Grey Garden

The Grey Garden is ornamental in theme, and yet also a marvellous demonstration of the creative adaptions plants have evolved in order to grow in harsh environments. Lining the steps down from the Temple of the Winds, the garden is on a particularly exposed and harsh site, with shallow rocky soil and some of the hottest temperatures in the Gardens. The waxes, hairs, scales and spines that colour these plants are what allow them to thrive in such conditions.

This collection:

  • Demonstrates the use of grey plant adaptations to reduce water loss across a range of natural habitats.
  • Interprets the use of grey plants for garden display and drought tolerance, as well as the common adaptations of grey plants from across different countries and habitats.

Key Plants

Silver Princess

Eucalyptus caesia

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Emu Tree

Hakea francisiana

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Red Elephant Tree

Bursera hindsiana

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Clinanthus variegatus

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Silver Princess

<em>Eucalyptus caesia</em>

This native Australian tree draws a lot of attention due to its attractive appearance. Its beautiful deep brown bark curls back to reveal a pale under surface. This type of bark is known as 'minni ritchi'.

Notes from the Curator

The Grey Garden Collection is an unique and exciting collection to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Garden beds are located either side of a winding staircase, displaying a range of grey foliage plants with unique adaptations. Demonstrated by the array of plants climbing their way down the cliff face, this collection is located on one of the toughest and most exposed sites in the Gardens. An interesting feature of some grey foliage plants is their ability to act as a fire retardant. Many of the Acacias in this collection are known for having this ability, including Acacia acinacea, agrophylla and baileyana. This is one of the many reasons I love this collection. From the beautiful unique plants, the wonderful display of Eucalypts and Acacias, to the bonus workout I get as I make my way up and down the stairs. There is no better way to take in the beauty of the Grey Garden.