Western Australia Garden
The Med Biome has undergone its biggest-ever transformation, with a new area devoted to some of Western Australia's extraordinary plants. The exhibit features the diverse and fantastical flora that grows in the region, all the more remarkable because it has evolved to thrive on some of the Earth's oldest and most infertile soil.
Explore Western Australia
Our horticulturist Catherine talks through some of the botanical wonders in the garden.Play video
Our Western Australia Garden, created in collaboration with Kings Park and Botanic Garden in Perth, Western Australia, has three sections, featuring the wonderful plants native to the Mediterranean region of Australia:
- Jarrah forest on the sloped beds, showcasing the critical role of fire in maintaining habitats, and plant adaptions due to fire
- A central bed with 'wow' plants such as wax flowers, everlastings and a collection of kangaroo paws
- Kwongan, representing an area of impoverished soil with low nutrients but a huge variety of flora.
The garden also features artwork from leading Aboriginal artist Dr Richard Walley, representing the six seasons during which the Noongar people harvest wild food.
Our top five favourite Australian plants
Catherine Cutler, lead horticulturist in the Med Biome, shares some of her favourite plants from this area of the world...
Grass tree (Xanthorrhoea spp.): These are the iconic plants of the region and grow only in Australia. Great tufts of grassy foliage burst from the top of charred trunks. These trunks are fire-proof but the leaves are not. After fire the plants will erupt into new growth and send skywards tall green spikes of flowers.
Red and green kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos manglesii): The fantastic floral emblem of Western Australia, this being the only place on earth where it is found. Numerous different kangaroo paws grow in Western Australia but this one is possibly the most flamboyant of all, with its long-lasting tall stems and startling colour combination.
Everlastings (Rhodanthe ssp. and others): Drawing international tourists to Western Australia is the spectacle of en masse flowering of trillions of wildflowers. Semi-arid regions which are dry and desolate in summer, with sparse tree and scrub cover, come alive in early spring after good winter rains.
Scarlet banksia (Banksia coccinea): Of all the fabulous banksias this one is arguably the finest. Virtually all banksias hail from Australia and have colourful, long-lasting flowers often pollinated by birds and marsupials. Their seed pods are also eye-catching, with seeds held securely until fire and rain triggers their release.
Red boronia (Boronia heterophylla): Possibly nothing gives a hit of colour better than a red boronia in full flower. The fine foliage is completely obscured by vivid pink flowers from top to toe. The plant (like so many others in the citrus family) also has a distinct aromatic foliage which can be recognised from some distance away.
Discover Western Australia
Western Australia is Australia’s largest and most extraordinary state, where 12,500km of pristine white beaches contrast with the deep red of ancient rock formations and the lush greenery of the stunning southern regions.
The state covers one third of the Australian continent and is a nature lovers’ paradise: over half of the nation’s biodiversity hotspots and a significant percentage of its unique flora and fauna thrive here, and it is home to a wealth of species and animals including the iconic red kangaroos and wallabies.
Western Australia’s forests evolved in geographic isolation, which means much of the flora and fauna is found nowhere else on Earth, including the jarrah, karri, marri, tingle and tuart trees and many of the state’s 12,000 species of wildflowers.
In the central heart of Western Australia lies the Golden Outback – the largest expanse of outback in the country. Here, wide-open desert landscapes and plunging gorges provide natural habitats for a vast array of wildflowers and wildlife.
The Western Australia Garden is supported by Tourism Western Australia – find out more about this extraordinary region at www.westernaustralia.com. Or discover the best of Western Australia for yourself with escorted tours or bespoke itineraries from Worldwide Motorhoming Holidays. Packages from £2,225 per person, to book call 024 7647 5340 or visit www.worldwidemh.co.uk/westernaustralia