What a lovely, peaceful place, a walk away from where we live, and just off the busy highway that is Pittwater Road.
My family went for a quick visit to Stony Range today, partly to get the kids out of the house and partly to scope it out for a visit when my science group does their ‘Living World’ topic later this term.
We all had a great time. The garden is really small but the children loved following the trails on the leaflets, crushing and smelling leaves and even tasting some of them. They found stones that looked like a turtle’s shell, a waterfall, a ‘magic circle’, a mini rainforest and a bush tucker garden.
The volunteers who maintain this garden must put in a huge amount of work. There is a sign on the front noticeboard telling you what plants are in flower at the moment, with photos so you know what to look out for. A large number of the plants are labelled with botanical name and common name. Many of them have additional information, for example the uses that the Aboriginals had for different parts of the plants. There is further signage around the garden telling you to ‘look up’ or ‘crush and smell the leaves’, plus the leaflets I already mentioned.
We took about 40 minutes to look around the whole garden, taking in some of the information but not dwelling in any one place for too long.
I have plans to take the science group on an excursion, with a checklist of plants and other features to look out for. The younger group will be focussing on identification of plants, and how different plants thrive in different microclimates. The older group will also be looking at the environment that plants thrive in, plus the interdependence of plants and animals (i.e. food chains). I think it will be a lovely field trip and we will all come back with plenty to discuss.