The Azalea Bank and Middle Creek Collections were among the first collections created within the Garden. In fact, the first Azaleas were planted some seven years prior to the Garden's official opening. The landscape features plants from the Asiatic regions including China, Japan and Korea.
In 1964 initial plantings of hundreds of Azaleas together with some Rhododendrons, Camellias and specimen trees provided the framework for these collections.
A natural creek line flows through these collections from the foothills of Mount Keira to the ocean passing through the Botanic Garden, Fairy Creek and Puckey’s Estate. To compliment this natural asset, the creek banks were planted with water-loving plants like Iris’, Daylilies, Flax and Arums in 1988. These plants are structured by nature to collapse under heavy inundation of water and pick back up once the creek level subsides.
With water flowing freely in this area the Taxodium distichum Swamp Cyprus' that were planted along this water-path developed its characteristic aerial roots known as pneumataphores or ‘knees’ - an adaptation believed to enhance oxygenation of the tree's root system.
Other trees species within this area include Cornus alba Dogwood, Acer palmetum Maple and Metasequoia glyptostroboides Dawn Redwood.
Through Wollongong’s Sister City Relationship with Kawasaki (Japan), these collections has benefited with the planting of a row of white flowering-cherry trees, the Japanese Tea House and the much admired bright-red Japanese bridge.
Peak flowering times are from August to October with a wonderful display from its Camellias, Azaleas and Iris’.