The Woodland Garden was established in 1981. It comprises a collection of cool climate trees, shrubs, bulbs and perennials predominately from the northern hemisphere. The pre-existing tree canopy of the native Turpentines and Paperbarks provided the required shade to establish this collection.
Initial plantings included a range of exotic trees, including Magnolia, Maple and Dogwood. These trees now form the mostly deciduous canopy that allows light to penetrate in winter whilst filtering the harsh summer sun.
An intensively planted area, the Woodland Garden features a tiered design of canopy trees with an understorey of small trees and shrubs sheltering the ground dwelling herbaceous perennials, bulbs and annuals. Many of the species are not commonly grown on the coast, but are thriving in this developed environment.
Woodland plants require a humus rich cool soil that imitates the natural accumulation of leaf litter or leaf mould. This habitat is achieved through the regular addition of organic matter aided by falling autumn leaves and the abundance of groundcover plants keeping the plant roots cool.
This garden also displays collections of unusual bulbs and perennials including Tricyrtis stolonifera Toad Lily, Polygonatum odoratum Solomon’s Seal and Anemone Windflower.
Whilst many species within the Woodland Garden are recognisable for their blooms, some of the more interesting species within this garden are not as visible including the Osmanthus fragrans Sweet Osmanthus, a shrub that possesses tiny, strongly apricot-scented perfumed flowers that is highly valued in cooking in Asia as it is used for flavouring desserts and tea. Another interesting species is the Ruscus hypophyllum Ruscus. The plant’s leaves have flattened stems or cladodes, hence its tiny white flowers appear in the middle of these leaf like structures and are followed by small red berries.
Whilst the Woodland Garden predominately peaks during spring, it does hold interest year round.
The Woodland Garden also features a gazebo donated by the Friends of the Wollongong Botanic Garden in 1990.