Hello and welcome to our Autumn Newsletter.
My featured image is one of several red flowering plants presently in bloom in our garden. Masses of red flowers have the bees really interested in our Hakea ‘Burrendong Beauty’.
Next up on our 2018 calendar of events is our annual plant sale, a golden opportunity to find that special plant or two for your garden. Spread the word and bring along a friend or neighbour.
Already our group has enjoyed a variety of speakers and activities this year, practical and informative.
February 20th – The Ties that bind – the role of fungi in the ecosystem
Our guest speaker, Sapphire McMullan-Fisher, a mycologist from the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne and the coordinator of Fungimap, gave an entertaining and informative talk about the role of fungi in various ecosystems. Her talk was enthusiastically presented and supported by a wonderful set of PowerPoint slides. We even learnt some very new difficult words associated with fungi! More information can be found at – https://fungimap.org.au
Our plant table was well covered. A few specimens that caught my eye included a Lomandra ‘Frosty Top, a Banksia prionotes and a lovely Eremophila macdonellii.
March 17th – Garden maintenance workshop
Our March excursion was to AustPlant Nursery at Main Ridge for a workshop on garden maintenance. Daavid Turnbull, one of our members is also a staff member at AustPlant. Using a number of plants within their display garden Daavid demonstrated a number of techniques to revitalise plants, some as simple as tip pruning and others more harsh, such as cutting back kangaroo paws to the ground when they have finished flowering.
With our climate constantly changing David felt timing of these activities was also important.
Following the workshop members had the chance to further explore the plants and unique sculptures
in AustPlant’s display gardens or browse and purchase plants from their extensive range.
Thanks to David for his presentation and for AustPlant’s ongoing support of our monthly raffle with plants.
Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
Our group was represented in the hanging basket display created by Brenda Martin and Robyn Tyson. The ladies started back at the end of last year planning and planting their basket with more than twenty local plants. They were able to show us at our February 20th meeting how the plants in the basket were progressing. The emphasis was on foliage texture as most of the plants would not be flowering during the period of the garden show.
Even though our basket was not the eventual winner it was however ‘placed’ next to the winner when on display in the Carlton Gardens. Well done Robyn and Brenda.
Plant of the Month: March
Our plant of the month is a Banksia burdettii. This beautiful specimen can be found in our leader, Verena’s garden. She planted it in 2016 from a 10cm tub. It is in a sheltered position in full sun away from the roots of other plants. As this is the first time it has flowered we are lucky to see it. Verena waters it about once a month and so far it is handling the dry weather we have been experiencing. Thanks Verena. (Your newsletter editor is impressed and jealous!)
Don’t forget to send me photos of any plants you particularly like that are in bloom in your garden. Alternatively let me know and a photographer can be arranged. Email to mornpenaps @gmail.com, marking the email Attention:Mark Allison.
April 17th – Tootgarook Swamp
Cameron Brown, President of Save Tootgarook Swamp was our speaker for our afternoon meeting. Cameron informed us the swamp is the largest remaining shallow freshwater marsh in the Port Phillip and Western Port region, 590 hectares in size. Some 29 ecological classes of vegetation are found within the swamp. Over 150 species of birds and 8 frogs species have been observed in the swamp also. Cameron was pleased to inform us the Council has recently purchased a large parcel of land in the area in Capel Sound with a view to restoring the area. Of concern is the fact that VicRoads has some of this area designated for future road developments. Save Tootgarook Swamp and SPIFFA are hoping that this area can be reclassified and an alternative route be found for future freeway extensions. More information can be found at – https://www.savetootgarookswamp.org
As usual there were lots of lovely specimens on our plant table. Those that caught my eye included- a Lamberti orbifolia,
a Grevillea ‘Yamba Sunshine’,
an unusual Crinum pedunculatum
and a lovely bonsai specimen that member, Sue Gilbert has been creating using a coastal tea tree, Leptospermum laevigatum. Well done Sue.
Plant of the Month – April
A more than suitable plant flowering in our garden presently is a Callistemon Anzac White. It doesn’t mind the slightly clay conditions. This is its second year in our garden and it has delicate white bottlebrushes. Sadly they are soon gone when the wind blows. The plant is spreading horizontally well but we are waiting for a bit of vertical growth as it could reach a metre and a half in height whilst having the potential to spread out as far as three metres wide.
Members of APS Mornington Peninsula are again able to order Bush Tucker or other Neutrog products in bulk quantities. This year there is a handling cost of $2 per item meaning 20kg Bush Tucker would be $32 inclusive. If you are interested send an email to mornpenaps.gmail.com, marking it Attention:Jenny. Deadline for orders is Friday 11th May so be quick.
As Karen and I will be away during the period from June to August I would appreciate anyone attending our excursions, planting/weeding days or our meetings to hear a guest speaker writing a brief report and/or sending me some photos for our web newsletter. Mark them Attention: Mark Allison and send to our email address – firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming Up – Saturday 19th May
Our next excursion is to Main Ridge to hear from Dr Greg Holland from Landcare. Arrive at 10:15 for a 10:30 start. As well as an informative discussion there is an inspection of the property which is within the Greens Bush to Arthurs Seat biolink meaning walking is involved so come in suitable footwear. If you are coming look for the yellow APS marker at 356 Baldrys Rd, Main Ridge. You can park in the paddock to the left, just off the main driveway. Hope to see you there.