Friday, 4 September 2015

Garden inspiration: Croom Reserve

Croom Reserve in Albion Park is a special part of Illawarra, home to a host of woodland species that are no longer common in the region. Late winter or early spring is a perfect time to visit, because the wildflowers are out in enormous numbers. 

On a recent trip down to the reserve, we saw dozens of beautiful plants in bloom. Here's just a small selection. For anyone in the area, I recommend getting down there and having a look for yourself!

This is typical Illawarra lowland grassy woodland...
as you can see, lots of grass and lots of woods!
Classic colour combination of Purple Coral Pea
(Hardenbergia violacea) and Gorse Bitter Pea
(Daviesia ulicifolia) growing naturally together
A woodland fern - I think it is Bristly
Cloak Fern (Cheilanthes distans)
The stunning bright yellow and red flowers of Netted
Shaggy Pea (Podolobium scandens), found at very
few places across the Illawarra region
Another classic combination - Bridal Daisy-bush (Olearia
) draped with Purple Coral Pea (Hardenbergia
). Notice how many of these plants are pea plants?
Not the best photo but one of my favourite
plants, this is a Prickly Beard Heath
(Leucopogon juniperinus) growing happily
in part shade, decorated with Purple Coral Pea. 
This is the tiny but lovely flower of one of the Native
Bluebells (Wahlenbergia) - I haven't confirmed which
species it is yet. They often flower prolifically in spring. 
Last but not least - the brilliant yellow flowers of the
Heath Wattle (Acacia brownii). This little plant only
grows to around 50cm high and though prickly is a
gorgeous addition to gardens with sandy soils.
If you live in the West Dapto area, or are thinking of moving there, most of these plants will do very well in your garden, creating spectacular spring displays. Some are available in nurseries and more will become available in time as their value is recognised. 

You can find out more about the plants growing at Croom Reserve by checking these pages on the Illawarra Remnant Bushland Database: 

I hope you can get out and enjoy exploring somewhere interesting this weekend!

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