In 2003, bush-fires ravaged the old Nil Desperandum homestead.  After the fires, the historic rammed-earth cottage was re-built to the original 1896 design.  Nil Desperandum forms part of the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (near Canberra).   Amidst the devastation wrought by the fires, a part of a commercial camellia plantation somehow managed to survive.  Surrounded by dense bush on all sides, it truly is a miracle garden.


Delicate but enduring.

delicate blossom.jpg

Beyond the fence.

c3beyond the fence

Members of the public who are up for a hike (9 km return), can visit the garden.  On a cool late-winter’s day, it was the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of city living.

Kind Regards

Response to the Ragtag Daily PromptGarden. and Bren’s Photo For the Week — Winter.  Click on the links to join in.




42 thoughts on “Miracle Garden

  1. In Canada the dominant theory of forest management was fire suppression. Consequently the fuels built up and once ignited spread rapidly for many many square miles. Some plants need fire to propagate. Some pine cones only open and disperse their seeds after a fire. Are camellias predisposed to thrive after a fire? Very beautiful survivors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Traditional owners have always used fire to manage and shape the landscape here. So like Canada, there are many plant species that need fire to germinate seed. Their fires were usually small in scale though as they moved around the countryside. These fires are very different. Huge conflagrations that kill even fire adapted species. Of course, there are also wet forests and alpine forests that are not managed that way, and they are not adapted to fire. These areas are drying out and are now increasingly at risk. The window for hazard reduction burns is also narrowing due to climate change.

      My son tells me that the use of fire to manage the Australian landscape is a contentious issue. Apparently, I have to read “Dark Emu” and “The Greatest Estate on Earth”.

      I’m not sure about the camellias. Perhaps they will regenerate from the root. I’ll have to ask the ranger next time I go out there. The other possibility is that the fire just missed that spot.


      1. In California camellias are fire hardy (I know a strange term) they can with-stand a very fast moving fire provided that sources of fuel are cleaned up regularly so that a fire does not linger.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sign me up! After “my” big fire in California, where many houses were burnt to the ground, I was at the hairdresser. A woman in the chair next to me said to the girl doing her hair, “We were going to move away, but when I went back to the property last month, I saw my roses coming up from the ground and we’ve decided to rebuild.”

    One of the most beautiful bits of random conversation I’ve ever heard.

    Liked by 3 people

Comments are now closed.