Great Garden Sketchabout #12: Rathborne Lodge

March 19, 2011

 19 March, 1-2pm, raining. Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. Rathborne Lodge.


The infrequently seen entrance to the cottage: a single plain door lies inside the porch. You can see from the perspective how close I was to the subject. I backed up as much as I could, within the confines of the garden. At far right in the background is the most splendid golden yellow bamboo I’ve ever seen in my life. Surely the inspiration for those magnificent Mandarin Yellow fountain pens of yore!

Notwithstanding the rain, I was keen to sketch the sandstone exterior of this 19th century cottage. Rathborne Lodge was originally used to house ground staff; it sits in a small yard of absolutely splendid bamboo, ginger and other plants and is generally off limits to the public. Sandstone is quintessentially Sydney and here was a chance to see it up close – “new” sandstone in this case.

I’ve done an awkward on-location sketch and a detail of the sandstone and its chiselled edges, done standing up under an umbrella, plus these three photos. The grate is worth closer examination, with its Celtic interweaving. A drawing based on the sketch and photos will follow.


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