Royal botanic gardens, Melbourne

Royal Botanic Garden Sand Kings Domain, Melbourne, Australia

These adjoining gardens, established in 1852, form the green heart of Melbourne on what was originally a swamp on the edge of the city. The Botanic Gardens house one of the finest collections of botanic species in the world, as well as being highly regarded for their landscape design. William Guilfoyle, curator of the Gardens between 1873 and 1909, used his knowledge of English garden design to create a horticultural paradise. Kings Domain, once an inner-city wilderness, became instead gracious parkland. Its civic function grew over the years, with the establishment of its monuments, statues, cultural venues and the hilltop residence of the Governor of Victoria.

Pioneer Women's Garden

This sunken, formal garden was built in 1934 to honor the memory of Victoria's founding women. A still, central pool is adorned by a bronze, female statue.

Shrine of Remembrance

Based on the description of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in Asia Minor, now Turkey, this imposing monument honors Australian soldiers who gave their lives in war.

Sidney Myer Music Bowl

It is an architecturally acclaimed music "shell" which can accommodate up to 15,000 people for open-air concerts and ballets. In winter the stage becomes an ice rink.

Government House

This elaborate Italianate building is a landmark of the gardens. Tours of the state rooms are held each week.

The Perennial Border, based on designer Gertrude Jekyll's traditional color scheme, is planted with pastels, contrasting with grey and silver foliage.

Algerian Oak

This magnificent mature oak in the centre of the Oak Lawn is particularly spectacular when it flowers in September.

Ornamental Lake

William Guilfoyle's lake forms the centerpiece of the Gardens. It reflects his adherence to 18th-century English garden design, which used water as a feature.

Arid Garden

Desert region plants from Australia and around the world thrive in this special garden, watered by a small stream which acts as a natural oasis.

La Trobe's Cottage was shipped from England in 1839 and was home to Victoria's first governor, Charles La Trobe. The building is now preserved by the National Trust.