Sunday, May 3, 2015

Where in Melbourne puzzle - May 2015


Welcome, this is the Osca Monthly Where in Melbourne Puzzle page.




. . .

 Clue 1
Clue 1 - Unveiled in 1966, it was not the first of its kind in Melbourne.

. . .

Clue 2
 Clue 2 - I have hands but no feet, I can count but can not speak.
. . .

Clue 3
Clue 3 - What goes around, comes around.
. . .

Clue 4
Clue 4 - The earliest known example of one of these
was created by a French horticulturist named Debert
in the Trocadéro gardens in Paris (1892).


Melbourne Floral Clock
Located opposite the Victorian Arts Centre and National Gallery of Victoria,
St Kilda Road Melbourne

. . .

While mostly associated with twentieth-century landscape design practice, floral clocks have a history that dates back to the eighteenth century.

The celebrated eighteenth-century Swedish naturalist Carl von Linné (Carl Linnaeus) was, for example, obsessed with the possibilities of creating a botanical clock, known as a Horologe or Watch of Flora, made up of 46 different flowering plants which opened and closed as the day progressed, thus informing the viewer of the time of day.

Carl von Linné was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, 
who laid the foundations for the modern biological naming scheme of binomial nomenclature. 
He is known as the father of modern taxonomy, 

and is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology.

Linnaeus’s plan seems solely an intellectual fancy restricted to observations of the habits of individual plants, and to the best of our knowledge his clock was never constructed. 

Despite this, his research found a reflective audience over the following decades and ‘dial plants’ were sometimes grown in botanical collections. The early nineteenth-century British gardening authority J.C. Loudon, for instance, listed a number of dial plants suitable for the purpose in his influential Encyclopaedia of Gardening (1822).

During the nineteenth century, floral or carpet bedding became increasingly popular and gardeners experimented in constructing intricate designs combining brightly coloured plants sourced from around the world. Reflecting the tastes of the time, gardeners tried to make plants look like something else. While many such bedding designs were laid out in private gardens the increasing establishment of public parks saw these skills transferred into a civic setting.

While carpet bedding began to loose popularity in the late nineteenth century there was clearly an interest to use the skills learnt in ‘bedding-out’ in a new modern way. Reflecting the advances in technology it is not surprising that someone would eventually build an outdoor clock decorated with living plants, with the time being articulated by machine (clock hands) rather than by the plants themselves.

The earliest known example of a floral clock was the l’horloge fleurie created by a French horticulturist named Debert in the Trocadéro gardens in Paris (1892). 

Not long after, another was constructed across the Atlantic at Water Works Park, Detroit (1893) and a decade later the still-extant clock at West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh (1903). 

After the first wave of interest in floral clocks some of these were abandoned due to the upheavals of the Great War, but during the 1920s and 1930s interest in the concept returned. With the increasing popularity of the motor car many towns constructed floral clocks as tourist attractions.

Floral clocks came on the scene at the same time as the fashion for postcard collecting so it comes as no surprise that these gardens would become a popular subject. Thanks to the popularity of postcard collecting we have a record of nearly all of them, and as plantings changed each year these postcard views offer a revealing record of changing design approaches.

The best-known example of this chronological record is of the Edinburgh floral clock, photographed by postcard sellers most years since 1903.

The first floral clock in Australia was built in Sydney’s Taronga Zoo in 1928.

Sydney’s floral clock 1928 

In 1930 a clock was built at the Royal Agricultural Showground in Melbourne.

Melbourne's floral clock 1930

Constructed at the height of the Great Depression, the mechanism was made out of scrap parts, a small electric motor, an old steel grader, a number of bicycle sprockets and chains, a leather clutch and a worked-out cream separator.” a thrifty showpiece which was a popular destination at the showground for many years.

The current floral clock - with a diameter of over 9 m - was presented to the city by the Swiss consul Curt Malning as a goodwill gesture on behalf of the watchmakers of Switzerland in 1966. 

The floral clock in operation on the ground at an international trade fair
in the Exhibition Building in Melbourne.

The clock's hands are driven by a synchronous motor housed in a concrete casing in the centre of the dial, and it was officially unveiled by the lord mayor, Councillor I.F. Beaurepaire, on 4 November 1966.

The floral clock has been relocated to its current location in Queen Victoria Gardens in 2002 and is made up of some 7,000 flowers that are changed annualy.

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