Wattle takeover


Winter gold flourishes in the Wollombi Valley as I drive through on a dull day. Wattle, acacia, mimosa — our national flowering tree has many names and many species.

Not all have blooms as richly yellow as these soft powderpuff clusters, but most are hardy and quick-growing, if short-lived.


Where land has been disturbed they colonise thickly. I pass what seems to be a plantation of wattles on a flat creekside paddock, fenced and tidily contained in rows.

Then I see it is actually a takeover of what was once some city hobby farmer’s dream vineyard. It is small, not commercial — would have produced just a few dozen bottles to share with friends, to show off his own label.

The grapevines are still there, but the wattles have shot way past them and have claimed it for their own, re-labelled it Wattle Flat.

I am a little sad, wondering what happened to the dream.


4 thoughts on “Wattle takeover”

  1. Yes Trevor it was somewhere between Wollombi and Broke I think. Quite stunned by the sudden masses of them. Sorry they give you the sneezes!

  2. Hi Sharyn,
    This looks so familiar. Laguna? Or on the Payne’s Crossing Road somewhere? The wattles took me by surprise this year. They seemed in full flower when I noticed them but I know about them now! Plenty runny nose and sneezes. They are spectacular though.
    All the best,

  3. Hi Karen,
    Nice to hear from you! Yes my garden Acacia Baileyanas are nearing their end too; I am no longer getting whiffs of their honey scent on the breeze.
    I love the way wattles stagger their blooming in species through the winter– just when they are most needed.
    Nowadays I manage to consider my dreams ‘changed’ rather than ‘lost’; the grand garden has ceded priority to writing!

  4. Aah – lost dreams! About ten years ago I caravanned around a fair bit of Oz and was constantly confronted with similar scenes of what appeared to be failed projects. Great fodder for a writer’s imagination but rather depressing when I was seeing them everywhere and planning agricultural dreams of my own.

    The wattles look spectacular in groves – here in Port Macquarie the wattles starting wattling in June this year – particularly the Baileyana which is finished already. Short but sweet.

    Cheers, Karen

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