As the seasons change, public and private gardens become a riot of colour. Winter shows the scarlet flags of poinsettia – Brisbane's emblem, which, if really a Mexican beauty, has made itself very much at home. The lavender glow of jacaranda and the gold of laburnum, the green umbrella of poinciana crowned with gleaming scarlet, the massed magnificence of magenta bougainvillea, the creamy blossoms and heavy tropical scent of frangipani filling the air with sweetness, the glare of cannas, the pink and white of bauhinia, the old-gold feathers of silky oak and the red and green of hibiscus – these are but a few of the array of colours.
C. C. D. Brammall
Brisbane has been relentlessly cleared since the first British soldiers and convicts set up at Redcliffe and then moved to the site we know as Brisbane today. As in other Australian colonies the new settlers were keen to grow crops and to exploit the timber both as a building material and later as a rich source of export income. While early explorers and botanists recorded the richness of the vegetation most new settlers saw the landscape as a resource to be exploited, not a pristine environment to be treated with respect.