Monday, January 11, 2010

Draceana Draco – Callan Park

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I was in Callan Park today. Its an area of land that was originally bought in 1839 as an estate. In 1873 it was bought by the Colonial Government to be the site of a “Lunatic Asylum”. At the time the grounds were 104.5 acres. The parklands were designed by the Director of the Sydney Botanical Gardens. At various stages since then it has fallen into disrepair due to neglect.callan park 144
There is a bit of a sad feeling around the place, due to its long history as a psychiatric hospital. It was also used to treat shell shocked soldiers returning from WW1.
Friends of Callan Park have a very informative website http://www.callanpark.com/ with more details of its history
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There are some very significant trees in the gardens, including some Dracaeana draco that I think must be about 100 yrs old.Originally from the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, they can live to 400 years. These examples are very striking and are well displayed in the huge open landscape.I have to say though that they are a strange choice of tree to put in the front area of a psychiatric hospital. They look like giant brains, and could be a bit intimidating.
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3 comments:

Noelle said...

The draceana are beautiful with their unusual shape. I don't know if the former residents would have found them soothing to look at though :-)

Jamie said...

I've always loved the look of Draaena draco. I didn't know there was such a nice one at Callan Park, though, so I'll just have to pop over and admire it in the flesh some time soon!

Anonymous said...

Hi guys, beautiful trees.
But the Dragos grow as natives trough out the macaronesia region, and the oldest one in Tenerife is 650 years old, altough it's call El Drago Milenario