GardenDrumKing’s Park floral clock restored

floral_clock_hands at kings park_400x600The floral clock at King’s Park in Perth has been rejuvenated using Australian plants and newly restored original hands.

The botanical timepiece was originally unveiled in 1962, and over the years has been relocated and updated from its initial cuckoo clock style design with Swiss Chalet near the former tearooms.

Kings Park floral clock and tearooms 1963

Kings Park floral clock and tearooms 1963. [pic WA State Library]

The newly renovated clock is opposite the entry to the Western Australian Botanic Garden, featuring new garden beds planted out with a cottage mix of Australian natives with emphasis on Western Australian plants. Bright yellow Chrysocephalum apiculatum (Yellow Buttons) sit proudly in the centre, surrounded by a range of show-stoppers including Anigozanthos, Xanthorrhoea, Conostylis, Verticordia, Banksia and Chamelaucium.

Westringia fruticosa ‘Smokie’ and Sannantha similis are clipped to form the roman numerals and were chosen for their strong colour contrast.

Team Leader John Henson has restored the clock hands over the past 24 months after discovering them in a dilapidated condition in a storage shed. Embellished with designs from the early 1960s of koalas, kookaburras and kangaroo paws, the clock hands are an intricately carved celebration of Australian flora and flora with a nostalgic appeal.

‘They were in three or four pieces each, mixed together with the other carved clock hands that had been commissioned around 1996 as the originals had been deemed too far gone to resurrect’, he said.

And so began his labour of love to bring the intricately carved timber hands back to life.

‘I glued all the pieces together then hollowed out a central seam and placed a stringer along the length of the most vulnerable part of the hand. The hour hand was not too bad due to the width in relation to its length but the minute hand was very unstable.’

Once restored they were reinstated by John along with watchmakers Derek Morrison and Hudson Gale and the clock is now ticking again.


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