The Flowering Trees and Shrubs Garden was designed and planted in 1981. Following the discovery that the selected area had poor soils, tonnes of organic matter was imported onto the site to create kidney shape garden beds. These beds were then planted with a central windbreak of Cotoneaster or Oleander to offer respite from the howling westerly winds that at times ravage the site. Plantings within the garden beds have been strategically placed to allow plants to be viewed from both sides of the garden beds, with trees centrally placed, shrubs then groundcovers and perennials on the edges.
This garden collection contains eight garden beds displaying plant species from 13 exotic plant families including the Roseaceae, Malvaceae, Solanaceae, Apocynaceae, Fabaceae, Bignoniaceae, Sterculiaceae, Acanthaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Theaceae, Verbenaceae, Lamiaceae and Lythraceae. Each garden bed design showcases a collection of botanical species that represents each family.
The Camellia (Theaceae) collection was introduced in 1986 and showcases many specialty Camellias not commonly found in cultivation. Camellias were first imported into Australia in 1826 from England but the species originated from Japan and China. This plant collection is of high importance due to the current regulations preventing the importation of Camellias into Australia.
Many species from within this collection have uses beyond the garden. These include Lippia citriodora Lemon Verbena from the Verbenaceae family which has aromatic foliage useful as a tea. The Citharexylum spinosum Fiddlewood Tree from the Bignoniaceae family, is a useful timber used to make musical instruments. The Catalpa bignonioides Indian Bean Tree from the Bignoniaceae family, is valuable for medicinal purposes and highly used in the creation of posts, fencing rails, interior finishes and cabinet work.
Regular pruning of these plants encourages new flowers, improves their shape and maintains good health. The peak flowering period for this garden collection is during spring and into the summer period.