Creek and grottos

Town Clerk William Veale initially described his plan for this area as an ‘Alpine Garden’ to match the Alpine restaurant. He quickly regretted this name, as critics, newspaper cartoonists and even his own Lord Mayor James Irwin found mirth in the pretension of a ‘Alpine’ setting in Adelaide.

Within a week, Mr Veale had backtracked, insisting the garden was from then on to be known as a rock and water garden.

Water was always going to be a major part in Mr Veale’s vision for the garden. This creek, though artificial, provides home to water birds and brings serenity in its meanderings.

Veale Gardens features not just the creek, but also a series of six grottos, creating recesses of mystery and calm.

In one of the grottos on your left you will see a fountain. In another one you'll see a waterfall.

Each grotto was intended to be different to each of the others, but the overall intention of the design was to create "a quiet tranquil place of beauty".

The grottos are humbler than Mr Veale had intended. His ambitions were to create water effects that in his words, shouldn't be “too tame”. Therefore, his proposals included something called a "dolphin display", where jets of water would appear to leap between ponds.

Another display would have had a jet of water spurting almost three metres into the air.

He also intended to have a grotto that was 10-metres long, a floral clock (and brought a consultant from Scotland to design and build it), as well as a strobe-lit waterfall.

However his plans were scaled back to the modest water features you can see today, and the effect is probably more restful than it would have been in Mr Veale's vision.

The water for this stream was originally pumped all the way from Torrens Lake.

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