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Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Monday, 7 July 2014

Sydney's Botanical gardens

We spent the better part of a whole day wandering around Sydney's Botanical Gardens and I am not sure I even took in half of it really. Its beautifully laid out with lower, middle and higher gardens and it dates backs to the first settlers and their need to put in some green spaces not because they thought that they were a priority so much as that they needed to experiment almost immediately with what they could culitvate on this vast continent. They were rudely surprised and it took a lot longer than they had anticipated to find crops that grew well here.
The gardens  are spread over some 30 hectares really at the heart of down town Sydney. You can enter from various gates, one quite low down near Circular Quay and the Governor's Mansion. Several higher up closer to St Mary's Cathedral and the State library. It is easy to navigate with helpful maps at the gates. While we were there we also took in two exhibitions which are worth seeing in Botanica, and a small exhibiting hall in Lion's Gate with the most stunning painting of plants and the other of pencil drawings of what I like to call the secret life of plants, the fronds, the stamens, the hidden orifices and intricate petals which constitute the systems by which they reproduce.

Throughout are ornate fountains, all with a history to tell of why and how they were chosen. The Levy drinking fountain,one of the few remaining drinking fountains in Sydney, the enormous fountain at the entrance and and this splendid French sculpture by Jacquemart of a huntsman and his dogs.
There are so many sections of the gardens I can only really show you some of them- the ones I particularly enjoyed. I loved the grasses in different forms, the cactus and succulents which are so extensive and successful here as well as the ferns and the bromeliads which have colourful flower stems.
 An unfolding fern frond.

A very big tree fern
A cactus of some proportions
Bromeliads with their interesting flowering spikes
My favourite succulent - the Sultan's Cap ! You can just see him wearing it.

Guided walks are offered at 10.30 am every day (11⁄2 hours), and also 1 pm Monday to Friday (1 hour) from the Garden Shop. There is always more on offer -not least one example of the Wollemi Pine, the so called Dinosaur Pine which was discovered in the Wollemi National park only in 1994. So check out the website http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au

But my favourite place of all in the botanical gardens is one for next time. 

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