Kings Park's beloved floral clock has been given a timely makeover, with the painstaking restoration of its original clock hands and landscaping revival.

Kings Park's beloved floral clock has been given a timely makeover, with the painstaking restoration of its original clock hands and landscaping revival.View image slideshow

BGPA Infrastructure Team Leader John Henson has spent part of the past 24 months restoring the clock hands, after rediscovering the retro icons in a park storage shed.

'I had been asked to have a look for the hands, as I had also started to renovate the gearbox before the clock mechanism went back into it', Mr Henson said.

Mr Henson said when he uncovered the historic hands they were in a dilapidated condition.

'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.
'It looked like people in the past had had a go without any luck; mainly because they are carved from long pieces of Jarrah which is not renowned for its lateral strength.'

And so began a labour of love, with Mr Henson dedicating many working hours to bringing 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', Mr Henson said.
'The hour hand was not too bad due to the width in relation to its length but the minute hand was very unstable.'

Now restored, the hands are now ticking along nicely in the floral clock once again, after being reinstated by Mr Henson along with watchmakers Derek Morrison and Hudson Gale.

Kings Park and Botanic Garden Senior Curator Grady Brand said he was very happy with the result.

'I'm delighted that a little bit of the history of the floral clock had been restored', Mr Brand said.
'The clock's current location is artistically immersed within the landscape, and [its restoration] will ensure great photo opportunities are provided for future generations.'

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. Times have now changed at Kings Park and Botanic Garden and although we now focus on Western Australian flora and fauna, we love the nostalgic appeal of the original hands.

The ticking centrepiece is complemented by a cottage garden mix of Australian natives with emphasis on Western Australian plants. Bright yellow Chrysocephalum apiculatum, or Yellow Buttons sit proudly in the centre, surrounded by a range of show-stopping genera including Anigozanthos, Xanthorrhoea, Conostylis, Verticordia, Banksia and Chamelaucium.

Westringia fruticosa 'smokie' and Sannantha similis form the roman numerals and were chosen for their strong colour contrast.

Originally unveiled in 1962, Kings Park's beloved Floral Clock was built as a result of a bequest from Mr F Wittenoom, a Western Australian pastoralist.

Over the years, the blooming timepiece has been relocated and updated from its initial incarnation in a traditional cuckoo clock style and Swiss Chalet outside the former tearooms, to its present design opposite the entry to the Western Australian Botanic Garden.

Original clock hands have been carefully restored and put back into place.

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