To John O'Shanassy1    April 1859

Monthly Report on the Work performed in the botanical and zoological Gardens and on the proceedings of the Government Botanist, for March 1859.2

 

A report on the plants, collected during Mr Babbages expedition into the N. W. interior of South Australia was by authority of His Honor the Chief Secretary issued at the Gov. Printing Office.3 Some new plants contained in the collection brought from the Murray & Darling by Mr Dallachy have been examined together with some others received from various quarters of Australia.

By the Horticultural Society their autumnal exhibition was held in the beginning of the month. A concert in aid of the Sufferers by the late fire took also place.4 The accident which through the firing of one of the Cannons occurred, and for which the Drillmaster of the regiment was principly blamable, has not been of serious consequences.

The fencing of small paddocks for the animals commenced in our southern reserve,5 and the various lines of all the proposed enclosures have been laid out. All seats received a coating of paint. A main-drain with a width of 9" was laid in the southern most depressed part of the garden; To the pine row in the W. part of the garden along the main walk good soil has been carted. The main walk in the Northern ground has been covered with stones, brought from our quarry, and with gravel dug on our S. E. ridge, by which means now at all times a dry passage is effected throughout that portion of the ground. The same advantage will be derived from raising the walk between the lagoon and the river. This work is under progress and a substantial stone-wall has been already erected for this purpose on the river.

An extensive distribution of seeds has commenced, the number of packages to be supplied this season is not likely to fall short of 50,000.

The new wing of the Aviary is completed and partially filled with birds. In the Office building some bookshelves have been erected. The means of ingress and egress of water during floods have been applied to the fence of the zoological garden. The Basalt-bolders, which were dug up, in order to level the N. ground have been brought across the river for the purpose of being placed along the margin of the new Yarra walk, to guard against accidents. For the same reason the quarry has been surrounded by a fence. A short walk has been formed from the palm-house to the Orchestra pavilion. Additional stumps of trees in the paddock and in the N. lagoon have been removed. The other work have been such as is usual at this season, except that on account of extreem dryness, which lets us severly feel the want of means of irrigation, the preparations for transplanting has not yet commenced.

The animals are turned out on the N. Ground and are prospering. The Llamas have increased now to 23, but I regret to say, that the Committee failed in obtaining a pure Alpaca buck from Mr Ledgar's flock, since that Gentleman does not wish to part with less than 5 of his animals and asks for a pair of pure Alpacas and 3 Llamas the sum of £350 exclusive of transit-expenses, which sum is not at the command of the Committee.

A new ornamental stable for the menagerie is under contract. 2 Monkeys have been added to the collection.

A plane for the building, destined to contain the botanical collection, has been submitted to the Office of public works. These collections are rapidly increasing in importance, as seldom a week elapses without some interesting additions to them being made.

During the month they have been principly enriched by plants from the Darling, from S.W. Australia, Moreton Bay and Hong Kong and India.

One case of living plants arrived from the botanic garden of Hobartown an other from that of Brisbane, whilst one was forwarded by us in exchange to the Hon. Dr. Featherstone of Wellington.6 Some large tree-ferns were kindfully contributed by Messrs Turnbull from Corner Inlet.

Ferd. Mueller, M.D.7

MS written by Carl Wilhelmi and signed by M.
Registered, 12 April 1859.
B59.10.02.
See J. Moore to M, 11 March 1859.
See T. Balmain to M, 15 March 1859.
See M to I. Featherston, 10 March 1859.
MS annotation by the Under Secretary, J. Moore, 13 April 1859: 'Read'.

Please cite as “FVM-59-04-00b,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 20 September 2021, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/vonmueller/letters/59-04-00b