and everyone seemed to enjoy their stroll through the Gardens on a glorious, winter-y Sunday morning. The day was topped off by the entertaining stories of ABC's Gardening Australia's Jerry Coleby-Williams, as he presented "The 21st Century Cottage Garden".
Thank you to everyone who supported the event and all the Friends volunteers who organised and hosted the morning.
Introducing our 2019 Research Grant Recipient
The Friends welcomed their 2019 Research Grant recipient, Hilary Pearl to the Gardens this week. A student at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Hilary's research focus is on heathland plants. Her advice on this type of plant (those currently growing in the Gardens and ones being considered for future planting), will be very helpful. We look forward to hearing how her research is progressing over the coming year.
Thanks and Farewell to Ethan
Ethan leaves us after his year of dedicated, much appreciated work as a trainee of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council at the Gardens. At morning tea, the Friends presented Ethan with a parting gift as they thanked him for his contribution to the Gardens. Ethan approached his work with willing hands and a friendly smile. We wish him much success in the future.
Councillors Thank the Friends
Along with a delicious morning tea, Councillors Jason O'Pray and Jenny McKay, offered the appreciation of the Sunshine Coast Council to the Friends for their contribution to the maintenance and promotion of the Gardens.
Later in the morning, Councillor O'Pray planted a Brachychiton Bidwillii (the flower of which is the feature of the Friends logo) in the newly refurbished Pandorea Arbour Garden.
It's always lovely to have efforts recognised and partnerships strengthened!
Sculpture Artist Returns
It was delightful to have Jaroslava Sickova, creator of "Infinity" & "The Embrace" visit her sculptures and spend some time with the Friends. Jaroslava lives in Slovakia and has been holidaying here on the Sunshine Coast.
A group of Friends, including Graham who is one of the volunteers that have been looking after Jaroslava's sculptures for many years, accompanied the artist to the Sculpture Garden to visit her work.
Over morning tea, memories were shared about the time Jaroslava and her partner spent creating her sculptures in the Garden in 2005.
"No Four Walls" Sculpture Installed
A new sculpture, "No Four Walls", was installed early this month in memory of Friends' volunteer, Harry Laidlaw.
You'll find the sculpture in the newly reconstructed Pandorea Garden which lies between the lagoon and the Arts & Ecology building.
Koala Spotted in Sculpture Garden
A handsome, young male koala was spotted snoozing near the entrance to the Sculpture Garden by Friends volunteers weeding nearby.
Was he looking for Lizzy? We're looking for Lizzy too! Read more about our koala project.
Creek Walk Crossing Upgrade
New stepping stones have improved walker access across a section of the creek on the Creek Walk track. A motorised wheelbarrow on loan from the Friends of Foote Memorial, Buderim, made the job much easier than it might have been.
More information on the Creek Walk and other walking tracks here.
Whipbird Experience - Visitor Increases
The news is certainly out about this recently developed area of the Gardens.
The Whipbird Village is a very exciting natural playground and visitors must be sharing their experience with their friends because more and more people are enjoying the play equipment, natural features, sculptures, educational displays and, of course, the sensory trail.
The Observation Dome (centre photo on left) is a feature not to be missed. Neither is the Whipbird Walk which takes you along an easy bush track. Look carefully and you'll spot many creatures, both created and natural, as you wind your way through this delightful area.
Get the family together and come experience it for yourself. We're sure that you'll enjoy it so much that you will want to spread the news about this magical place too. Read more about the Whipbird Experience here.
We can't wait to cross that bridge when we come to it!
Are the Friends creating a rope swing bridge or a work of art? Seems like it is both!
Go and have a look at this awesome structure that's set to become an exciting shortcut to the Whipbird Village and Walk. It's foundations are something to behold. Well done team!
Everyone is looking forward to seeing the project completed and competing to be one of the first people to cross this fantastic bridge.