Stirling Range Garden

The Stirling Range is one of the few mountainous regions in Western Australia. 

Located 100km northeast of Albany and approximately 320km southeast of Perth is the series of rugged peaks that comprise the Stirling Range; the highest being the well-known Bluff Knoll at 1099m above sea level. With a mix of striking exposed cliff faces, deep, sheltered gullies and incredible views, the Stirling Range is home to some 1500 diverse and unique plant species, many of which are found nowhere else.

This collection displays a selection of unique species that captures a snapshot of the diversity and beauty of the Stirling Range. During winter and spring look out for the mountain bells Darwinia species, a number which are only found within the Stirling Range. In winter and spring the beautiful Banksia coccinea (scarlett banksia), Banksia formosa (showy dryandra) are flowering prolifically. There are many birds with chicks and the adjacent water garden is home to ducklings. As we move into summer the Nuytsia floribunda (Western Australian Christmas tree) and Banksia baxterii (Baxter’s banksiabegin to flower and the young birds become mobile.

The Stirling Range beds are home to many bird species. A particular favourite of the park is the New Holland honey eater. They are a small attractive bird covered in black and yellow feathers, with a long beak which helps them to catch insects and extract nectar from the likes of Banksia baxterii. You can often see these birds feeding in noisy flocks.

Stirling Range Garden bed

This garden bed is ever-evolving.

Look out for...

Banksia burdettii

These two-toned orange and cream, cone-shaped flower spikes are spectacular against the blue summer sky!

Chamelaucium ciliatum

Now that's a heaven scent! Chamelaucium ciliatum flowers profusely during spring with many small white, pink or purple flowers.

Notes from the curator

Maddy Bradley

There are some beautiful smaller eucalypts in our Stirling Range collection, including Eucalyptus talyuberlup (Stirling Range yate), named after Mt Talyuberlup (one of the peaks in the Stirling Range); Eucalyptus lehmannii (bushy yate) and Eucalyptus preissiana subsp. preissiana (bell-fruited mallee), all growing to between 3-8 metres high.

I would recommend adding small eucalypts to the garden to all gardeners. They add dimension and texture as well as offering a large range of flower colours and size, and habitat and food for a range of native fauna. Even small eucalypts can offer a large amount of shade and the leaves make fantastic compost. Regular watering during the warm summer months will help to establish small plants. When people ask: ‘What’s the secret to gardening', my first answer is always to be observant and experiment; look for fresh new growth and any discolouration in the leaves and foliage to indicate your plant health. When designing your garden have fun with it and experiment with new and exciting plant choices.