I had forgotten how much of a paradise playground the New South Wales South Coast is for foragers during early summer. Or perhaps my eyes have never been quite as open and glued to the car window as they are now. But it seems that everywhere, from the heathlands to the seashore, wild flowers are abundant and full of native splendor. There are creamy paperbark flowers and even creamier ironbark blossoms. There is a lighter, brighter summer blooming wattle and plenty of native tea tree myrtle in crisp white and bright pink. There were Geraldton wax flowers that also came and went, although I didn’t get to photograph them. I just sat them in little vases around the house and marveled at their teeny tiny five petal perfection and sweet honey smell, instead. There have been plenty of non natives too. Queen Anne ’s lace, wild fennel and Scotch thistles are road side and ready, bursting with their own sort of weed like beauty. And all these florals, Australian and not so Australian, have graciously arrived just in time for the festive season - to deck the halls with plenty a bloom filled swag, wreath and garland.
It seems that once a forager, an obsession sets in and you can’t seem to stop the search. You’ll always find your eyes out the window, looking for a burst of colour or brightness that wasn’t there before. The hunt is always on, to fill the car and then the house with natures complimentary and honeyed gifts - a reward always so great. The foraging seasons are fleeting and before you know it, it’s December and the eucalyptus blossoms are out. Time is fleeting too. What happened to October and November, I’ll never know. But I sure am glad it’s December and that I'm surrounded by plenty a creamy bloom. Time now to forage into the new year.
Happy holidays everyone.
photo 1 + 2 - tea tree / native myrtle (leptospermum)
photo 3 + 4 - ironbark
photo 5 - wattle + argyle apple (eucalyptus cineria)
photo 6 + 7 - paperbark
photo 8 - ironbark
All photos taken at the beautiful South Coast country retreat - THE COTTAGE kangaroo valley