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Plant Collections

Grey Garden

Grey plants from around the world show variation in color and texture. The silver or grey coloring is due to leaf hairs, scales or waxy coating. These leaf protections allow survival in tough conditions and adverse growing environments.

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne staff visit gardens and nurseries to observe plant combinations. We also trial various species for low maintenance requirements, use on steep slopes and plants that will aid weed suppression. New plantings are massed in large areas for a striking display. 


Best Viewed

  • Winter, Spring

Grow

Chrysocephalum apiculatum

Ground cover perennial, yellow flowers all year.

Euphorbia rigida

Low succulent shrub, lime flowers spring.

Salvia discolor

Low shrub, black flowers all year, sticky stems.


Plant Census

Chrysocephalum apiculatum

Ground cover perennial, yellow flowers all year.

Euphorbia rigida

Low succulent shrub, lime flowers spring.

Salvia discolor

Low shrub, black flowers all year, sticky stems.

Acacia argyrophylla

Large shrub, silver leaves, yellow flowers spring.


Curator Notes

  1. Cut plants back after flowering.
  2. Plant new plants in autumn to establish well before the following summer.
  3. Many grey plants grow quickly but are short lived, replanting may be required.

History

  • The Grey Garden was previously mixed shrubbery of no distinct theme. Many tree species and weedy species surrounded the Temple of the Winds blocking views.
  • 1980s-1990s - The area was established as a Grey Garden during the 1980s and extended over the escarpment in the 1990s.
    Plants were sourced from around the world and from within the RBG Melbourne. 
  • 1990 - a Quercus canariensis was removed to open views from the Temple of the Winds to the Yarra and beyond. 
  • 1990s - Interpretative signs were placed in early 1990s.