Monday, October 25, 2010


Today I went for a walk around the streets of Narellan. I do this sometimes esp as I get to walk through this gorgeous park alongside the Library and Camden Council Chambers. This park as a guess is about 4-5 years old although parts have been added later--like the childrens' play area. I don't normally focus on kids things, as mine have grown up now, but you can't help but notice what an enchanting and intelligent play area for kids this is. It's also an aesthetically pleasing place for adults and families, with quieter more spacious areas towards the back and plenty of seating and shelter.

What I particularly like is the focus on Australian native plants and animals and how they feature throughout the park and play area. What a great way to learn about our native species--something that has been lacking in recently past decades. We seem to know about and grow so much of other countries fauna and flora but little of our own. And as time goes on we are seeing less and less of our birds in suburbia.... (animals went a long time ago, although if you're lucky you can see a dead wallaby as part of roadkill).... and more of exotic pest species such as Indian Mynahs (which sadly are a pest throughout much of the world). We have such charming birds that I know most people adore, but seem to know little about keeping them around...councils seem to be little interested in doing their bit too. This, I get the feeling, is due to developers having the upper hand and clearing new housing land completely of native trees and shrubs that are used as food and nesting by these birds. No food, no home for breeding, no birds--think of it in the human sense and we really are selfish. There is no reason we both cannot exist together.

So here we are with some hopefully wonderfully inspiring photos for your own garden or play area. I am so glad Camden Council were visionary in this park plan. They left tall Eucalyptus trees that have been there for many decades which hopefully will provide nesting hollows and food for birds, insects and bats. I hope they will upkeep it to do it justice.

Grevillea row, looking down to the Library and right to Narellan Town Centre. So nice to have this large open space next to a shopping centre.

Council chambers in the background. Dianella species or Flax Lily in the foreground. Has sprays of tiny blue flowers.

Possum on the pathway. Themeda species or Kangaroo grass to the right.

Close up of Kangaroo Grass--I love this grass --it is so decorative--not much left around the place though--most (99.9999%) of yards remove it and plant Kikuyu or something. However, it is being used more as decorative planting-yay!

Crimson Rosella stencil with Panicum species grass planting. The recent persistent rains have brought everything to its best. Colours become so much richer and everything sits upright.

Rubberised Platypus sculpture. The kids can sit/play on this without getting hurt.

A wood Goanna. Goannas are large lizards that are famous for running up trees when threatened.

Eucalyptus leaf stencil. How nice to decorate plain cement with something like this.

A great mosaic seat where the local school kids were able to fire their own mosaics to use in the seat. How proud they must feel when they play here.

I even think the drain has been aesthetically landscaped. Go the landscaper!

Looking towards the more open back area. The lower waterline has been planted out with native plants including sedges which like a wetter area.

This is a Melaleuca--water loving but drought resistant--there were many planted in the waterway and all coming into flower so perfectly. I actually love the buds just as much as the flowers.

This was growing under one of the Eucalypts....Dicondra repens or Kidney Weed. It's not a weed at all but a native ground cover that likes the slightly wetter areas. Again rarely seen in suburbia due to everyone wanting a "lawn".
Having said that though, I do think many many people just do what they do from innocent ignorance, and what everyone else and the "experts" tell them to do. If they only knew how easy it is to grow many native species and how unusual and interesting they can look. I know many would use them more.
Here's hoping this can inspire just one person to give them a try!


  1. Great photos. It looks fantastic there. I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

  2. Thanks for this blog on an inspirational park. The Melbourne municipality of Glen Eira has a policy of planting all new (or totally refurbished) parks and reserves with natives to both conserve water and attract native birds back to the city. I live close to Mallanbool Reserve which has posts explaining the lifestyle of the Kulin people (the traditional owners) and which is planted with species native to the area, but long gone (as is the admacent Packer Pack). I now see Rainbow lorikeets, rosellas and galahs in my garden - something I hadn't seen before, so your ethic is spreading and providing habitat does work.

  3. Thanks Liz for your sweet comments. Only makes me work harder and I am glad you are enjoying my posts. I have a little video that I will be posting next week of "the making of the 60's shoot so stay tuned. It will be my first post for "Lee TV"
    BTW - these photos remind me that I need to escape from the city every now and then.