Every morning, bright and early, I leave the house, turn left, walk down to Balmoral beach in a big loop and make my way home again. Occasionally, though, I get all frivolous and turn right. At which point I wonder why I don’t turn right more often.
Because when I turn right, I arrive at Cremorne Point, and, happily wandering along, I see glimpses like this:
I am, of course, oohing and aahing at the kangaroo paw, beautifully set off by the blue of the water, but some minutes later I suddenly realise that behind the roo paw is, oh yes, the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Just sitting there. And I have just walked from home. How bizarre is that?
Then I fall over a banana flower.
As you do.
I secretly want to move to Cremorne Point. In Mosman, beautiful as it is, it is virtually impossible to make eye contact with other morning walkers. Walking around Cremorne Point, everyone says a cheery hello. And frankly, you can see why people are in such a good mood. A stone’s throw from the city, but so peaceful, so beautiful, so calming. Not a car in sight. Water everywhere.
My journey starts with a walk through the shady forest, amongst the huge Ficus trees and rainforest undergrowth. Asplenium, Philodendron, Clivia, bromeliads, tree ferns.
I love the lush green and pops of colour from the bromeliads and Clivia.
I love the morning light coming through the tree ferns.
I love the huge, old Ficus trunks and buttress roots, forming peep holes between them.
All this is public land and yet is so perfectly landscaped.
I come out into the open and approach my favourite hedge. Murraya paniculata, pruned into balls, creating such a fun border topping the beautiful, local sandstone wall. Stunning. (The house isn’t bad either!)
A little further along and we come to the aloes and agaves that hug a Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis).
The plants seem to grow out of the palm, forming a dense, colourful mass. I love the textures.
The next garden is full of flowers, with a large Jacaranda tree, an orange Hibiscus and a Justicia shrub, adding quite a tropical touch.
Numerous Frangipani trees consolidate this feel.
There are also plenty of natives to see. You can’t look past Grevillea and my beloved roo paws.
And again, gorgeous textures; here, peeling Eucalyptus bark.
There is a real sense of place at Cremorne Point. It is very Sydney, very tropical, very Australian. Front gardens connect up with the walking path and council parkland and all fit together as a cohesive single entity.
This is what can be achieved when plants are chosen for their fit with the climate. They work together without even trying. I believe, as the years progress, we will plant more and more suitable species for our environments and gradually each Australian city will gain its own special floral sense of place.
Until then, I will make a concerted effort to turn right more often and absorb the wonderful ambience that is Cremorne Point.
If you missed the stunning Cremorne Point garden created by Les and Ruby Graham, click here.
11 thoughts on “Sometimes I still have to pinch myself”
Yep my favourite place in Sydney too. An amazing place to be among so many plants and yet enjoying the Harbour and Sydney buildings from a quiet distance. It’s always first on our list as a place to take visitors to Sydney and they’re alway astonished to learn about Les and Ruby and then to be among ‘bush’ while being wowed by the Sydney Opera House!
Gosh, do you know, I have never thought to take visitors to Cremorne Point? I usually trek them along the coastal path past Chowder Bay and Bradley’s Head and three hours later they are wondering when they will be allowed to go home! Can’t think why I haven’t done that; I guess we are just spoilt for choice. I am excited I even have something new for my parents now, when they come for their sixth visit – thanks for the idea.
What a great blog Janna! Your enthusiasm is quite infectious and it makes me want to explore Sydney too.
Thanks Adriana. I am sorry that I am making your travel list so long! Many, many more places in Sydney to explore – I will get taking some more photos I think. Hope you visit soon!
That takes me back! What a lovely walk – I can just hear the kookaburras…
Indeed! I think kookaburras very much provide the auditory sense of place for Sydney. Although I do have a nest at the back of my garden so I probably hear them more than most. They still make me giggle when they really go for it.
Cremorne Point, another place on my ‘Sydney visit list’. Thank you Janna, once again written with such style. D x
Aah, thanks Dorothy. I’d love to take you there in April. It would be just like old times, only a slightly different view!
Janna I think you’ve found utopia. How fortunate you are to be so close to such an amazing location. I am especially taken with the Canary Island Date Palm image. I shall have to try something similar under my two 60 year old plus plants. Try as I might I’ve never been happy with my efforts to tie them into the garden. I’m feeling inspired and excited. I love a new garden project! Thanks again Janna.
Fantastic! So glad you have a new idea to try, Suzanne. You’ll have to let us know how you get on. As long as you can get the plants in the ground in the first place, I am sure they will take off. Good luck!