The Hanging Gardens of Babylon in New Lambton

Paradise: An impression of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon from ancient times.
Paradise: An impression of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon from ancient times.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were once among the so-called seven wonders of the ancient world.

They were thought to exist in the bygone city of Babylon, an area that is now part of Iraq.

Proof of the existence of the gardens has been hard to come by. Some believe they existed around the year 600 BC. Others suggest they may be a myth.

It wouldn’t be the first time that someone has imagined a paradise in the desert. Who knows, the gardens may have been created in the pages of a poem. 

Anyhow, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon came to mind after our piece last Monday about vertical gardens.

We’d reported that Maitland’s Bob Dennerley was urging the Hunter’s city planners and politicians to push for vertical gardens on multi-level car parks.

Reader Bill, from Adamstown Heights, contacted us to say there had been a vertical garden on the side of the Wests Leagues Club car park at New Lambton.

“They used to hang down. We used to call them the Hanging Gardens of Babylon,” Bill said.

“The car park was built 20 to 25 years ago at least.”

Bill said the Hanging Gardens of New Lambton were on two sides of the car park.

“Three or four levels of the car park had these plants growing down. It was quite effective, very much like the photo in the paper [from last Monday – see picture of car park],” he said.

A vertical garden on a Singapore car park.

A vertical garden on a Singapore car park.

He said the New Lambton gardens were “well designed with automatic irrigation”.

“They had hardy plants, like asparagus ferns. They were very attractive actually. The plants were there for quite a few years. They slowly died out.”

Bill reckons it was probably vandalism that led to the demise of the Hanging Gardens of New Lambton.

“It’s a pity because they did look very good,” he said.

Bill says the hanging gardens aren’t needed now because trees have grown high alongside the car park.

But we reckon Wests should bring ‘em back anyway, just for fun.

A Bug’s Life

A mystery bug from a Stockton garden.

A mystery bug from a Stockton garden.

An unknown type of bug is eating the shrubs of Stockton’s Rose Maskey.

“I was wondering if any of your readers could tell me if they end up as a pest or something useful, please?” Rose said.

“They were here this time last year as well.”

Topics noticed that the bug looked like it had dead leaves on it.

“It eats the leaves and makes its cocoon out of them,” Rose said.

She said the bugs range in size from 1cm to 4cms.

“They are only ever in my photinia hedges,” she said.

Rose noted that the fate of the bugs lie in the answers that readers may provide.

“The answer will determine if they live or die. Now I feel like God,” she joked.

What’s in a Name

New Lambton’s Ross Greig read with interest the Herald’s recent story about the planned name change of Islington’s Gateway Hotel to The Newcastle Hotel.

Ross reckons they need a better name.

“So many businesses in the city are called Newcastle this or that, including the Knights and Jets and whatever else,” Ross said.

“In real estate, people say Islington and Wickham are the gateway to the city.

“I think they should keep gateway in the name.”

Ross suggested the hotel be renamed “Gateway to Newcastle Hotel” or “Edge of Newcastle Hotel”.

“That’d be an edgy name,” he said.

“It wouldn’t be as plain and mundane as The Newcastle Hotel.”

Now, don’t get Ross wrong. He’s a proud Novocastrian.

“I’m just looking for a bit of variety in the city,” he said.

“It’s like too many cream cakes, mate.”

Ross said there was once a Newcastle Hotel where the walkway from Queens Wharf Tower used to link to the Hunter Street mall.

“That was probably 150 years old, that pub,” he said.

A Fish Tale

Ross Greig also told Topics he had noticed that Steve Costi's Famous Fish had closed down at Westfield Kotara.

He asked why it was gone and was told they had initially been “scaling back”.

“I don’t know whether there was something fishy going on,” he said.

“One day, they just up-anchored and went.”

Boom tish!