Perth’s Secret Garden Wonderland caused some hate and outrage among Perth people for ‘exposing’ this secret hidden garden.

People were demanding that it was their garden, their secret and even going as far to send people (including myself) on wild goose chases.

Angry emails and comments on Instagram and Facebook; Some messages I have been sent are outrageous for something as small as disclosing a garden in a public area:
“You’ve singlehandedly destroyed the accomplishment”
“I really can’t believe you’d be such a spoil sport and ruin something like that”
“F**K YOU!! Go jump off a cliff”
“Stupid bitch”
“Thanks for ruining it”
“You’re a dickhead”
“I dare you to post one more photo/video!”
“Now everyone in Perth is going to think they found it first!!”
“It’s was ours and now it’s ruined!!!!! Thanks a lot!”

The hate itself didn’t bother me, the fact that people were carrying on over something that was a public place really baffled and somewhat amused me. Some hate emails from my website contact form were from fake email address.

Seriously, if you have something to say and really care about this garden, come out and say it for real. Don’t hide behind a fake identity.

We were all wrong about Perth’s Secret Wonderland. Nobody ‘owns’ this garden except for the City of Stirling. The land the garden is on has owners dating back to 1880 so unless you are 135 years old, you did not ‘find it first’.

Finding this garden took three weeks of searching tags on Instagram for anyone else who has visited this garden, scrolling through endless comments, messaging people who would reply back with utter lies on the location, hours on Google Earth and hours driving around with false instructions. I also did research on this area including Careniup Lake and Gwelup Lake.

20150621_110535I originally found this secret garden on the @perthisok Instagram page. My love for forests, trees and anything magical that looked like it came straight out of a Tim Burton movie set, set fireworks of excitement off.

See Also: Perth’s Secret Garden Wonderland

20150621_112508Funny enough, I pulled over in this ‘driveway’ looking area and started researching on my phone again. A wind swept across, blowing through these huge ferns which separated them. As I looked up… I saw it. The vines! The bridge! It was beautiful!

I drove around the entire area and couldn’t find signs indicating that it’s private property but it also didn’t have any signs, like it does at Lake Gwelup, about it being a public area except at a nearby playground.

20150621_113642Despite the fact that none of us are suppose to be upsetting the plant and wildlife in this garden, there are no signs informing us of this ‘fragile ecosystem’ or telling us to keep out.

20150621_120402Careniup is part of a chain of wetlands in the Gwelup region used by Aboriginals for hunting food. A lot of it was drained for housing in the 1990s, but some sections of it has been preserved as a wetland conservation area.

20150621_121219Two of the North-West sections are privately owned and will be developed for residential housing.

Careniup is a typical wetland vegetation complex (e.g. Flooded Gum & Paperbark Trees) with most of it still intact.

Those amazing vines that make the garden magical are Morning Glory and are a highly invasive weed that will slowly choke the native vegetation. Without these vines, would this garden really look magical?

Morning Glory
Morning Glory – myrapeggyrose
Flooded Gum
Flooded Gum – Pinterest
Paper Bark Tree
Paper Bark Tree – Pinterest

Except for the two private sections (which are not in the ‘Secret Garden’ section), the rest is council land that anyone can visit. City of Stirling encourages us to stay on grassed areas and asks us not enter the actual bush and wetlands (including the secret garden) as these are fragile ecosystems and home to many species of wildlife.

Careniup is home to more then 150 native birds, plants, amphibians and invertebrates. Some of these are Endangered, Priority or Specially Protected, inclusive of the Rainbow Bee-eater, Great Egret, and White Faced Heron.

White Faced Heron
White Faced Heron – Pinterest
Rainbow Bee Eater
Rainbow Bee Eater – Pinterest
Great Egret
Great Egret – Pinterest

The City’s Parks & Reserves Natural Areas team undertakes water sampling twice each year; flora & fauna surveys; Pest Management Control (foxes & feral cats); habitat restoration; weed control/eradication; community education.

The bridge, that is the access to the Secret Garden was installed for maintenance for the above work. The public assumed they could also use it to enter this fragile ecosystem with the dirt trail made from residents frequently entering the area.

20150621_110718A sign is going to be put up outside this garden by the City of Stirling informing people to stay out.

Now it’s time for the Perth people to get involved and give back to this beautiful and magical place.

Projects are in the works to preserve this area. I will keep everyone posted via Twitter and Instagram regarding any community events and conservation work regarding Careniup Swamp, Lake and also Gwelup Lake. Follow @myrapeggyrose and @tweetperth to be kept updated.

20150621_112541
If you do choose to visit this garden, please respect it and it’s so important that you do not do the following things:

DO NOT:

  • Park on the grass area outside the garden entrance. Use street parking. There is also parking up the street a bit more.
  • Litter
  • Allow dogs inside. (Dog poo is very detrimental to the native plant life and wildlife)
  • Tear through plants and vines. Stick to the already made trails.
  • Take any of the plant life or wildlife
  • Hurt or injury any of the wildlife.
  • Start fires
  • Leave your thongs (footwear) if they get stuck in the mud. Take them with you. The wildlife may snack on them.

DO

  • Respect the local residents with regard to noise and parking.

This garden is very special to a lot of the local residents who grew up visiting here, please respect this area so we can all enjoy this beautiful piece of nature.

If you find any injured or hurt wildlife, providing emergency care is critical to it’s survival. Each animal is unique in how it needs to be save so visit this page for all the information:

http://www.nativeanimalrescue.org.au/NativeAnimals/emergencyCare.aspx

Wildcare Helpline (08) 9474 9055

20150621_111913On Sunday, I attended Community Planting Day at Gwelup Lake, which is right near the secret garden. It was so much fun and it was inspiring to be surrounded by so many people from the community who have a passion about our environment. City of Stirling gave us everything we needed (shovels, gloves, plants, support sticks) and had everything marked out for us. We came across some interesting insects, lizards, earthworms and some local swans. Afterwards we attended a luncheon and a presentation on how to properly rescue native wildlife. This was very informative and showed us the differences in animals that needed to be saved and animals that don’t.

#didyouknow The Rainbow Bee Eater has it’s nest in a hole in the ground? So if you see a baby rainbow bee eater in a little hole in the ground, unless it is covered in blood, it doesn’t need saving. Knowing these differences can help to save and protect our wildlife.

Rainbow Bee Eater nest - Google Images
Rainbow Bee Eater nest – Google Images

Photo & video gallery of #perthsecretgarden can be found here: http://myrapeggyrose.com/2015/06/28/perthsecretgarden-gallery-videos-nofilter/

Hours of exploring deep in swamp water
Hours of exploring deep in swamp water

Here is a video of deep inside #perthsecretgarden


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