Garden inspiration: King's Park WA

At last some rain is falling in the Illawarra region. It's been dry for ever so long, and the recent downpours are welcome to plants and animals alike. 

On the other side of the country the rainfall over winter has been average (for the first time in - what - a decade?) and the plants are very happy indeed. In Perth it's been a superb spring for kangaroo paws, wattles, orchids and more or less everything else. King's Park is the perfect place to see many Perth natives flowering, and get a sense of what a bush garden can achieve with minimal human intervention. 

The unique and distinctive Mangles' Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthus manglesii) is flowering its head off in King's Park this spring. Image by Emma Rooksby.
I'm guessing this is a cultivar of Catspaw (Anigozanthos humilis) - it's growing near
the Zamia Cafe in King's Park in a fairly 'sculpted' area) - it's a real beauty! Image by Emma Rooksby.
Most Perth region plants will not (WILL NOT) grow well in Wollongong or surrounds, but they are still wonderful to look at. And some similar species do grow in the Illawarra region, and could be used to similar effect. So have a look and see what inspiration you can draw. 
A King's Park classic Conostylis candicans, with its cheerful yellow flowers. This species
can be grown in the Illawarra region, if you have enough grit and determination! You can see it at the Illawarra Grevillea Park, growing near the chapel. Image by Emma Rooksby. 
I think this is Acorn Banksia (Banksia prionotes) but the photo was taken in haste. Anyway,
some beautiful candles on this plant! Image by Emma Rooksby. 
A mixed planting of WA natives in Kings Park. Image by Emma Rooksby. 
Water features are very welcome in Perth, where it's dry for so much of the year. This one contained some
Nardoo (Marsilea drummondii) plants doing well in 
a part shade situation. Image by Emma Rooksby. 
And my goodness the orchids! It's just amazing to see what's in flower!!

Donkey Orchids (Diuris sp.) by the dozen! Image by Emma Rooksby. 
Yeah guess the species! Image by Emma Rooksby. 
I identified this as Reaching Spider Orchid (Caladenia arrecta) but would appreciate
comments from the experts! Image by Emma Rooksby. 

There was so much more to see and to photograph, but this will I hope give you a sense of some of the Kings Park plants! The shapes and colours are unmissable. 

Happy gardening - enjoy what the Illawarra or your local region has to offer!

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