Study Group Updates: Feb – May 2022

Study group updates from the following groups: Australian Plants for Containers, Ferns, Garden Design, Grevillea, Hakea, Isopogon and Petrophile and Wallum and Coastal Heathland.

Gardening tip: Planting under gum trees

To maximize your success establishing new plants to grow under gum trees, plant them as close to the trunk as possible. The reasons you do this are: there are very few tree feeder roots to rob your plant of nutrients and moisture.

Gardening tip: Shady gardens

Using a variety of ‘semi’ rainforest plants as screen plants as they are hardy, have attractive colourful new leaves. Their flowers are also attractive as is their fruit. They can be pruned hard if needed.

Dividing Pterostylis, an easy native orchid to grow

The easiest terrestrial orchids to grow and propagate are those in the genus Pterostylis. These orchids produce abundant underground tubers (white and about the size of a pea) and after a couple of years in a pot they need division…

Growing native ferns in a shaded garden

Our garden is located on the south side of a steep hill overlooking the Woronora River at Bonnet Bay, just south of Sydney. When we bought the land, it was a beautiful, relatively undisturbed bush block, with wonderful stands of macrozamia cycads and gum trees.

Water in the garden

Water in the garden has a long history, as long as gardens themselves. Any history of gardens and gardening will show that the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Chinese…

A walk around Corymbia

John Elton shares some of the plants flowering in his garden in autumn. I always think that autumn is the best time in the garden. One of the great things about having a native garden is that we have colour 12 months of the year.

Plants for clay soils or clay loams

The following plants generally tolerate (or in some cases prefer) clay soils that are poorly drained but not boggy in winter, and that tend to dry out in summer. Of course, other factors can play a part in a plant’s success, so this list is a guideline only.

Growing plants in clay soils

Much of western and north western Sydney is based on clay soils. Quite often these soils are wet in winter and much dryer in summer. While clay has the advantages of holding water well especially at deeper levels and can be rich in nutrients, there are some problems

Reliable native daisies for the Sydney region

Some people think that native plants are straggly and boring. You only need to look at the beautiful variety of Australia daisies to see that this is just not so . They grow quickly and flower over a long period of time and there is a place for them in every garden.

Time, time, time

Time is an interesting concept and is all relative to one’s perspective. If you are one of the average Australian that change houses every 5 years then your perspective of creating a garden with that time frame will be very different to an old bloke like me that has been gardening on the same 800sq m block for 40 plus years.

Graft-chimeras on eremophilas

Grafting is often the only option to grow plants in soils and climates outside the normal habit, including for eremophilas. Russell Wait reports on graft-chimeras, which can arise in grafted plants. A growth, known as ‘graft-chimera’, can form within callus tissue at the graft union.

Magic on the roof

Imagine a roof top covered with stunning native plants from around Australia, blowing in the breeze! A few of us visited the first indigenous rooftop farm and other cultural gardens at the newly developed South Eveleigh precinct. (

Banksia book now available from APS NSW

Banksias are Australia’s most iconic plants after the Eucalypts, known for thousands of years to indigenous Australians and, through writing and art, to many more who have never visited this land.

Daisy, daisy – growing colourful WA flowers – – Story #1

Daisies provide a delicate, multi-coloured and spectacular impression on the seemingly harsh and dry looking bush areas of Western Australia (WA). Growing everlastings and other colourful daisies for your own spring show is guaranteed to bring great pleasure and satisfaction.