By Paul Chong Monday, 14 December 2009
Many places in the world are originally famous for their exhibits or natural beauty, such as the beautiful tulips of Amsterdam. The way with which these are grown & presented has no compare in this world. So, when in our own backyard in Perth, we first heard of finding tulips in equal splendour, we made it a point of not missing its glorious colours come each September nearby our home called Araluen.
In Perth, September is the first month of Spring, when the air is fresh & exhilarating, temperature hovering around the twenties & God’s natural colours of flowers are in full bloom.
“In 1929 J.J. Simons established a holiday camp for the Young Australia League (YAL), on 60 hectares (150 acres) of deep shaded valley at Roleystone. Creeks running through the long valley created a cool moist climate, thus making it an ideal site for his dream garden. Simons called his valley, “Araluen”, an Eastern States aboriginal word meaning “singing waters”, “running waters” or “place of lilies”. In Spring, Araluen featured tulips planted on the terraces and in the Grove of the Unforgotten. It proved so popular that it became a yearly affair. The gardeners are all drawn from volunteers. Visiotrs poured in from near & far and the entrance fees collected go towards its maintenance. “One of the many features still in existence today is “The Grove of the Unforgotten”, built in memory of 88 YAL members killed in the World War 1. A series of terraces descends a steep slope flanked by pencil pines formed in the shape of a lyre, the symbol of music. A waterfall cascades through the terraces and finishes in a reflection pond.”
To cut the long story short, Araluen saw changes according to circumstances. YAL sold Araluen in 1985. Encouraged by strong community support, the State Government bought the park in 1990 & the Araluen Botanic Park Foundation (Inc.) was incorporated in July 1990 which opertates the place under lease from the government Commission since 1995. Much was achieved, improvement made, heritage sites restored & volunteers worked steadily towards their realisation of building it to become the Botanic Garden of Excellence.
But this year due to parking problems & restrictions, the dream seems to have vanished & the Tulip Festival was not on. The tulips of Araluen usually in past years numbered 100,000 plants dwindled to 50,000 this year still thrilling visitors & tourists with their glorious colours of red, blue, purple, yellow & an assortment of yellow daffodils. Every encouragement should be given for the Tulip Festival to continue.
Araluen is such an enchanted valley, a tranquil botanic garden of natu0ral & developed beauty featu0ring its renowned tulip display each Spring . . . just stunning, glorious colours of different hues delighting the visitors’ eyes . . . providing such fun for picnics with BBQ stoves, flowing gurgling streams, green lawn to lie around . . . just frolicking in the sunshine with some 6,000 of planted tulips . . . what more can any visitor or tourist ask for! Now we shall have no more Tulip Festival? Will the volunteers manage it again come September next? Prayerfully & hopefully . . . such simple pleasure of life will not be denied!
We hope the local authority will relent its parking restrictions along Croyden Road.
You won’t know & appreciate a good thing till you lose it!
Let’s hope this loss is only temporary.