The lakes at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne (RBG Melbourne) form an integral part of the landscape in that they frame vistas through the broad expanse of lake water and offer sanctuary to fauna and some indigenous flora found in the Gardens.
Construction of the islands began from as early as the 1860’s and in subsequent years they were raised above flood level.
Long Island once formed part of the southern bank of a bend of the Yarra River before it was straightened in c1900 (effectively moving the river to the north and out of the RBG), is the largest of the RBG islands. Dallachy Island, Guerard Island, Fountain Island, Baker Island and Ridoutt Island are all within the main Ornamental Lake, and Sayce Island is in the Central Lake.
As part of the Working Wetlands project, nine additional floating islands have been installed into the Ornamental Lake. These floating islands are also known as floating treatment wetlands. They are planted with an assortment of semi aquatic plants to provide improvements to water quality. Essentially, the plant roots will grow through the floating island and hang underneath in masses. While the plants directly use nutrients in the water such as nitrogen and phosphorous for food, the root masses also host ‘biofilms’ (bacteria and algae) that also take up nutrients and other pollutants to purify the water.
Last updated 23 May 2012