The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 5: Gardens in Asia, America, Africa, Australia

Garden design in Tasmania

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939. Van Diemen's Land. All the European vegetables and fruits thrive as well in this colony as in Britain ; but it is said that neither the flavour of the fruits nor the perfume of the flowers is so fine. It is also said that the sting of the bee has less venom. The general appearance of the country bears considerable resemblance to that around Sydney, but it is characterised by a greater abundance of the beautiful mountain grass tree (Xanthorrh£'a). The country residence of Dr. James Ross, the editor of the Hobart Town Courier and the Hobart Town Almanack, is thus described by himself: -' The situation is a fine sloping valley, commanding heavenly views of the Derwent, Hobart Town, and the harbour and shipping. One part of the ground is so steep, that 100 wooden steps are requisite to facilitate the ascent. Here no deciduous tree, covering the sward with its autumnal ruins, reminds us of the decay of all things. My arbours of 'cool recess' and serpentine walks, formed out of the native shrubbery, are clothed in perpetual green, which borrows vernal freshness from a copious spring gushing forth at the highest point, and visiting in its descent every plant and flower.' [Editor's Note Van Diemen's Land is the original European name for Tasmania]