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A very Australian volcano at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne 29 March 2010

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Guilfoyle's volcano, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne (illustration copyright RBGM)

History offers surprising connections between gardens and volcanoes, as we’ve reported before here at The Volcanism Blog. From Australia comes news of the restoration of a particularly notable example of the volcano as horticultural feature: Guilfoyle’s Volcano, in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. The ‘volcano’ is in fact a reservoir holding 1.3 million litres of water, built and landscaped under the direction of Sir William Guilfoyle, curator of the gardens 1873-1909. The ‘crater’ of the volcano features floating gardens, while the slopes are landscaped with boulders and areas of red stones and succulents simulating lava flows in a modern scheme designed by landscape architect Andrew Laidlaw. The feature had remained unseen and neglected since being fenced off in the 1950s.

[Illustration of Guilfoyle’s Volcano, copyright Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, reproduced here under the ‘fair use’ provisions of the Australian Copyright Act 1968.]

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