Plant Collections

Weird and Wonderful Garden

In the heart of the Australian Garden, this bold garden focuses on some of the stranger and more dramatic forms of Australian flora. These plants are juxtaposed with massive vaults of Avoca stone and water features to create a fantastic and surreal landscape which is sure to become a special family and tourist destination.  

The Weird and Wonderful garden is a ‘stand alone’ garden in the design – it’s a garden full of interesting plants and celebrates the great diversity that can be found in the Australian flora. 

Best Viewed

  • Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn

Key Plants

Xanthorrhoea ’Super Grass’ - This is perhaps the fastest growing of all of the grass trees. Its a naturally occurring hybrid. Like all other grass trees this variety appreciated a well-drained soils and regular watering during their establishment period in the garden. Once established they are quite hardy but appreciate occasional watering during extended dry periods.

Brachychiton rupestris, Queensland Bottle Tree - There are nine of these remarkable trees in the Weird and Wonderful Garden each with its own unique shape, form and character. They were all planted as advanced tress with the largest being a transplant from a private garden near Shepparton in rural Victoria. Bottle Trees are very hardy and store water in their characteristic swollen trunks. 

Plants of Ancient Origins – there is a collection of plants that have origins dating back many millions of years displayed in the Weird and Wonderful Garden – Amongst them is a range of Cycads and small growing Conifers

Plants with amazing adaptations – A large portion of the garden is set aside for plants that exhibit interesting adaptations such as succulent foliage, or have stems that photosynthesise and function as leaves. Or are resurrected after rainfall, or possess unique pollination mechanisms. 

Curator Notes

The garden is mulched with inorganic stone mulch that allows rainfall to freely percolate into the soil below.

There are a range of microclimates in this garden – The vaulted stones provide north facing and exposed hot conditions and conversely the south side of the stones is cooler and shaded for more of the day – selecting plants suited to these conditions is a key consideration.

We are growing Thelychiton speciosus Rock Orchids in the ‘ground’ but in a very modified growing media of crushed terra cotta/brick and pine bark. In nature, these plants grow naturally on rocks (lithophytes) and on the trunks of tree (epiphytes). If we attempted to grow these in soil they would rot.