aps mornington peninsula

APS Mornington Peninsula is a local member group of Australian Plants Society Victoria.

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Winter 2020 newsletter

Hello members and other readers,

What a disrupted year we have endured so far due to the covid-19 situation. The vast majority of the events, activities and walks our committee had planned have sadly ended up on the cancellation scrapheap. Unfortunately our plant sale also had to be abandoned. We managed one meeting and one excursion before all this happened. You’ll be able to read more about these below. Once restrictions eased the committee managed to organise some walks, some originally planned and some now more recently planned. More about them later in this newsletter too. Unfortunately at the time of publication we are now back in lockdown and waiting for restrictions to ease again.

The only good thing to result from this situation is that many of us have spent a lot of our time in our gardens. Karen and I have been able to further develop our garden and I have included photos of our garden expansion.

If you have done likewise I would be keen to show off your garden improvements too so do contact me via email at mornpenaps@gmail.com, marking the photos or items Attention: Mark Allison. Thanks.

Members’ Presentations – Tuesday 18th February

Back on Tuesday 18th February we held an evening meeting and four of our members made short presentations about their gardens.

First up was Rob Powell. Rob showed us plans he had drawn up before commencing a redevelopment of his garden. He was able to show us before and after photos too. He has used an App to detail all these developments. It is called Gardenize. Rob has also begun propagating in a small hothouse.

Yours truly spoke next. I focused on the development of garden, starting with infrastructure, the value of our garden to the birds, bees and other wildlife before showing some photos of groundcovers and other favourite shrubs.

Next Roo Rawlings shared her passion for Banksias, showing photos of some wonderful species including Banksias occidentalis, prionates, spinulosa and Mini Marg.

Our final presenter was Sue Gilbert who shared her interest in the Woolemi pines growing in her garden. She originally started with one but a second self sown one has grown in her garden. She has also grown one from a cutting which she brought in a pot. Sue also handed out seed to members interested in growing one themselves. Thanks Sue.

The evening continued with a look at cuttings on our plant table. Here are a few that caught my interest.

Banksia burdettii

Eucalyptus sinuosa

Veronica perfoliata

Kawarra Australian Plant Garden – Saturday 22nd February

Nearly twenty members drove into the Dandenongs to Kawarra Australian Plant Garden for our Saturday afternoon excursion on the 22nd February. This magnificent Eucalyptus cinerea (Argyle Apple) guarded the entrance.We were lucky to have one of the former staff members, Lindy Harris-Molyneux as our guide for the afternoon. After she related a brief history of the garden, as we sat in the shade, we wandered around the garden.

Here is a selection of the plants in bloom that we admired as we walked around.

Acacia linafolia

Grevillea insignia subspecies. elliotii

Crowea exalata

In one of the meeting rooms we could also browse the wonderful Banksia drawings by Ian Wallace on display.At the conclusion of the visit many members took advantage of the opportunity to purchase plants from Kawarra’s nursery at very reasonable prices.Plant of the Month- February

During February our Brachyscome multifidas were on show. We have mostly purple flowers but a few white ones too. However this purple one decided it would be a bit of both. Not sure what caused this unusual look.

Plant of the Month- March

Our Banksia occidentalis (Swamp Banksia) has been in bloom since March. It has continued to bloom until now, with a couple of hundred cones on show over the time. It is now over two metres tall and wide. Suspect all the rain we’ve had has helped.

Hanging Basket

Sadly the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show didn’t go ahead this year. Here is a shot of the hanging basket entry prepared by Robyn Tyson to represent our group. “It contains a poa grass, sedge, thryptomene payneii in flower and acacia cognata, with a  scleranthus. Concept was a creek bed with the scleranthus as a pond but it’s a bit overgrown now.” Thanks Robyn.

Plant of the Month- April

For the first time our Melaleuca lateritia flowered this Autumn. Although still only about half a metre tall it had more than twenty blooms. Sitting on a sloped site near the front drive it was certainly stunning.

Main Ridge Conservation Reserve walk – Saturday 30th May 

After many weeks of isolating ourselves from each other, when covid-19 restrictions on group sizes were eased this enabled our APS group to embark on the first of a series of walks. Meeting at 1:00pm we sprayed our shoe soles and headed off to explore this reserve.

The reserve is well forested with areas of ferns. Along the way we spotted quite a few fungi.

A number of fallen trees were well covered in moss and lichen. Quite a few of the Eucalypts were hosting mistletoe. We even managed a splash of Epacris impressa on the final leg of the circuit.Thanks to Chris and Glenys Long for supplying hot drinks at the end of the walk while we chatted at a safe social distance from each other.

Plant of the Month- May

This Grevillea iaspicula from Eva and Ray Turner’s garden has been in glorious bloom. It’s quite rare so its lovely to be able to feature it here. Apparently there are only about 100 plants left in the wild near Wee Jasper in NSW.

Grevillea iaspicula

Seaford Wetlands walk – Saturday 13th June

Photo – Verena Reich

Treasurer Chris Long met the group in his ‘back yard’ and gave us a brief history of the wetlands and the current revegetation development of the woodlands area. Initially our walk was in the woodlands area. Mosquitoes were noticeable. So we mostly kept moving.Areas of recent plantings were evident.Some more established plants from previous plantings were in bloom like this Acacia suaveolens.

Photo – Verena Reich










Some more established Banksias and Eucalypts were also flowering.

Eucalyptus camaldulensis

We did two small circuits around the wetlands. Like our previous walk some fungi were also spotted by the more observant in our group.An enjoyable afternoon tea at Chris and Glenys’ house was a convivial way to finish the walk. They have made good use of their nature strip area.

Photo – Chris Long

The back yard is a lovely haven.

Photo- Chris Long

This Eremophila glabra ‘Shark Bay’ was a mass of flowers.

Photo – Chris Long

Acacia photo feature

Much of our recent weather has been reasonably sunny for this time of the year but some have been downright dreary. So the bright yellow of our Acacia baileyana prostrate has been a real bright spot in our garden.Over at the Turner garden they have been spoilt with quite a display. Here’s some lovely snaps. Not sure who took them, Ray or Eva, but I believe they’ve been taken on Eva’s mobile. Thanks again for sharing.

Acacia denticulata

Acacia wildenowiana

Acacia jibberdingensis

Acacia continua

Acacia guinetii

Acacia suaveolens

Plant of the Month- June

In Ray and Eva Turner’s garden this unusual Grevillea jephcottii is another star. It’s found in the wild in north east Victoria but is doing very nicely in their garden. From a photographic point of view I like the detail Eva’s new phone is producing.

Warringine walk – Saturday 27th June

About twenty members gathered at the Jack’s Beach carpark for this walk on June 27. After checking in and spraying our shoes we took a quick look at a patch of nodding green hooded orchids (Pterostylis nutans)

Photo -Verena Reich

before setting off north along the trail in smaller groups. It was a bit muddy in spots.So the sections of boardwalk through the woodland area were better to walk on.Leaving the Swamp paperbark (Melaleuca ericifolia) woodland behind the view opened up as we came into the actual wetlands.

Photo – Mark Allison

Samphire (Salicornia quinqueflora subs. quinqueflora) was prevalent along the boardwalk.A lot of seeds from the white mangrove (Avicennia marina) could be seen in the water (alongside the crab holes), with quite a number of newly sprouted plants making their mark.

Photo – Verena Reich -Avicennia marina

Photo -Verena Reich

Further along we passed an area of grasslands.After stopping at the bird observation deck for a look

Photo- Mark Allison

we made our way back along the same route before stopping for a socially distanced cuppa and a chat. Thanks again to Glenys and Chris Long for providing it.

Plant of the Month- JulyAnother striking specimum found in Eva and Ray Turner’s garden is this Beaufortia squarrosa. From the next photo you can see how prolifically it flowers and how well it spreads.Social distanced walk

Although we are pretty much locked down if you live near to Devil Bend, then member, Robyn Tyson, recommends taking a walk there. The paths may be a bit muddy in placesbut the spectacular Epacaris impressa is there to be enjoyed.

Spectacular Epacris impressa

Say hi to some Hibiscus

Robyn Tyson sent me some photos of a couple of Aussie Hibiscus flowering in her garden. Even though we can’t visit her garden currently due to the lockdown the next best thing is a virtual look at these couple of beauties.

“The first is a pink Hibiscus splendens, interesting grey hairy leaves and vibrant large pink flowers which unfortunately only last a day, a quick growing tallish shrub from NSW and Qld. Mine is in fairly shady spot.
The second is a yellow flowering Hibiscus heterophyllus with sandpaper dark green leaves. These are in the Malvaceae family.”Thanks Robyn. They are both stunning.


Whilst we are unable to meet or walk together feel free to send photos or articles of interest to our email account mornpenaps@gmail.com marking them Attention:Mark Allison so that we can enjoy seeing them in our next newsletter. Stay safe, fit and healthy until next time.

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October 2019 Newsletter

Spring is here. Yes, it is changeable and we still have the odd day that reminds us of Winter but we only have to look in our gardens to see plants bursting into bloom, like our gorgeous Isopogon formosus, to know it is now Spring.

Here’s a rundown on the events that helped us make it through Winter.

July 20 – Trevor Blake – Banksias

This afternoon meeting was well attended and our speaker Trevor Blake left a lasting impression with those in attendance. To quote our Secretary Jenny Bolger, “Trevor gave us a really interesting talk on banksias, including diagrams of flowers, fruits and leaves to aid in identifying members of the banksia family.  He had a terrific array of photos of banksias from both Western Australia and the eastern seaboard. We all came away much more knowledgeable about this beautiful species. Or is it genus – will leave that one with you!” Thanks also for these photos of our plant tables too Jenny.

Plant of the Month – July

Banksia coccinea from Verena’s garden.

“In the winter of 2014, I planted 3 small Banksia coccinea (8cm square pots) and watched them grow steadily, pinching out the tips to make them bushy.  Now the books say that B. coccinea is “shy to flower in Melbourne” so when no flowers appeared, I resigned myself to accept the attractive foliage as a nice screen.  Until last year, when two of the plants bore a couple of flowers each.  Then there was an anxious watch for the impact of a swamp rat who decided to make some tunnels underneath.

But – but – in May of this year, the same 2 plants started to show so many flower buds that I stopped counting.  Now I’m doing the happy dance whenever I see the multitude of flowers held so high that I can see them from afar!   I did tell the third plant that unless it flowered, I would use its space for something else. And the third plant now has 1 flower bud, so I think it can stay. And the swamp rat disturbance doesn’t seem to have affected them in any way.
Who says Winter is dull in the garden?”
Devilbend Reservoir
Ranger Sam Pollard again offered our group and other groups of like minded, interested people the opportunity to participate in Planting and Weeding days at Devilbend Reservoir. Held on July 27 and August 24 respectively, several of our members were able to help out at the planting day on July 27. Thanks.
Vale- John Rawlins
APS Mornington Peninsula is sorry to pass on the sad news that John Rawlins, one of our founding members, died suddenly a short time ago.   John had had MND for the past 8 years, but still managed to be active in Birds Australia, PROBUS and APS Mornington Peninsula.  With a strong environmental interest, he participated in water testing activities for the Balcombe Estuary Reserves Group and monitoring of Hooded Plovers.  John attended most of our meetings, contributing to many a Plant Table.  Those of us on the recent BERG excursion in May enjoyed morning tea hosted by him and Roo.
Another interest was golf, so it was fitting that a celebration of his life was held on Saturday 31 August at the Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club, Skye. A number of members attended and we were pleased to provide flowers also. Our condolences to Roo.


August 20 – Mornington Peninsula Shire Ranger, Gerard Cook

– Mornington Peninsula Bushland Reserves: Revegetation and Biodiversity

August 20 was another afternoon meeting at Bentons Square. Gerard Cook from the Mornington Shire Council gave a talk on the parks, reserves and sundry lands that his team manage on the Peninsula. This is carried out with aid from friends’ groups, green army and other community input. They manage in the region of 2000 hectares, but their jewel in the crown, so to speak, is Peninsula Gardens in Rosebud. The talk covered the history of acquisition, the different types of weed control and non native tree eradication, some conservation plans and techniques used. They have large stands of grass trees, Xanthorrhoea Australis, which they are cultivating at the shire nursery to re introduce into the area. There is a rainforest plant found there, common name Muttonwood(Rapanea howtitteana) which is recolonising quite vast areas.

Thanks to Robyn Tyson for this report.

Plant of the Month – August

After returning from warm Queensland we were pleased to see our two Phebalium squamulosum in bloom. The flowers are small and delicate looking but clump profusely as you can see.

Don’t forget if you have a plant that is in bloom that you would like featured in one of our newsletters just send an email to mornpenaps@gmail.com with a photo attached. Keep file sizes below 1Mb please. Include a short blurb about where it is growing, how old it is etc in the subject line and mark it – Attention to Mark Allison. Thanks.

APS Alice Springs

If you are like us and plan on exploring more of our wonderful country you may like to consider Alice Springs. If so APS Alice Springs has produced some excellent brochures to help you identify some of the plants they have and also those further north in Katherine. Here’s the details on their advertising flyer.


September 21

It was an early start for the September 21 excursion to the Peninsula Gardens Bushland Reserve led by Mornington Peninsula Shire Ranger, Gerard Cook. This walk was a follow up to the talk on August 20. Sadly only a few of our group braved the inclement weather. There was Bearded heath, (leucopogon) in flower and several egg and bacon pea flowers(Pultanea and Bossiaea). We found a couple of Orchids in flower(glossodia) and both white and pink sundews (drossera). It is quite heath like being on sand dunes, low understory and several types of eucalypt canopy trees. One even with a mistletoe.

Flowering Xanthos

Thanks to Robyn Tyson for the words and Ruben Buttigieg for the photos.

Plant of the Month – September

Robyn was also pleased to send me a success from her garden as our September plant of the month.

“Hidden cleverly amongst the leaves are the flowers of this Eremophila serpens. I’ve grown it in a hanging basket as they tend to disappear in my garden.”

Robyn also reported to me that after no success with last year’s ‘plant out’ seeds she tried what the Rawlins had done and sowed this year’s seeds into a pot. Some success but when hit by a cold weather snap that was the end of it.

More luck with her Kunzea baxteri though Robyn reports, “Earlier on in the year, on a visit to Verena’s garden, she was showing me a flower. I knew it wasn’t a Kunzea but some tricky western Australian thing. ‘Regelia,’ she said, ‘Ahh yes,’ I said.

At our next meeting a red flower was labelled as purchased Kunzea baxteri. It was the misleading Regelia popping up its head again. They are from the same family but have definite different characteristics. I can’t grow a Regelia, but my Kunzea Baxterii is doing just fine.”
Here are a couple of photos of her much loved Kunzea baxteri.
Thanks Robyn for your contributions.
October 5 – Bob and Dot O’Neill – Garden excursion.
Twenty lucky members made the drive out to Narre Warren South to 2005 Gardening Australia winners, Bob and Dot O’Neill’s magnificent garden. We started with the Correas 
and other gems along the driveway

before touring the rest of the garden.

Banksia undata var. splendens (formerly Dryandra praemorsa v splendens)

Dot’s standard Grevilleas certainly are a feature of the area around the front door.
Some of our group even checked out Bob’s propagating set up and learnt a few of his propagating secrets.
It was tempting to keep exploring but we did find time for a lovely morning tea and chat. I’m sure a few of our group found a few last flowering treasures
on their way back along the driveway after a wonderful morning.
Plant of the Month – October
Only planted this year, we were excited to have our Verticordia chrysantha erupt into flower. It needs soil with good drainage and as parts of our garden are mostly clay we had to be careful where we planted it but so far so good.
October 15 – Mark and Karen Allison – Floral and other highlights of north Western Australia.
Karen and I had the pleasurable task of presenting a talk and slideshow of floral and landscape highlights of our 2018 caravanning trip to Western Australia to about 20 members who attended. We focused on the Kimberley, Broome, Pilbara and Cape Range regions.

Solanum lasiophyllum with small spider

Thanks to those who provided samples from their garden to the plant table. Robyn Tyson took us through them in plant families. Here are a few that caught my eye-

Verticordia ovalifolia

Grevillea intricata

plus this mixed bunch of Alyogyne huegelii of varying shades from several gardens.

Alyogyne huegelii

Coming Up
Hope to see you at one or both of these events coming up on our calendar.
Saturday 9th November 
10:30am Garden Visit – Sue Gilbert’s garden, Mt Eliza

Tuesday 19th November

7:00pm for a 7:30pm start at Benton Square Community Centre

Speaker – Royce Raleigh – Lesser Known / Small Plants in the Garden

plus Annual General Meeting.