ATTRACTIVE DESIGN: The North St roundabout’s use of the dwarf bougainvilleas edged with Casuarina Cousin It contrasts well with use of clumping plants edging the footpath and the tropic plantings in the Rockhampton Hospital carpark.
ATTRACTIVE DESIGN: The North St roundabout’s use of the dwarf bougainvilleas edged with Casuarina Cousin It contrasts well with use of clumping plants edging the footpath and the tropic plantings in the Rockhampton Hospital carpark.

GARDENING: Taking a look at Rocky’s beautiful streetscapes

WELCOME to 2020 and a much dryer start to a new year than we have experienced in almost 20 years.

But as the garden words of wisdom go, for every day of drought we are one day closer to a wet season.

Next week marks the 24th year of writing the Morning Bulletin garden column. It was only to be temporary job but it has lasted a little longer than planned. And there are so many more garden stories to tell this year.

A regular question I receive is how do I come up with a different topic each week? The simple answer is feedback from you.

Gazania scandens on Norman Rd.
Gazania scandens on Norman Rd.

Each week I would receive more than a dozen letters, e-mails or texts requesting gardening information.

Even though last week’s column did not discuss Rockhampton’s gardens, median strips and roundabouts, “Theskipper” posted online, “Rocky has the worst gardens, median strips and roundabouts in the state... and he talks up that he is a local gardening guru.”

Well “Theskipper”, just to correct a couple of comments. I have and always have called myself a horticulturist, from the industry that I have grown up in and enjoy being part of.

As for professionally designing, growing plants for our construction streetscapes, median strips and roundabout gardens in Rockhampton, I have never been given the opportunity and I would not take the opportunity while I am a councillor.

I have though designed and grown plants for constructed streetscapes, median strips or roundabout gardens in Alpha, Barcaldine, Blackall, Blackwater, Capella, Dysart, Gladstone, Glendon, Jericho, Mackay, Middlemount, Muttaburra, Rosslyn Bay, Springsure, Tambo, Tieri, Theodore and Yeppoon, starting with my first project in 1982.

As for the “Theskipper”’s opinion that “Rocky has the worst gardens, median strips and roundabouts in the state”, I have a very different view.

Feez St roundabout.
Feez St roundabout.

I love the sea of gold of the Gazanias of George St/Gladstone Rd, Yaamba Rd and Norman Rd. As well as the stand of bismarck palms in the Feez St roundabout, the local native plants used in the Dean St roundabout or the recently planted roundabout at the base hospital, all are as good as you would find in any other large city.

So without being too stale in my reply to you, “Theskipper”, it is just as easy to see the positive beauty in our community than your negative view.

ROCKHAMPTON’S STREETSCAPE GARDENS

Rockhampton has, in my opinion, many attractive street plantings and the following are a small selection of Rockhampton streetscapes.

East St between Fitzroy and William Sts would have one of the best tree canopies of any CBD in the state. The use of centre plantings of figs and rain trees with tropical understorey plants creates a very cool environment for CBD users.

East St streetscape.
East St streetscape.

The base hospital streetscape in North St has softened the density of the buildings surrounding the street. The roundabout’s use of the dwarf bougainvilleas edged with Casuarina Cousin It, contrasts well with use of clumping plants edging the footpath and the tropic plantings in the hospital carpark.

Yaamba Rd between Richardson Rd and Farm St uses golden cane palms as a centre feature with coloured foliaged acalyphas and is edged with a carpet of gazanias.

Norman Rd between the German St traffic lights and Judd Park has produced a masses of golden gazania flowers for most of last year. Above the gazania are the tree plantings of the glossy green foliage tuckeroos, or Cupaniopsis anacardioides.

Recently Rockhampton Regional Council upgraded the medians in Albert St with the centre planting of buckinghamia or ivory curl flowers with edgings of gazanias. The ivory curl flower is one of the most underused street trees in Central Queensland and hopefully will be used in further streetscapes.

Buckinghamia celsissima.
Buckinghamia celsissima.

This year I am looking forward to see the planting Queensland Transport will be installing in the new sections of Yaamba Rd at Parkhurst and the final design and installation of the landscaping within the Yeppen roundabout.



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