YouTube promotes historic Spring Walk (est. 1856) in Royal Botanic Gardens

YouTube has been utilised to provide a snapshot of the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney in spring, in an effort to increase international tourism and local interest in the Garden.

Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust's Executive Director, Professor David Mabberley, said the Spring Walk at the Garden is blooming, providing the perfect launchpad for its new Youtube channel.

"We're using Botanic Gardens TV on YouTube to show all seasons at the Garden to people around the world.  We started with spring because it is significant that Australia's first botanic garden Spring Walk was established here in 1856," Professor Mabberley said.

"On YouTube viewers will learn about the origins of tulips, see footage of them and the many other beautiful flowers along the Spring Walk – and the Garden could provide inspiration for their own gardens.

"Most people assume tulips are from Holland, but in fact they're native to Central Asia.  Their botanical name, Tulipa, is derived from the Turkish word 'turban', in which the Turks used to wear the flowers.

"It was in the 16th Century that tulips were brought to Holland from Turkey where they had become very popular.  They are now cultivated and grown en masse in large fields.  When food was scarce during the Second World War, people even ate the bulbs," Professor Mabberley said

Royal Botanic Garden's Senior Horticulturalist, Paul Nicholson, said his team creates a seasonal display of 6,000 tulipr, 2,000 other bulbs (including hyacinths and ranunculus) and about 5,000 annuals along the Spring Walk.

"This year's annuals are pink primulas and purple pansies.  The other major features are permanent plantings, including a row of ornamental flowering peaches (Prunus persica 'Versicolor') and 17 different cultivars of wisteria.  There's also a mix of rhododendrons — with some unusual ones from southern China, Vietnam and Laos," Mr Nicholson said.

"The tulips, primulas and pansies are flowering now.   In the first week in September, the ornamental peaches and wisterias will start flowering — by the third week they should be in full bloom," Mr Nicholson said. At this time visitors will also see heads of purple mist flower — Bartlettina sordida from Mexico, planted in swathes along the walk.

The Spring Walk is between Botanic Garden Creek (near the Palm Grove Centre) and Lion Gate Lodge — on the southern side of the Macquarie Wall where, in 1856, it was first planted with azaleas, rhododendrons and other shade-loving plants.

The 2012 Spring Walk is sponsored by Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. The Hotel maintains a strong commitment to supporting sustainability and is pleased to partner with the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust which shares common values surrounding the conservation of our natural environment.

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