December 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to our final newsletter of what has been another disrupted year due to the COVID19 pandemic. Since our last newsletter we have managed to have another meeting via Zoom plus two walks in November and our final breakup picnic in December. Our committee has been meeting behind the scenes to plan for 2022, hoping there will be more meetings at Benton’s Square, rather than via Zoom and of course a number of walks during the year too.

Have a wonderful festive season and see you next year.

All About Acacias – Bill Aitchison

On October 19th we were fortunate to have renowned Acacia enthusiast and expert, Bill Aitchison as a speaker for our meeting which was held via Zoom. He shared some wonderful Acacia photos as he discussed a variety of Acacias from groundcovers to shrubs to trees. He also shared some insights into the work of the Acacia Study Group, which he has been involved in for many years. It was lovely to see his photo presentation as he spoke. About twenty members attended and I’m sure we all saw an Acacia we’d like to add to our own gardens.

October Virtual Plant Table

Here’s a video of the collection of plants sent in by members for our virtual plant table. Several Acacias to start with but lots of other beauties. Thanks to those who contributed.

October Plant of the Month

Even though it flowers for much of the year our Grevillea ‘Molly’ was particularly spectacular during October. It is sited on a retaining wall and although it is only about 80 cms high it spills over nicely to soften the edges of the wall.

Westernport Coastal Reserve Walk

Thanks to Rob Powell for his report.

The excursion to Westernport Coastal Reserve at Bungower Road was enjoyed by 12 members on a pleasant afternoon weather wise. 
After being greeted by friendly mosquitos we set off along the horse trail and saw a large variety of plants, (Robyn could tell you the names, there were heaps), the bird life was also plentiful. 
Going through forest and ending up at wetlands where there was lots of Disphyma around the edge. 
Back through the forest to our starting spot. It had been a nice 1 1/2 hour walk on sandy tracks.

Here’s a few photos Rob took also.

Off we go.
Clematis vitalba
Disphyma crassifolium
Ozothamnus sp.
Senicio sp.
Thysanotus flower- chocolate fringe lily

Plant of the Month – November

Sitting right in front of one of Karen’s beehives is our Melaleuca hypericifolia ‘Ulladulla Beacon’ prostrate. It is a vigorous groundcover and flowered prolifically in November and enjoys its position on this sloping section of our garden. Plus the bees enjoy it too.

Melaleuca hypericifolia ‘Ulladulla Beacon’ prostrate

Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve

Again our reporter for this walk was Rob Powell. Many thanks for your report and photo selection Rob.

Our excursion to Langwarrin was done on a pleasant afternoon with 6 members and John. John was there to do his own exploring so Robyn invited him to join us. He had a vast range of knowledge from years of experience and was happy to share. 
Again, there was lots to see, including a blue tongue lizard (which was almost stepped on). 

The above mentioned blue tongue lizard
Drosera pygmaea
Horned orchid flower
Trachymene incisa
Xanthorroea minor
Afternoon tea to finish off

Callistemon Collection

Our leader reports on her Callistemon collection next.

I have in my garden 8 Callistemons, planted on my boundaries to absorb run off from neighbours pathways. They are varied in size from quite tall trees, 3m, to low almost prostrate shrubs. Their flowers are what attracts most gardeners and I have colours varying from white through to burgundy, the sizes of the flowers varies also, from small, almost Melaleuca size to large racemes of 10-15 cms. The leaves also vary from pine like foliage right through to broad leaves, almost like eucalyptus.They are bird and insect attracting, easily maintained by pruning straight after flowering, as they produce flowers for next season on new growth.The attached photos are of Callistemon pinifolios, which is usually a green flower,  but I have an orange form as well.

Callistemon pinifolius, green form
Callistemon pinifolius, orange form

End of Year Picnic

A small group of members met up at Mt Eliza Regional Park for an end of year picnic followed by a short walk. Branches down from recent storms were still needing cleaning up.

Picnic shelter at Mt Eliza Regional Park
Obstacle branches on walking trail
Cassinia sp.

Plant of the Month – December

It may be small and not entirely suited to a windy section of our garden but our Banksia ashbyi has provided a bright orange highlight for us to admire this month. Hope you like it too.

Banksia ashbyi

Remember, if you would like to have one of your favourite plants featured in our newsletter send them to our email,, putting ‘Attention Newsletter Editor’ in the Subject line. Thanks.

New Computer

Earlier on this year, after a failed application for a Grant to purchase a new computer, camera and microphone, we were contacted by ExxonMobil. They had some relatively new decommissioned computers that they wished to donate to community groups. After several phone calls and emails, failed meeting dates, it came to fruition on the 9th of December. Treasurer, Chris Long and Leader, Robyn Tyson went to Hastings to the ExxonMobil Plant, to meet with David McCord the Long Island Plant Manager of Production Operations. Due to restrictions both Covid and OHS they met in the carpark for the exchange, trying to find a native plant to have in a photo. We greatly appreciate this kind community minded gesture from a big local but global company. Thank you again Esso Australia.

Festive Season Greetings

I would like to wish everybody a safe, healthy festive season, don’t over-indulge, enjoy your time with family and friends, and we will all catch up next year. I would like to thank all the committee members for their continued hard work, and the other members who took up the challenge to help with the plant sale. Robyn Tyson, Leader.

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