HOW TO SEE THE GARDENS

A map showing the most important places is enclosed in this folder. These places are numbered and indexed. Although light motor vehicles are permitted to enter the gardens, visitors are advised to walk round the gardens if they wish to explore the many beautiful places in this very compact garden.

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MAIN BORDER AND MAIN DRIVE

A well maintained mixed flower border adjoining a lawn is seen on the left hand side immediately inside the Main Entrance. A fine hedge formed of the Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) of Califonia is seen opposition the flower border. Two giant specimens of silver-leaved New South wales turpentine tree (Syncarpia glomulifera) from Australia are seen planted beyond the cypress hedge. Several kinds of Azalea (Rhododendron indicum) and the common Camellia (Camellia japonica) are notable tall shrubs visible on the grassy slope behind the main border. Fine-leaved large shrubs of the bottle brush. (Callistemon lanceolatus) are seen scattered along the flower border.

 
CENTRAL POND AND BULB GARDEN

ellow water lilies are grown. Magnificent trees of Bunya Bunya Pine (Araucaria bidwilli), Eugenia cunninghamii and Mihiriya, a native tree of Sri Lanka, (Gordonia axillaris) are found planted around the central pond. The foot path on the left hand side leads to the bulb garden which was opened in 1924. It contains a collection of Lilium, Watsonia, Gladiolus, Agapanthus and Zephyranthes, many of them have been introduced from Holland and Japan.

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LOWER FLOWER GARDEN

The flower garden displays many annual flowers adding beauty to the gardens, the flame bush, (Streptosolen jamesoni) Cestrum elegans, Poinsetia pulcherrima and many kinds of fuchcia their drooping clusters of pretty flowers are found along the herbaceous border. Interesting trees around the flower garden are the camphor tree.

(Cinnamomum camphora) from China. The Queensland box tree, (Tristania conferata) from Australia, the Japanese silkworm Oak tree, (Quercus serrata) from Japan, the southern Magnolia, (Magnolia grandiflora) from Florida, Madanakama, a scented-flowered, medicinal plant, (Michelia fuscata) from china and the clump forming Senegal Data Palm, (Phoenix reclinata). Visitors should not miss the indigenous Rhododendron or Maharath Mal, (Rhododendron arboreum ssp zeylanicum) with scarlet bloom. A summer house constructed in 1910 as a memorial to Mr. J.K. Nock, a pioneer curator of the gardens, is seen below the flower garden.

 
ROSE GARDEN

The Botanic Gardens are locally reputed for their collection, the rose garden, established on a twin terraced piece of land, contains modern rose varieties imported from England and America. A herbaceous border is seen behind the rose garden.

 
GLASS HOUSE

A newly established glass house serving a repository for indoor plants stands along-side the exit drive. This displays blooming specimens of Begonias, Peperomias, Afican violet. Primula, Gloxinia, Streptocarpus, Pelargonium and specimens of many kinds of cacti and succulents.

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UPPER FLOWER GARDEN

The upper flower garden also displays annual flowers and it includes a herbaceous and a mini rose collection.

A Montezume pine (Pinus montezumae) from Mexico and Hoope pine (Araucaria cunninghamii) from New South Wales lie on either sides of the flower garden.

A row of Jacaranda trees, (Jacaranda ovalifolia) with mauve flowers, is seen below. A giant Monterey cypress tree and Japanese cedar trees, (Cryptomeria japonica) grow around the flower garden. A dark green and deeply cut-leave creeper, the Dada Kehel (Rhaphidophora decursiva) is visible growing on a wanasapu tree, (Michelia nilagirica).

 
FERNERY

The fernery is a characteristically important section of the Gardens. It provides a cool and shaded atmosphere. A striking feature is the presence of a rare tree fern of Sri Lanka, (Cyathea crinita). Associated with them are Marattia fraxinea, Angiopteris evecta and Dicksoia antartica. Many varieties of native ferns grow well under the shade of the tall trees in this section.

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ROCK GARDEN

Established in 1921 the rock garden provides an environment to many kinds of herbaceous plants, plants thrive well in beds laid out among rocks and boulders. The pond placed below the slopy lawn is kept full of water lily; (Nymphaea mexicana) is found in this pond. A large handsome tree, the Panu nuga, (Ficus microcapa) is visible at the corner of the rock gardens. A collection of shrubs of angel's trumpet, (Brugmensia suaveolens) with elegant, drooping, white flowers lies above the rock gardens.

 
ARBORETUM

As you walk from the rock garden towards the arboretum through a winding path, under the shade of tall trees, you would come across some areas landscaped in to Japanese garden and a scented garden. Just before the path meets the Periphery Road, the old tea plot is seen lying on a grassy slope.

This collection forms the original introduction of the Assam tea hybrid brought to Ceylon in 1867. Propagated plants from this stick were distributed among tea plantation during the early years of the Botanic Gardens.

The arboretum, one of the most important sections of the Garden covers a large area behind the rock garden. Plantings of various genera and species, native as well as introduced from sub-tropical countries are seen here. Every tree carries a label giving the scientific name, local name and the country of origin. Prominent native trees in the arboretum are Yakul Maran, (Syzygium zeylanicum), Walidamba (Syzygium umbrosum), Damba (Syzygium assimile), Ketiya (Pittosporum tetraspermum), Nikadaula (Meliosma pinnata), Bombu (Symplocos cochinchinensis) and Katukenda (Scolopia crassipes). A plantation of camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) of China was established in 1893. A collection of the Loksumbul tree (Melaleuca leucadendron) was planted in 1883. A plantation of several species of Terpnentine tree (Eucalyptus sp.) and of Acacias (Acacia dealbata and Acacia decurens) were established in 1882 and 1915 respectively. A footpath originating from the Peripheral road leads the visitor down to the Main Entrance through the south garden.