At the Harbour George River Group’s meeting October 2023, James Middleton, who is a
member of the Group and a professional landscape gardener, described his practice in
landscape design. His talk was illustrated with reference to a community garden project he is
working on with the Clemton Park Uniting Church. Members of the church group also talked
about their vision for the garden. This was followed by a discussion on how to implement the
garden vision with a limited budget and lots of muscle power.
In Hawkesbury Sandstone vegetation a range of parasitic and carnivorous plants can be found. Does it surprise you to know that you could find more than ten different species? Many of these plants can be hard to find: some are ephemeral (short-lived); some very small; a few grow high in the branches of trees; and others are rare.
Global warming, biodiversity loss and the deteriorating urban environment are reducing the quality of urban life. Akira Miyawaki, a Japanese botanist, began practising creative ecology in the 1970s and devised the “tiny forest” to counter these undesirable trends. Tiny forests have been taken up in Australia recently and may be useful as a strategy in improving some environmental and social aspects of our urban environments.
A mulch is any covering put over the top of the soil, such as bark, woodchips, leaves, gravel and groundcovers – even a layer of leaf litter counts as a mulch.
About 40 years ago, in the early 1980s I took the family to stay in some cabins near Racecourse Beach just north of Batemans Bay for the summer holidays, shaded by iconic spotted gums with a burrawang understory.
Seeing isolated dead trees that show signs of past, heavy mistletoe growth in our semi-cleared landscapes might suggest that mistletoes are the culprit. On the contrary, they are keystone ecological species, attractive components of our flora and can be part of our own gardens.
I feel confident anyone reading this would agree that gardeners have a better insight than most into changing weather patterns. Whatever the reason, the hot days seem to be getting hotter and the cold days colder but it’s usually the former that presents the greater challenges in selecting the right plant for the hot spot. Enter stage right our wonderful grey-foliaged native plants.
I have had for some years now a large pot of Christmas Bells (Blandfordia grandiflora). It has been reliably flowering just on Christmas every year, and in the process getting more congested. Because the pot it is in has curved sides, I have been putting off dividing it for a few years.
Member Walter Stanish has shared with us images of his residential garden wattle season in Thornleigh, by the Great North Walk.
The arid and semi-arid plants of NSW demonstrate some extraordinary adaptations to climate, soils and microclimate!
At the Sutherlands group May meeting, Samantha Newton, an enthusiastic garden designer who has had a life of botany, landscape design, and researching ecological-sustainability issues shared her knowledge about Bush-Tucker.
At the May 2023 APS NSW gathering in Kariong, hosted by the Central Coast APS group, Olga Blacha gave us a fascinating talk titled: ‘Achieving a new civic Australian style garden’
Throughout hiscareer Lawie Smith has been fortunate to be able to convey his ‘Design with Nature’ philosophy through all of his projects, and specifically the public parks and botanic gardens for which he have been responsible.
In this article we discuss the advantages of an alturnitive method over more traditional methods of grafting onto rooted stock plants.
Gardens For Life – Second update from APS VIC This is the second newsletter from our colleagues in Victoria, sharing about the Biennial Confrence, coming up in September 2024
I recently shared with a Garden Club how to create a native garden, why grow natives and how to go about it, as well as traps for the unwary. Here is what I shared.
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.
Soil may seem plain to the eye but it’s a complex ecosystem in itself – if it’s a healthy soil, anyway. Maintaining a diverse range of soil microbes is important for soil to remain healthy and support good plant growth. The most practical way for gardeners to keep soil and plants healthy is by adding both organic matter and inorganic fertiliser.
Keep up to date with what our study groups are doing, with updates from Pea Flowers, Acacia, Grevillea, Wallum, Ferns and Hakea groups.
The weather forecasts now have us coming out of the wet La Nina conditions over the last few years and heading into the warmer & drier El Nino weather pattern.
As part of the Garden Design Study Group (free to all members), the topic was posed – is your garden design influenced by diversity or uniformity? I thought about it, and decided that my garden and my thinking had evolved through stages
Here are some images from Peter Olde, of Aceratium ferrugineum, a beautiful rainforest plant growing in his and Margaret’s Oakdale garden.
Over 20 years ago a group of Australian Plants Society members purchased an old dolerite quarry and its surrounding 20 ha bushland to build a Tasmanian bushland garden with funding coming from donations and grants.
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.
Growing Eremophila standards is all quite new to me but I’m having a ball experimenting with how different plants can look when grown on a stick. Grafting them has been relatively easy, as has been keeping an attractive habit while the plants are still young. However, pruning as the plants age, will I’m sure, be more of a challenge.
Last week, I visited Centennial Parklands as part of a videography course. We made a video of various gardens in the park, as a sign of appreciation to the gardeners, botanists and designers of the Parklands.
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.
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
Australian native plants are known to have many values of advantage to humans. I’ve delved through history to identify how native plants have been appreciated in the past, and if they may have informed the garden design of the present, and then ‘best guessed’ what might be expected of them in the future. Come along it is an intriguing story . . . .
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.
While many of us realise conserving native plants helps conserve native fauna, the reverse is also true, particularly when it comes to native bees.
Love a beautiful banksia, but no room for the iconic Banksia integrifolia, or Coast Banksia, which can grow to 15 metres? Well, never fear. New cultivars of dwarf banksias…
A reader recently asked for advice on growing Western Australian eucalypts in Sydney. Jeff Howes put on his thinking cap and came up with the following eight tip
Summaries from study group newsletters including correas, ferns, hakea, eucalyptus, grevillea and wallum and coastal heathland May – July 2022.
Creating a sustainable native garden enhances the environment, reduces costs and waste and improves well being.
I am fortunate to have a lot of large windows drawing my attention to what is going on outside, from the sky to the garden that surrounds the house