Unless you're a resident of the City of Burnside, I doubt you'd know about this iconic reserve. Willowbridge & Michael Perry Botanic Reserve has recently been brought back to life with the planting of various botanically interesting species in its historic garden. Work has also been undertaken to clear woody weeds and return its creek line and hillside woodlands to local native vegetation.
This week, I went for a walk through the reserve and thought the landscape was awesome. It not only captures and preserves historical aspects but also acknowledges current uses and requirements. There is a network of pathways leading from Willowbridge Grove and Kurrajong Avenue to an ornamental pond, the garden and its eastern boundary. The pond is created by a stone weir across the creek that bisects the reserve. Picnic tables can be found near the pond. An amenity block isn't far away either.
Picnic tables near the pond
One of the shrubs worth mentioning is the Gardenia Thunbergia which originates from South Africa but has been cultivated here in South Australia since the 1850s. It is about 3 metres in height with a spread of about 2 metres. You'll find it near a bench seat between the turf and the creek. Other historic specimens include the Canary Island Pine from Canary Islands, Deoder Cedar from Central Asia and Bunya Pine from Queensland as well as the fenced Cork Oak and the one and only Hoop Pine.
The reserve was once part of the Clifton Estate before subdivisions made it a public space. The manor's old shed and water pump are still standing and can easily be seen as you're walking along the trail. On the other hand, the manor itself isn't that easy to spot. I had to have someone point it out to me.
A section of the creek
Well used by walkers and their four-legged friends, the reserve unfortunately does not have sufficient parking. I was there on a weekday and managed to just find a park along the road verge. However, don't let that stop you from enjoying the reserve and all it has to offer. I surely did not.