The Wildflower Garden was first developed in the late 1940s by FC Payne on his property at the top of Addison Avenue, Black Hill. Originally known as Payne's Nursery, the garden was open to the public for them to enjoy the diverse array of Australian plants.
In September 1963, the Campbelltown Council purchased the property from Payne to preserve the landscaped garden and protect it from being subdivided by investors. The Council not only wanted to extend the nursery service, they also wanted provide a facility where the people could receive advice on growing native plants.
Plans were announced in March 1973 to develop a conservation park in the Black Hill area as a major native flora reserve and bird sanctuary. The inclusion of the Wildflower Garden in the park raised concerns about the future of the garden.
The Campbelltown Council finally agreed to allow the government to acquire the garden on the condition that the facility and its services were maintained and remained open to the public. In December 1974, the Wildflower Garden and its nursery were sold to the state government and managed by the Department of Environment and Conservation, and later by the National Parks and Wildlife division.
However, in June 1976, primarily due to an outbreak of the fungal disease Phytophthora cinnamoni in the nursery of the Wildflower Garden, the garden and nursery were closed. A great deal of work was required to clear the area of Phytophthora and the entire stock of plants in the nursery had their tops cut off and burnt.
In 1977, work began on the $600 000, four-year development scheme for the Black Hill Native Flora Park. The development included a complete relocation of the native plant nursery to Maryvale Road where it was officially opened by the Minister of Environment, the Honourable John Cornwall on 11 May 1979.
The new nursery covered approximately one hectare and included a potting shed, two glasshouses, a shade house, seed room, store room, offices and other facilities.
Today, the Wildflower Garden still contains many of the original species planted by Payne and is looked after by the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Conservation Parks.