Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

I thought I might share with you the seasonal changes in a piece of Southern Australian bushland not far from where I live. So pop your walking shoes on, it’s not far to go!

Australian plants, as you probably know, are almost all evergreen and the landscape does not have the dramatic seasonal changes seen elsewhere in the world.

Fern fronds unfurling.

But changes do happen. Sometimes they are ‘shout it out loud’ changes, like acacias all in flower for miles around and sometimes they are little whispered changes like the emergence of a tiny delicate ground orchid.

Banksias are out at this time of year

It’s early autumn here and a few things are flowering or in bud right now.

These buds are on a eucalypt that had fallen in the recent storms, but is still hanging on enough to survive.

Tree fern in a partly shaded gully.

This bushland is far from pristine. It is on the edge of my semi rural / industrial town and has to put up with a lot of bad treatment from people who think it is a great place to dump rubbish and garden waste. However it is cared for by a very dedicated band of volunteers who keep the damage to a minimum and give the indigenous plants room to move.

My bane the blackberry makes itself very much at home in the more open parts of Southern Australian forest.

Here's a familiar thistle flower that also shouldn't be here!

Anyone know what this is? I think its an exotic garden escapee, but not sure.

As I wandered about with my family taking photos my true ignorance of Australian plants really began to sink in. I could tell you a tree is a eucalypt, but which of the hundreds of different eucalypts…or maybe it’s a corymbia…well, your guess is as good as mine and quite possibly better!

Same goes for acacia. I’m pretty much stumped even for names of acacias after ‘golden’ or ‘silver’ wattle and there are hundreds of them! Same for banksias and grevillias.

This is 'I Thought It Was An Acacia, But Now I Think It's a Grevillia' ... but it is pretty in it's own spiky way isn't it?

Oh dear. Looks like this seasonal update is going to turn into yet another research project. But all the better really – I’ll start to gain a better appreciation of what is born to do well in my area (other than blackberry that is)!


Comments on: "A Walk in the Bush – Early Autumn" (10)

  1. A lovely stroll! I especially like the tree fern. I’ve never tried to grow one here. The blackberries and thistles I have all over the place, and the thistles especially are out of control this spring. I’m not sure what your brightly colored mystery plant is. Perhaps some sort of ornamental pepper plant?

    • Hi CV, I’ll have to look up pepper plants – thanks for the lead! I’ve never tried growing a tree fern either, but there is a shady corner next to my so far imaginary native plant garden that one might fit!

  2. I love these visits into Australia. We grow so many Australian natives that do well in our desert climate such as Eucalyptus and Acacias. I like how Eucalyptus seedpods look, but don’t like the clean-up 😉

  3. Heidi, this was a fascinating little tour for me. I have to tell you that I feel really uneducated about my own natives, from wildflowers to trees. I only know a few “classics,” which I suspect every child here knows, and I recognize from afar the worst of the invasives… but generally speaking I’m much more informed on the plants you buy at the garden centers or the seeds one gets from the garden catalogues, especially if they relate to farming. That’s just my background, and we all have to start somewhere.

    I do think it’s so wonderful to realize that we’ll never run out of subjects to challenge us in gardening; it’s a passion that can never run dry because there will always be so much we don’t know. Maybe one day I’ll get good at the natives, and I’ll enjoy always learning about yours through your posts. 🙂

    • Hello Meredith, you are spot on about the passion that can never run dry because there is so much to learn about. Re-discovering gardening has given me the world to explore again through new eyes!

  4. I grew up in the rural outskirts of a really small southern (USA) town of (paraphrased) “people who didn’t know better” who treated our rural road as a dumping ground for whatever they decided they didn’t want in their cars. For years my stepfather ingrained in me (and my siblings) the need to not just get mad, but do something about it by picking up any trash you ever see… or else its all you will ever see. I think its great you’ve joined that same bandwagon.
    Thanks for the tour!

    • Hi Jess – glad you enjoyed the tour 🙂 Seeing bushland like this also makes me appreciate the work that goes into maintaining our National Parks, particularly the ones that have a lot of visitors. It must be an endless job to keep the invasive plants, litter and feral animals at bay.

  5. roundrockgarden said:

    Great pictures. I love fern fronds! I have a necklace carved from bone called a Koru. It is from New Zealand and represents the fern frond – symbolizing new life, growth, strength and peace. I wear it everyday. 🙂

  6. Ferns are lovely aren’t they? I’ve seen some very beautifully carved Korus – you are lucky to have one!

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