Revisiting Wendy’s Secret Garden

  • Location: Wendy’s Secret Garden,North Sydney
  • Species: various

Had a wonderful time again revisiting Wendy’s Secret Garden in North Sydney. Got a chance to explore further, and deeper into the garden grounds.

Found a couple of familiar tree species – at least one Moreton Bay Fig (ficus macrophylla) and what I am pretty sure was a Yellow Jade Orchid (michelia champaca), as well as some flowering, and super fragrant, Orange Jasmines (murraya paniculata).

I am still blown away by the sheer enterprise, dedication and passion behind the project’s origin story. If you ever visit Sydney, this is one secret you have to discover.

Moreton Bay Fig or Australian Banyan
Alexandre Palm

Categories:International, parks and gardens, tree walksTags: , , , ,


humble student of the glory of trees


  1. There is a big Moreton Bay fig in Santa Barbara, right in one of the more prominent city parks. I do not remember this history of it, but we all know about it. It used to be more prominent when the Highway 101 Freeway was at ground level, but now that the freeway has been elevated, it is only visible from above, where it looks more like a group of trees than one big tree. When I was a kid, I sort of wondered where Moreton Bay was. I had no idea it was in Australia, or even where Australia was.
    We know those palms as Phoenix canariensis, Canary Island date palm; and they are common in most of California. Arcontophoenix alexandrae is what we know as the Alexandrae palm, although I consider them to be one of the king palms. Because they are rare in Northern California, I do not need to distinguish them from other king palms like we do in Southern California.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tony, apologies for the late response and thanks for the story. Unfortunately, more and more trees are getting bypass by man-made infrastructure. The tree you mentioned is at least lucky that it wasn’t cut down, like many around the world.

      I have to admit I was quite confused when I first spotted the Moreton Bay Fig since it appeared to me like a chimera of all the fig species I knew about back in Hong Kong. It has extensive roots like the ficus microcarpa and ficus virens, but its leaves were waxy like the ficus elastica – although not as large. It was quite confusing until I came across a sign marking out the name. Since, I’ve been overwhelming with figs – there are just so many of them. There are at least 8 fig species in Hong Kong just off the top of my head. I am just scratching the surface.

      On the topic of palms, you probably noticed one of my first attempts to talk about them was a major blunder – i.e. Bismarkia Nobilis misidentified as Chinese Fan Palm in a post earlier this week. There are some common Palms in Hong Kong, i.e. Chinese Fan Palm, Royal Palm, Date Palm, Fishtail Palm (easiest to ID), but it is still beyond my powers of perception to tell some apart. My only reference point is their leaves – large fan-like or needle-like. Beyond that, the difference between a Royal Palm and Alexander Palm or a Chinese Fan Palm and a Mexican Fan Palm remain a huge challenge. My ID that the photo showed an Alexander Palm was just the result of a Google search on palm trees in Sydney, which gave me that name.

      Thanks for noticing, I will try to do better with the names next time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I would not notice most of those that were not identified accurately because I am not familiar with them. Even those that I am familiar with look very different in different regions. Bismarkias have only been available here for a few years. There are only a few that were planted prior to a few years ago. It took me a while to determine what they are, and only after a colleague down south told me about them. There are so many palms that live in Florida that people are trying to import here; but not many do well in our arid climate.


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