Walking around Surry Hills

One of my favorite things to do in a new city is simply to walk around and see what it looks like, both in the famous touristy sections, but also in the ordinary neighborhoods.  What does real life look like there?  Here are some photos I collected during the week we stayed in the Surry Hills neighborhood in Sydney.

We rented a flat above an organic cafe on Crown Street, one of the main streets in Surry Hills (the one with the green facade in the photo).   

Surry Hills is a former working class neighborhood that I believe was built principally in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  It had been the center of the Sydney textile industry, and is now one of the hippest and gayest neighborhoods in the city.  It is fully of these cute little row houses.

I’ve never seen anyplace with an architecture quite like this, though the balconies with lacy iron work remind me of photos I’ve seen of New Orleans.   

This one below is one of my favorites.  It has been beautifully restored, and it looks both traditional and modern at the same time.

But as far as I’m concerned the house below wins from a container-gardening perspective.  Just look at that greenery!!  I love the mix of ferns, orchids, and trailing green strands.  Once I got up close, I could see that the look was achieved with many hanging planters that had been hooked onto the railings and then allowed to grow large.  Such a simple way to achieve a terrific effect.

I also really loved the large trees that shaded the streets and houses.  The overarching branches created cool, green tunnels of dappled light.

Closer to eye- and nose-level, the parking strips and tiny front yards had beautiful flowers that thrive in this hot climate and pour their perfume into the air.  

I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but someday I would really love to live in a climate where I could grow these flowers!

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