Sunday, 17 June 2012

Garden inspiration: Bellambi dunes

Bellambi dunes, which run north from North Corrimal beach, are a great place to spend an hour or two walking and looking at the local plants for garden ideas (or just sheer enjoyment). You can see a huge variety of indigenous plants on the dunes: over 120 species have been identified as growing in the area. Some of the coastal classics on view include:
Austral stork's bill (Pelargonium australe),
showing its distinctive clumping shape

Flowers of the austral stork's bill, surrounded by bracken fern,
blady grass (Imperata cylindrica) and snake vine (Stephania japonica).
Lomandra (Lomandra longifolia): as well as
handsome strappy leaves, this plan also has
striking seed heads in autumn/winter
Hibbertia scandens, another local plant known as  snake vine,
will grow happily enough on the ground if it has nothing to climb up
White correa (Correa alba) has delicate-looking white
flowers but is one of the hardiest Australian plants.
These species will all cope with the challenges of the tough coastal environment. There are also some tree species that grow in the hind dunes:
Handsome fire-scarred trunks of swamp
mahogany (Eucalyptus robusta). Fires
swept through the Bellambi dunes in 2002.
Winter buds and flowers of swamp
mahogany

Banksia integrifolia grows to 25m tall and can tolerate
saltspray, so is a very useful plant in coastal gardens
The Bellambi dunes host an active bushcare group, and without the help of bushcare would probably be completely overrun with bitou bush, turkey rhubarb and other weeds. We are lucky in the Illawarra that so many people volunteer their time to look after the bush...
Looking through coastal tea-tree to
the ocean...

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