Anderson Park is the largest of the three botanical gardens managed by Townsville City Council. We have been conveniently close to it in Mundingburra for so long that we take it for granted but a couple of recent visits reminded us how pleasant it is; reminded us, too, of the Conservatory and the exotic fruit garden.
The council doesn’t publicise the Conservatory very well (it doesn’t even rate any text on the park brochure, for instance, although it is marked as a little grey square on the map) and only opens it to the public on Tuesdays but it’s worth a look.
It’s full of gingers, ferns, cycads, bromeliads and other families. Many of them feature in our own gardens, of course, but most of us don’t have so many varieties, or get them growing so well. The two which caught my eye last Tuesday were the ornamental banana and the pitcher plants.
Tropical Fruit Orchard
The Tropical Fruit Orchard is right next to the Conservatory. We didn’t spend as much time there as we would have on a cooler day but noted both Black and Yellow Sapote fruiting abundantly and dropping ripe fruit on the ground, while a Pomelo and a patch of (edible) bananas were also quite productive. Stern notices forbid the collection of any fruit from the orchard; one can see the point, although the waste of good fruit is disappointing.
We saw dragonfruit growing in a plot among mangoes down near Giru yesterday, the first we have seen growing here. There were far too many for domestic use or even a Cotters Market stall, so we assume the farmer supplies local greengrocers.
This year’s Eco-Fiesta, a few days ago, was much like those of previous years: a lovely day in the park with all sorts of loosely ‘greenie’ and ‘alternative’ people and organisations. I wrote enough about the 2014 and 2013 events that I shouldn’t need to present an overview this time, so I will dive straight in to the things which caught my attention.
Wildlife Queensland had a well-staffed stall featuring a great gallery of flying fox photos. These animals get a bad press and need all the support they can get.
North Queensland Regional Plan had a very boring stall (I’m sorry, but it’s true!) which tried to engage visitors in planning for our region, the local government areas of Charters Towers, Burdekin Shire, Hinchinbrook Shire and Townsville. It’s a state government initiative and welcomes online input here. I told them about our declining rainfall. What’s your concern?
We’re coming to the end of our Wet season (not that it was very wet!) and the local fruit supply reflects the change.
Mangoes have finished (sad face). I haven’t seen anyone selling them off the back of a ute for a couple of weeks, and I think the fruit we got in the last few weeks before that was from somewhere down south, not that the sellers said so. (The season starts in the NT in October and harvesting progresses south, reaching Townsville around Christmas.)
Custard apples are back in season (happy face). They were on sale at Cotters Market two weeks ago, and should be available for the next six months.
I picked the second of two Monstera fruit on my creeper a couple of days ago (happy face), after missing the ripening of the first (sad face) a fortnight ago.
My Ducasse bananas are flourishing (happy face). I have just picked a small bunch, two more bunches are fully formed but some months off ripening, and two more plants have just flowered.