The Gooloo Creek Wildflower Farm has been established since 1987. Over the years a wide range of indigenous and South African (proteas) wildflowers have been added.
The principal crops are waratah, king proteas and grevilleas. Other crops include several varieties of proteas, eriostemom, micromyrtus, luecadendron, crowea, isopogon, kangaroo paw and wattle.
The waratah have been particularly successful, as they grow prolifically in the surrounding natural bushland and are suited to our soil and climate. Most of the waratah on the farm are grown under shadecloth protection and have been successful in the annual NSW Waratah Festival competition for a number of years, including Grand Champion in 2012, 13 and 14.
Our flowers bloom in autumn and spring.
The crops are sold in several markets. The main market is the Sydney Flower Market at Flemington through East Coast Wildflowers. In spring the flowers are sold at Farmers Markets in Canberra and Sydney. Locally they are sold through Country Leather in Milton, and at our stall at the front gate.
We have a wide range of waratah cultivars and hybrids, including reds, whites and pinks. Our favourite is gooloo star which has been selected and propagated from our farm
The waratah holds a special place for south coast Koories, and for the Darug people it was significant in the first contacts with non-Aboriginal people. It was a flower that provided nourishment but was also a symbol of friendship between the Darug and those settlers in their region who treated them with sympathy and respect. It was known that the Darug gave the flower to those they saw as friends.
The waratah, which translates as 'faraway beauty', can be seen from far away in the bush and is one of the flowers used for its nectar. As with all plants and animals in the indigenous world, they are protected by bush spirits.