Alison Hone Reserve, Goulburn, NSW

It had been dry with the Southern Tablelands having endured several above 30 degree days
in October but we were here in November looking for pretty flowers. My expectations were
not great, nevertheless it was an opportunity to get out into the bush to experience nature as
it is, not as we may sometimes wish it to be.

A visit to Peter’s Garden – Goulburn Get-Together

Our November 18 visit came at a very dry time in the Southern Tablelands. There hadn’t been real rain for months and the grass had already browned off. Peter described moving into his house in a bare paddock 7 years ago, during drought and when the frost in winter was down to -12 degrees. Challenging conditions! And then there’s the famous Goulburn wind.

Harry Loots garden visit

APS members had a very enjoyable and informative visit to Harry Loots’ native garden in Cremorne on a very crisp winter Wednesday in June. About 14 people attended.

Olive Pink: Artist, activist and gardener

Perhaps you have visited the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens in Alice Springs. It is certainly one of the best places to see Central Australian flora and as a bonus there is an excellent café. So who was Olive Pink?

Pea Forage weekend report

I became a member of the Pea Study Group last year and last weekend, joined around 25 other APS members for a Pea forage weekend based in Gosford on the Central Coast.

Mounds springs, the gravity defying ecosystems

A dispersed cluster of approximately 30 mound springs are found on the western side of the Sappa Bulga range. With some springs located in grassy box woodlands they present an opportunity to view an endangered ecosystem within an endangered ecosystem.

Wirreecoo Garden – a labour of love by Nowra Group

Located on the beautiful south coast at Huskisson, is the garden much loved by Nowra Group – called Wirreecoo Gardens. It’s nestled in with the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum, a fascinating venture along the boardwalk to view the mangroves and a pond, at 11 Dent St, Huskisson, and open every day.

Visit to Melton Botanic Garden in January

Ever since Kevin Stokes showed me photographs taken at Melton BG, I’d been keen to go! And with a recent wedding near Lancefield in Victoria, just 45 mins away, it seemed the perfect chance.

Flora tour of Blue Mountains

This was a tour of wonderful contrasts – majestic mountains and expansive valleys; towering Eucalypts and exquisitely tiny orchids; ancient aboriginal culture and the pathways of European explorers; windswept sandstone rock formations and hanging swamps and damp fern lined tracks with waterfall views. 

Stony Range Spring Festival – 30th October 2022

Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden of Australian Bushland, situated in Dee Why, recently held its Spring Festival after a lapse of two years due to Covid, when it was able to celebrate 61 years since its official opening in 1961.

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.

Illawarra Grevillea Park gets a new name

On Friday 12 August, Sutherland committee member Ralph Cartwright representing APS NSW, along with around 50 invited guests, attended the official opening of the now re-named Grevillea Park at Bulli.

Book review and ANPSA Terra Australis garden update

I was in Canberra in May this year and visited the Arboretum to check on the progress of the ANPSA Terra Australis Garden. It’s a great design and growing well. The depression or soak was designed to fill in heavy rain and I was delighted to see it full. 

A wander through my local Newcastle bushland

Mark Abell has enjoyed lunchtime walks in the patch of bushland near his Newcastle home. With weekly walks through the area he has observed changes to the plants through the year and has found many gems tucked away.

In flower in February at Manly Dam

Who would have thought that so many of our wonderful native plants would be flowering in February at Manly Dam? What a little bit of rain can do!

Celebrating 50 years of Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve

In 2020, Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve at Kareela in southern Sydney is celebrating 50 years. It was established as a bicentenary project to commemorate Cook’s landing at Kurnell in 1770 and Joseph Banks’ botanical legacy. Members of the Australian Plants Society have been involved for over 50 years.

Trees of Cumberland State Forest

Harry Loots from APS Northern Beaches reports on his first visit to Sydney’s Cumberland State Forest. Hidden off Castle Hill Road, it is Australia’s only metropolitan State Forest. It has Sydney Basin species, and the Forestry Commission experimented with many northern NSW and south east Queensland rainforest species to see how well they would grow.

Spring at Sylvan Grove, Picnic Point

Enjoy spring at Sylvan Grove Native Garden at Picnic Point. It is maintained by Canterbury–Bankstown Council to showcase Australian native plants to the community. It is open Monday to Friday all year, but in spring is also open on the weekends. Free.

Acacias at Joseph Banks Reserve, Kareela

Spring is a great time to see acacias in flower at Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve at Kareela. With over 1,000 species of Acacia, there is great diversity. Here are some in flower in August grouped by size into groundcovers, low shrubs, shrubs and trees.

Trickery, mimicry and deceit of orchids in the wild

Most gardeners will be familiar with the exotic Cymbidium and Phalanopsis orchids or maybe the native Dendrobium. However, the orchids which fascinate me are the tiny terrestrial orchids which can be found growing in the wild in the eastern and southern states of Australia.

The Quest for the Flying Duck

Bob Ross’ mention of the Flying Duck Orchid in the October 2018 issue of Native Plants for New South Wales reminded me of a piece I wrote some years ago for the Chefs Cap: newsletter of the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden at Batemans Bay. This is an edited version.

Member in the media – bushwalking during coronavirus

Ralph Cartwright explains how it happened:
“I was contacted by the SMH Urban Affairs reporter, Angus Thompson, who got my contact details from the Friends of Royal page who wanted to talk to someone still bushwalking in the Royal in the time of coronavirus. We had a brief chat for quotes and he sent a veteran photographer, Peter Rae, to meet me.

Climbing Mount Banks – inspiring our sense of wonder

In November 2019 Lesley Waite and I went on a magical walk to the summit of Mount Banks. The objectives of our visit were twofold – to indulge in the beautiful upper Blue Mountains flora, and to experience the magnificent surroundings and views.

Blue Mountains Adventure

The number one priority of our trip to the Blue Mountains on 7th September was to hear Liz Benson’s talk about the Wollemi Pine at the Wentworth Falls History Centre. While we were there, as well as absorbing the views around the falls, we wanted to do some plant exploring on Kings Tableland, and also take a look at the location of Grevillea ‘Lawson Queen’, discovered by Pip Gibian in 1988.

Southern Highlands bush excursion

In the frigid beginning of August, APS Blue Mountains Group ventured to the high country to discover the extant native vegetation. We were not disappointed. Although this area has been farmed for nearly 170 years, this has occurred on the most fertile land leaving the agriculturally barren sandstone country and hills to the bush.