As if the Sydney Royal Botanic Garden isn’t already utterly flower-tastic, they have added another eye popping attraction to their long list of reasons to visit. The Calyx was the centre of the gardens 200 year anniversary celebrations in 2016 and is a multi-functional space where you will find a magnificent ever changing wall of flowers. If it looks different when you visit, that is probably because the award winning green wall design is updated and re-imagined regularly. The venue faces north and is drenched in the most beautiful sunlight thanks to its specially installed glass. The space is a visual wonderland for adults and children alike, and spaces have been set up especially for the littlest of visitors. Here’s what we loved.
Did you know: The “calyx” (from the Greek ‘kalyx’ meaning bud/wrapper) is the part of the flower which protects the closed bud and sits between the flower and its stem once in bloom
The green wall
The Calyx is free to visit although a gold coin donation is suggested at the entry. The wall is a concave masterpiece, overflowing with flowers and greenery. Keep your eyes out for the sign depicting the overall display design and how it was achieved using different coloured flowers, foliage and textures.
At the foot of the wall you can stroll through garden beds booming with colour. We were lucky to be treated to a sea of exceptional orchids during our visit. The whole experience is a wonder for the senses. Surprisingly quiet, the stream of different colours and textures was the perfect springboard for conversations with our Little But Oncers.
Several child focused exploration stations have been set up for the little ones. Keeping with the nature theme, there is a microscope projecting onto a screen where children can investigate anything from their own fingertips to slices of ringed timber and beautiful butterflies in glass. Puzzles and drawing materials are set up with the incredible wall of flowers as a backdrop. How’s that for drawing inspo?!
Several iPads with custom activities are nestled among comfy child sized seats. A tray of laminated leaves and other natural objects are laid out with lovely timber magnifying glasses as an invitation to explore. We appreciated the open-ended structure of the kids activities, as well as the succinct and informative signs positioned throughout the space.
Food and Drink
A small kiosk is set up at the entry serving coffee and sweets. As we explored, several couples were seated with great views of the flower wall enjoying a high tea tower. The venue is also available for event hire with more information through their website here.
We’ll be honest with you, at Little But Once we LOVE flowers, we LOVE nature and we LOVE when our kids are the directors of their own play. So for us, the Calyx is a wonderland. The colour and detail of the horticultural exhibit is jaw dropping and the entire site has such a beautiful and serene ambience to it. Other excellent perks include the Calyx being located within the fabulous Royal Botanic Garden and within walking distance of the Art Gallery of NSW and other city attractions. You can truly make a day of it when visiting this wonderful creation.