Gardening Australia comes to the Wetlands

In March, FROGS Landcare volunteers played host to Costa Georgiadis as he visited the Goulburn Wetlands. Many of you will know that Costa has long been interested in the Wetlands—he planted trees with local school children in 2016 and live-streamed an impromptu visit in 2022. This time he came to film the Wetlands and its gardens for a segment on Gardening Australia.

Fake news can work – if you’re a wallaby!

From vegetation restoration projects to agriculture, plants that are valuable to us may also be tasty food for herbivores. To reduce the substantial damage herbivores can do in these situations, people have used various methods to control herbivores, from plant guards and fencing to sometimes killing the animals. A newly developed approach based on feeding herbivores misinformation to alter their behaviour may offer an alternative control method which is cost-effective and in some ways simpler to implement.

Ensuring the survival of the Wollemi Pine

Discovering the Wollemi pine has been described as the botanical find of the 20th century. The Wollemi pine was once widespread across Gondwana before Australia broke off from Antarctica. It’s both a living fossil and a global treasure and, while it is truly a rare and threatened species that needs to be conserved for the future, this is a challenging project.

Re-greening our Country 

A series of wonderful re-greening events were held during August, September and October this year (2023) at ‘Moorlands’, near Gunning in south western NSW.  This amazing, biodynamic farm is owned and managed by Vince Heffernan, a 6th generation sheep grazier and noted expert on new forms of regenerative land management.

Planting Australian natives: are we bringing the bush to our backyards or our backyards to the bush?

Gardens are an important part of our existence in urban environments. They provide relief from the concrete and bricks that create the artificial environment that most Australians now inhabit – the urban landscape. Our gardens provide shelter and shade, a potential kaleidoscope of colour and, in many backyards, a small localised food source in the form of vegetable gardens. In cities, gardens and street trees also provide additional cooling mechanisms to the heat sinks of concrete structures.

Native grasses – a vital part of the biodiversity mosaic

Native grasses and grass-like plants can be overlooked as garden plants but they are a wonderfully attractive addition to any garden, with the variety of shapes and colours of their leaves and flower heads. They’re also an important part of many revegetation projects. Only a tiny fraction of the grasslands present in pre-colonial Australia still exist, so we must all ensure that these remnants are preserved. Their high biodiversity value can be conserved through plantings in residential gardens all the way through to landscape-scale revegetation projects that repair environmental damage.

Why do Eremophila have resin?

I had an inquiry from someone in APS NSW who wanted to know the purpose of the resin on Eremophila. I looked up Chinnock and, though he talks about the resin, he doesn’t speculate as to its purpose. However, he did refer to the work of several chemists who have analysed its composition.

Myrtle Rust

Myrtle rust is a fungal disease that arrived in Australia in 2010 and since then has brought four native Myrtaceae plant species to the point of near extinction.Despite the threat, there are some steps each of us can take to try to minimise the inevitable damage.

Insects that thrive on our native plants

Insects and plants evolved together and are co-dependent. Michelle de Mol, one of our Blue Mountains members, is passionate about observing and documenting, in pictures, these relationships. Here are photos she shared with us to showcase this relationships.

Nature strip planting

A naturestrip is a legally interesting piece of land.  It is public land owned by the council with the ‘responsibility’ for its maintenance resting with the home-owner.

Ferns of the Southern Sydney Basin

Ferns are a distinct group of vascular plants and have been around for about 360 million years. Those early forests of fern ancestors produced the coal that we so rely upon today

Threats to Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub – Little Bay

Recently, Harbour Georges River group wrote to Randwick Council about a proposed development in Little Bay which threatens local bushland – Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub. Here is their submission and images to illustrate. 

Mal’s Wild Side: Re-Wilding a Northern Beaches Backyard

When I first came to Australia from the UK, I had a fondness for the environment but knew virtually nothing about Australian nature. Years later, when I moved from inner city living into a suburban house with a backyard, something special happened. Fascinating visitors such as Blue Tongue Lizards, Leaf Tailed Geckos and Possums provided magical wildlife encounters and my conservation passion, long suppressed, became reignited.

How to write a conservation submission, letter or email

With so many ongoing issues of environmental concern, there are many opportunities to write a submission or letter expressing your views. Issues affecting our native vegetation include residential development, infrastructure proposals such as roads and dams, legislation on land clearing and development, and government policies and responses to climate change, bushfires and flooding.

An interconnected world – threats to our native ecology and ultimately, us as well.

Nature is truly robust, resilient and responsive – we’ve just got to stop throttling it!. A common theme which impacts every land managers plans and calendar is the monitoring and mitigating threats. This applies in all scenarios where landscapes are involved, from a farm or national park to a suburban block or even an apartment complex.
Many environmental threats are surprisingly universal. Invasive species impacts, connectivity, fragmentation, biodiversity and habitat loss apply to a home in the suburbs as well as a national park.

Seeds of hope for Banksia restoration projects

A plant seed typically contains an embryo, that develops into a new plant, and some food to support germination until the seedling can produce its own food. However, seeds may also contain microbes, like fungi and bacteria, that have no harmful effects but may actually be beneficial for plant growth! 

Southern Highlands get together – rain and shine!

About 70 people enjoyed a wonderful weekend in the Southern Highlands, hosted by the local group. We had the opportunity to visit members’ gardens, listen to a great talk by Dan Clarke, and visit a range of bush areas.

Regenerating Mount Gibraltar, Southern Highlands

Jane Lemann, a volunteer bush regenerator shared the journey of regeneration of Mount Gibraltar in the Wingecarribee area of the Southern Highlands. This is the story of 30 years of regeneration.

Surprising Sydney Flora Tour – September 2022

Sydney has the distinction and the fortune of being a major metropolis which is virtually surrounded by major national parks which enable residents and visitors to enjoy the natural environment without long distances to travel. This is Part 1 of the tour story.

Australian flora conference chatrooms on YouTube

At the recent Australian flora conference, we had a morning of chatrooms. Chat rooms are designed to give people a broad cross section of information and insights, in an informal and inclusive setting

Let’s show a bit of love for the lillipilli

The lillypilly is a familiar Australian plant we often grow in our gardens. It actually makes up the largest genus of trees in the world and has a history more interesting than we might imagine!

Eremophila study group – the next 50 years

What you may not know is that Eremophila, which also called Emu Bush, Poverty Bush, Turkey Bush or Fuchsia Bush, is the 5th most diverse native genus with around 240 described species and many more sub-species and hybrids.
Eremophila are widely distributed in areas of Australia with less than 250mm rainfall.

Where they keep plants – the story of the new Herbarium at the Australian Botanic Garden

When Captain Cook sailed along the east coast of Australia in 1770 his merry band of collectors loaded the Endeavour with a very large plant collection. So, what happened to the 800 specimens that Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander collected? Over the past 250 years these specimens together with many others that the thousands of botanists collected have eventually ended up in large publicly funded herbariums.

Australian flora conference – presentations available on YouTube

In September 2022, APS NSW hosted the Australian flora conference for ANPSA, focused on the past, present and future of Australian plants. There were many outstanding speakers during the conference and a good number of these presentations were recorded and are  now available on our YouTube channel. 

Australian flora conference – past present future

Every two years The Australian Native Plants Society of Australia (ANSPA) holds a conference which is hosted by each state in turn. In 2019 it was held in Albany, Western Australia and approximately 330 delegates attended. It was the turn of APS NSW last year, but due to COVID-19 was postponed until September this year where it was held at the Kiama Pavilion on the beautiful NSW south coast attracting approximately 360 people from all parts of NSW, interstate and overseas.

Bush care, not for the faint hearted

Diedree Noss gave a most informative and interesting talk on the group, Friends of the Colo (FOC) at the August meeting of the North Shore district group.