Celebration in bloom
JUMP the fence at Lismore tip and you will find yourself in a quiet, fragrant and beautiful place: the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens.
But this Sunday the gardens will be making a lot more noise than usual when celebrations of its 10-year anniversary get under way.
"Working up to the anniversary, everyone's been putting in a lot of work," gardens work organiser and Friends of the Gardens vice president Pat Offord said.
"On the day we invite people to come and help us complete our Sunny Slope planting from 9am. To celebrate National Tree Day we will be putting in hardy, colourful local plants that will thrive in the sun."
Official festivities kick off at 11am when Mayor Jenny Dowell will cut the cake and Lismore City Council general manager Gary Murphy will plant a special tree.
"Even when we didn't have a site, council offered us things like an office and did our printing for us," Mrs Offord said.
"They were very supportive from the start."
Two new Discovery Trails have been constructed to take visitors into parts of the gardens that were not previously accessible; a level bitumen path winds through the oldest part of the gardens and colourful signs have been erected to help visitors identify plants.
"We have 11 different gardens here, most of them filled with rainforest plants from within 200km of Lismore," Mrs Offord said.
Among them are the Uncommon Plants Garden, the Useful Plants Garden, the Sub-Tropical Rainforest Garden and the Dry Rainforest Garden.
A Sensory Garden - to be filled with highly perfumed plants and plants that react to touch - is also in the pipeline.
If you'd like to take part in the tree planting or attend the lunch, let Pat Offord know by the end of today by calling her on 6629 1435. The gardens are open from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Sunday.