The Calyx - Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney

I was in Sydney in early April for a few days mainly reason to see the opera La Traviata in an outdoor setting with the iconic Sydney Opera House in the background. More on that soon.

La Traviata on Sydney harbour credit:

La Traviata on Sydney Harbour 1

I wandered through the Botanical Gardens and visited The Calyx - home to one of the largest green walls in the Southern Hemisphere.

Located within the heart of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, The Calyx (pron. kal-iks) is defined as the sepals of a flower, typically forming a whorl that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a flower bud.2

The heart of The Calyx is an amazing living artwork incorporating over 18,000 plants! Each is carefully chosen and positioned to create a unified image. It takes many hours of work by the horticultural team to assemble and maintain its beauty.

Around 6000 plants are Heuchera, an assortment of colours from lemon to caramel, peppermint to peach. The kaleidoscopic range is thanks to Dan Heims, an American plant breeder who began crossbreeding around 30 years ago. Called the plant of the century colourful Heuchera are now available worldwide; disease resistant and grow well in sunny and shady gardens. 2

Wall chart showing the overall design and plantings

Wall chart showing the overall design and plantings at the Calyx Photo by Jane

Jane at The Calyx

This 3½ minute video gives you some background on how the vertical garden was designed and put together. I was surprised to know Microsoft Excel played a key role! Who would have thought a spreadsheeting tool I use almost every day to complete mathematical formulas and statistics can be used to assist artistic endeavours.

And tomorrow Anne tells me we are continuing the theme of plants with a look at the art of sustainable floristy brought to you by Julie whose niece is a florist.