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.

Spring wildflower walks – Suggestions from Facebook

Barbara Melville from Central Coast Group recently asked our Facebook for suggestions for walks to see spring wildflowers. Here are some of the responses. APS Groups also have walks in their local area, so check the Group activities and newsletters.

Hawaii – a mix of endemic and introduced species

This chain of islands developed as the Pacific Plate moved slowly northwestward over a hotspot in the Earth’s mantle at a rate of 50 km per million years. The southeast island is still volcanically active, whereas the islands on the northwest end of the archipelago are older and typically smaller, due to longer exposure to erosion.

Australian native plants in other countries

Lawrie Smith is the leader of the Garden Design Study Group. In the latest newsletter, he shares photos of some of the Australian collections he’s found in other countries. Stunning images, for our enjoyment. Thanks Lawrie. More information on the ANPSA Study Group can be found here.

Rare plants in abundance after fire

John Arney from Sutherland group led a recent walk in Kamay NP at Kurnell and pointed out these plants. Apparently the juvenile leaves on Commersonia hermanniifolia, (previously Rulingia hermanniifolia), had some people wondering if this was a new weed.

Callala Creek Reserve Boardwalk

On a beautiful autumn afternoon last weekend, we headed off to Callala Bay to seek out the Callala Creek Reserve boardwalk. The boardwalk has been recently reopened after being damaged by fires at the end of 2016 and sits between Callala Bay and Callala Beach taking in the Callala Creek salt marsh.

March gathering and visit to Joseph Banks Reserve

Three members of APS NSG went “on holidays” and ventured to Loftus on the balmy Saturday morning. We arrived just in time to join Rhonda leading the group on the guided tour of the beautiful Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve.

Bush recovering after fire

Last week, I joined some other volunteers on the Curra Moors track in the Royal National Park for some track trimming activities. This track goes through a lot of the burnt areas from the January fires which ‘destroyed’ over 2,000 hectares in late January.

March Gathering

Three members of APS NSG went “on holidays” and ventured to Loftus on the balmy Saturday morning.

Visit to Boongala Nursery

Asmall group of Newcastle members had a very pleasant visit to Boongala Nursery run by Mal and Jenny Johnston in Kenthurst, Sydney.
This garden and nursery has been an institution for many years for those interested in Australian plants and is well worth a visit.

Orchids in the bush

This is Cymbidium suave, or Snake Orchid, usually found in stumps and in forks of gum trees

Kakadu Adventure

I took a trip about this time last year to Kakadu National Park which had many items of interest, both flora and fauna. (All photos included here were taken by myself.) This is a summary of the talk that I gave to the Sutherland group of APS recently. Check out our District Group page.