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! Image by Emma Rooksby.
Classic colour combination of Purple Coral Pea (Hardenbergia violacea) and Gorse Bitter Pea (Daviesia ulicifolia) growing naturally together.  Image by Emma Rooksby.
A woodland fern - I think it is Bristly Cloak Fern (Cheilanthes distans). Image by Emma Rooksby.
The stunning bright yellow and red flowers of Netted Shaggy Pea (Podolobium scandens), found at very few places across the Illawarra region. Image by Emma Rooksby.
Another classic combination - Bridal Daisy-bush (Olearia microphylla) draped with Purple Coral Pea (Hardenbergia violacea). Notice how many of these plants are pea plants? Image by Emma Rooksby.
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. Image by Emma Rooksby. 
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. Image by Emma Rooksby. 
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. Image by Emma Rooksby.
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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