Vines entangle themselves around trees, shooting off purple flowers as some kind of merit for claiming it. Crossing over the bridge broken by weather, thick mud sucks at your feet as birds wings glide over the tops of trees made of vines. Tiny mushrooms gather in tight knitted communities and wild mint cascades across the garden. It seems like you are stepping over an edge – between a world of mortals and that of folklore.
This is Perth’s Secret Garden.
June 14th, 2016 marked the one year anniversary of the very first article – Perth’s Secret Garden Wonderland
This article went viral and Perth people went nuts – nuts in a good way and a few went nuts in a not so good way. Most people were very excited to find such an exquisite garden to walk in and show family who were visiting overseas. It’s viral arms even touched other states of Australia as I was contacted by non-Perthians who saw the article on Facebook.
There were a small group of people who were quite upset at the article’s appearance, these were mostly locals who lived around the garden and Perth explorers who had found the garden on their own and thought everyone should find it themselves.
From where I sit now, I can understand the angry and frustration of these people, and it was never my intention to exploit the garden. I have been an actively passionate environmentalist and animal activist since primary school and I really love finding exquisite and brilliant locations in our beautiful state where you can leave your world behind and escape to nature to reconnect.
I was in contact with the So Perth team and they asked me to come write for them. For my first article, I wanted it to be about something that I was passionate about and for a month or two, I had seen photographs roaming on Instagram of this secret garden in Perth. It took about two – three weeks of hours upon hours of scrolling through Instagram, writing down bits of clues from comments and messaging people. People, who I never had contacted but had obviously seen my comments, PM me on Instagram giving me the ‘directions’ of the garden. ALL these directions were bogus and had lead me on a goose chase. Turning to the wonderful world of Google Maps, I visited every swamp/park/garden-like structure in the area I knew it was in from the clues and there it was.
When I arrived, I expected it to be quiet and secretive like I had to sneak in undetected. But it was brimming with life. People were walking around with their dogs, a mother was doing a photoshoot with four little girls dressed as fairies and young people were taking photographs. I was there for about an hour and at least fifteen people came and went in that time.
There is something about our little garden that you should know…
Imagine for a moment that these vines didn’t make up part of the garden – what do you think the garden would look like? It would still be quite quaint but it would lose that sense of magic and mystery. Well, this vine is the main miscreant – not the many people who have visited the garden.
This vine is called Morning Glory, a highly evasive weed that strangles other plants and it’s taking over the Native Australian plants that call the garden home. Morning Glory has an incredible tolerance for all living conditions – it can practically grow anywhere.
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Three other important things you need to know about this garden is mushrooms, mint and snakes. The City of Stirling take out regular tests of the water, soil as well as the wild and plant-life. There are high metals found in the earth and water and it’s well advised not to eat or collect the vast amount of mint plants on the far side of the garden nor collect and eat any of the mushrooms that have also made the garden their home.
You can find out more about this by reading one of my old articles – #perthsecretgarden: Who can visit the secret garden?
If you are visiting the garden when the skies are more blue and the leaves worship the sun, you will need to be wary of another more dangerous sun worshipper. You can read about this scaly little native friend here:
In the last year, I have been visiting the garden regularly to check up on how it is doing environmentally and anthropogenic impact, as well as picking up rubbish and checking the bridge. I’ve been in contact with the conservation department to hopefully organise a planting and clean up day.
Please read the following important warnings:
- At the moment, the bridge has been damaged by the weather and it’s difficult and dangerous to get across into the garden. This is the only access into the garden. There is a log adjacent to the bridge that people were using to cross over with – this log is not stable!
- Due to all the rain and high winds, huge pieces of trees have fallen down and were falling down when I was walking around only a few days ago. Be aware of this when you are walking around.
- The earth is thick mud that you can sink into, so if you venture further into the garden, be aware of getting stuck. If you end up walking to the far back of the garden, there is a swamp out there that you may not see because most of the garden is currently underwater.
- The embankment of the swamp water is collapsing into the water so be careful not to stand too close to the edge.
- City of Stirling doesn’t want people parking on the lawn near the entrance to the garden. Please park in the little driveway there, the side street opposite the entrance or street parking.
Perth Secret Garden Location
I want to apologise to the people who have contacted me asking for the location of the secret garden and I did not reply. I tried to reply to everyone but I know I missed people. If you would like to find the secret garden, please contact me through my website here and I will make sure I reply to everyone.
~ Enjoy this before and after photo journey ~
(Includes three videos of the garden)