Sometimes I still have to pinch myself

Mosman Bay Marina from Cremorne Point. Janna Schreier

Mosman Bay marina, viewed from Cremorne Point

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:

Kangaroo paws - even more stunning than the Sydney Opera House! Janna Schreier

Kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos) steal the show

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.

Banana flower debris at Cremorne Point. Janna Schreier

Part of a banana flower at Cremorne Point

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.

Clivia and Philodendron at Cremorne Point. Janna Schreier

Down the steps as I enter Cremorne Point. Clivia and philodendrons mix with gingers, bananas and ferns

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.

Bromeliad in flower. Janna Schreier

Stunning colour combinations of a bromeliad flower

I love the morning light coming through the tree ferns.

Dicksonia antartica at Cremorne Point. Janna Schreier

The play of light on raised tree fern canopies is quite captivating

I love the huge, old Ficus trunks and buttress roots, forming peep holes between them.

Ficus, Asplenium, Cliva, bromeliads. Janna Schreier

Ficus, Asplenium, Clivia and bromeliads

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!)

Cremorne Point Hedge of Balls. Janna Schreier

Hedge of Murraya balls – I love the fact that they are all higgledy piggledy

A little further along and we come to the aloes and agaves that hug a Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis).

Flowering Aloe and Agave at Cremorne Point. Janna Schreier

Flowering aloe and agaves at Cremorne Point

The plants seem to grow out of the palm, forming a dense, colourful mass.  I love the textures.

Folds of Agave americana

Intricate markings created by the folds of Agave americana leaves before they uncurl

The next garden is full of flowers, with a large Jacaranda tree, an orange Hibiscus and a Justicia shrub, adding quite a tropical touch.

Jacaranda, Hibsicus, Justicia, Star jasmine at Cremorne Point. Janna Schreier

Jacaranda, Hibisicus, Justicia and star jasmine at Cremorne Point

Numerous Frangipani trees consolidate this feel.

Frangipani and Agapanthus. Janna Schreier

Agapanthus flower in front of a Frangipani tree

There are also plenty of natives to see.  You can’t look past Grevillea and my beloved roo paws.

Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream'. Janna Schreier

Grevillea ‘Peaches and Cream’

Kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos) at Cremorne Point. Janna Schreier

I love the way the kangaroo paws match the sign – not sure this was by design, but a very happy coincidence if not

And again, gorgeous textures; here, peeling Eucalyptus bark.

Eucalptus bark. Janna Schreier

Layers of Eucalyptus bark bring colour and texture

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.

Mosman Bay from Cremorne Point. Janna Schreier

Mosman Bay from Cremorne Point. Snapped on my iPhone; no filters, no editing. Divine

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

  1. Catherine says:

    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!

    • jannaschreier says:

      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.

    • jannaschreier says:

      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!

    • jannaschreier says:

      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.

  2. Dorothy says:

    Cremorne Point, another place on my ‘Sydney visit list’. Thank you Janna, once again written with such style. D x

  3. Suzanne says:

    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.

  4. jannaschreier says:

    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!

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