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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January 2020 Newsletter

Hello members and other readers,

Happy New Year! Hopefully your garden is surviving this very mixed bag of weather that the summer is providing. Since our last newsletter we have finished 2019 off with our end of year lunch and garden wander at our leader, Verena Reich’s garden.

Now our committee is planning 2020’s calendar of events. More about that later.

Here’s a quick review of the last excursion and final speaker of the year for 2019.

Garden Visit – Saturday 9th November

On  a grey Saturday 9th November thirteen plucky and lucky members had the pleasure of visiting member, Sue Gilbert’s garden in Mt Eliza.

The garden is a mix of native and exotic plants but Sue has an ever increasing passion to add more native plants as she and her husband develop the garden. Just near the front gate is one of Sue’s pride and joys, a thriving Wollemi pine.

Another obvious feature are the two large rocks in the very front of the garden.Sue has made use of a variety of pots to show off more recent additions to the garden.I quite liked this sculpture too.The garden wander continued to the back gardenbefore we had a chance to look at Sue’s bonsai collection.Our visit concluded with a lovely morning tea inside.


Speaker – Royce Raleigh – Lesser Known / Small Plants in the Garden – Tuesday 19th November

We were fortunate to have Royce Raleigh as our speaker for our November meeting. He was indeed able to show us some lesser known but very beautiful plants that he has growing in his garden in Wartook in the Grampians. His talk dealt with the plants in alphabetical order. Many were WA plants. Some are grafted but many are on their own roots. The Raleighs garden is based on a sandy shale clay soil at Wartook. They use scoria as a mulch. Here are a few of the beautiful plants he shared with those present. The photos are from our leader, Verena’s photo collection from a trip to WA plus she is lucky enough to have the last one, the Verticordia grandis in her garden.

Chamelaucium megalopetalum

Hovea pungens

Lechenaultia formosa

Verticordia grandis

After Royce’s presentation there was an opportunity to buy plants Royce had propagated. If you missed this presentation a complete list of the over 100 spectacular plants can be obtained from either myself or Verena. Requests can be made to our email address, mornpenaps@gmail.com

Following that we had many lovely samples on our plant table. Here are a few that caught my eye.

Chamelaucium X Verticordia ‘Paddy’s Pink”

Melaleuca wilsonii

Hymenosporum flavum, (native frangipani)

Plant of the Month – November

Verena was pleased to send me this photo of her Pileanthus rubronitidus which was at its peak blooming in November. It was one of many Royce Raleigh featured in his presentation to our group. It loves sandy conditions which is why it loves Verena’s garden!

Pileanthus rubronitidus

Plant of the Month – December

Even though it isn’t very big we were again pleased to see our Banksia ashbyi come into flower with two cones just in time to show it off to relatives and friends over the festive season. It does prefer sandier soils but so far is handling our Dromana soil.

2020 Calendar

Our new calendar of events for 2020 is now taking shape. For an early sneak peek click on the Calendar tab at the top of this page. As events are finalised the calendar will be updated. Our first evening meeting on Tuesday 18th February will feature five of our members giving you an insight into what is happening in their gardens. Following that our first excursion for the year will be on Saturday 22nd February with a 1pm visit to the wonderful Kawarra gardens at 1190-1192 Mount Dandenong Tourist Drive, Kalorama in the Dandenongs.

You also need to reserve a place in your 2020 diary for our fabulous plant sale which will be held on Saturday 2nd May at Seawinds Gardens in Arthurs Seat.

Plant of the Month – January

This stunning Verticordia monodelpha can be found in our leader, Verena’s garden. Almost looks unreal but obviously likes the conditions in Rosebud. The tiny but delicate flowers make quite show, although not as magnificent as in previous years – hard to believe.

Verticordia monodelpha

Remember, if you have a special plant in bloom in your garden that could be featured in the Plant of the Month section 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 mark it – Attention to Mark Allison. Thanks.

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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.

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June Newsletter

Hello readers,

Welcome to our Winter newsletter. Hope you have finished your Autumn planting and your garden is ready for the winter rain. Here’s the news about our meetings and excursions that have taken place in the early part of this year.

February 19 – Committee Members’ Gardens

Several of the committee gave brief reports about their gardens and other experiences with cultivating native plants. Ranging from Robyn and Karen reporting on how they have developed their gardens since moving to their current houses to Jenny and Chris explaining how they have renovated parts of their established gardens plus Rueben who gave a brief presentation about working at Cranbourne Botanical Gardens. All very interesting and a varied range of presentations supported by slideshows made it an interesting meeting.

Eremophila mackinlayi

Plant of the Month – February

We liked it, but our bees liked it even more when our Scaevola albida ‘Mauve Clusters’ were in bloom. There are four scattered around our garden and even though they did like a drink of water during the hot weather they spread out and burst into bloom.

Seen in a member’s garden

The item in last year’s member questionnaire that got the least enthusiastic response was the topic “formal gardens”.  But formality has some uses.   Now if you found a self-seeded Coastal Tea Tree ( Leptospermum laevigatum) growing at the corner of your house, you’d be likely to growl and pull it out, wouldn’t you?   Well, this is how one of our members, Ruth Caple, has dealt with just this situation – Ruth likes a touch of formality and has a great sense of humour!

March 9 –  Bonsai Workshop

This session was a follow up for those lucky members who participated in Charles’ previous Bonsai workshop. Thanks to Charles for again sharing his expertise. Thanks to Ray and Eva Turner for these photos taken at the workshop.

March 16 – Propagation Workshop

Thanks to our Secretary Jenny Bolger for this report about our Propogation Workshop.

“What a great propagating workshop!”   That was the general response to the hands-on experience of the 13 APS members who attended the workshop held at Seawinds Nursery on Saturday 16 March.  Participants could bring along cuttings, seeds and plants for division, but there was also plenty of material available to practise on.  Three workstations were set up with Charles Saffroy in charge of seeds, Ruben Buttigieg doing the divisions, and Seawinds volunteer Tony Thake passing on his great expertise in cuttings.  We spent about an hour at each station, and it was amazing how the time just flew by.  As usual morning tea had a lovely spread of delectable edibles brought along by the participants, and it kept us going as we learnt and practised the tips passed on by our instructors.  A huge thank you to Seawinds Nursery for hosting this terrific morning, and to Trish Allen for helping set it up. And for those who missed out, watch this space for next year!

Plant of the Month – March

After only planting it last year our Alyogyne huegelii has been in constant flower most of the year but was at its best in March. Even though our soil isn’t sandy so far it is handling being in our garden.

April 23 – Balcombe Creek Conservation

The guest speaker at this afternoon meeting was Liz Barraclough who shared with members her experiences with BERG (Balcombe Estuary Rehabilitation Group). They have been responsible for the restoration and preservation of the Balcombe estuary and the creek upstream since 1987.

Plant of the Month -April

Even though it suffered a bit during the summer this Goodenia Ovata ‘Gold Cover’ has shown a good recovery and gave a lovely yellow splash to the garden in April. We only have one so far but it lends itself to being in a row or group of three or so.

May 4 – Annual Plant Sale

Our Annual Plant Sale was again held at Seawinds Gardens in Arthurs Seat but in a different, and from all reports, better location. Many thanks to the nurseries who attended, those who helped and of course those members of our group and the public who came and purchased the odd one or ten plants. A steady flow of about 200 people visited the sale on the day. Most were locals but a few were from Melbourne. Obviously purchasing plants from the growers was the main activity but Glen from AustPlant had a range of garden sculptures available, selling quite a few. The weather was generally kind with a few brief showers only. Best of all a number of the visitors took membership forms so we may see some new faces at future meetings and excursions. Hope you found a bargain or two or perhaps purchased a special plant for your garden.

May 18 – Balcombe Estuary Walk

Members again had the opportunity to tap into Liz Barraclough from BERG as she guided a walk upstream and shared her knowledge about the main features of the Balcombe Estuary and its flora and fauna.



We don’t usually include ads in our newsletter but this came via BERG’s newsletter and if you become involved you’re not only helping someone in need but helping the environment. The quality isn’t great but you can hopefully read it.

Plant of the Month – May

Over the years we have had a Hakea laurina in each of our last three gardens however this one is the first to survive not being blown over by strong winds. It’s not that our property isn’t in a windy position it’s just that this time this one has been able to establish itself because we planted smaller plants and ground covers near it to offer good protection. The pincushions are lovely but when it is in pre-bloom like this it looks other worldly.

June 18 – Plant identification with basic botany

Tony Thake, who many of our members met at the propagation workshop at Seawinds earlier in the year, was the guest speaker. He began by telling us of his working life in horticulture. His studies and research brought him into contact with the work of early Australian botanists, most notably Baron von Mueller. Tony showed some historical plant pressings before sharing resources he refers to in helping him identify plants. These included Plant Keys, Botanical dictionaries and reference books as well as plant samples from his own garden. Tony then highlighted a few plants from the well laden plant table.

Eucalyptus caesia ‘Silver princess’

Banksia coccinea

Hakea lissocarpha

Banksia baueri

Plant of the Month – June

Yes, I know they flower for most of the year, but when not much else was flowering at the start of the month our Grevillea ‘Robyn Gordon’ was one of the stars in our garden. It can handle just about any soil type and flowers year round so the birds love it.

Vale – Phillip Robinson

We are very sad to relate that our beloved founder and former secretary Philip Robinson died peacefully at home on June 10. Philip was the prime mover in the re-establishment of the Mornington Peninsula District Group in October 2010. He was our secretary for the first few years as well as Newsletter Editor. Before that, he was the APS Victoria Editor of Growing Australian. In 2014, he was awarded the APS Victoria Impressa Award for Outstanding Service.

APS Victoria Impressa Awards, one presented to Philip Robinson

Because of his declining health, we haven’t seen much of him recently, but his cheerful enthusiasm and challenging ideas have always been a stimulus for the committee. His funeral was held at Tobin Brothers, Mt Martha on June 18. Thanks to member, Sonya Bunting, for the photo of the lovely flowers which were supplied by APS Mornington Peninsula as a tribute to Philip’s contribution to our group.

Membership Renewals

Membership renewals are due as of July 1st so please contact our Treasurer, Chris Long to arrange for your renewal. The good news is that they haven’t increased in price.

Coming up – 

Saturday 20th July

2:00pm for 2:30pm start at Benton Square Community Centre

Speaker – Trevor Blake – Banksias


Saturday 27th July

Devilbend Reservoir 9:30am

Planting morning – Ranger Sam Pollard

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February Update

Melaleuca nesophila

Hello members and other readers,

Our committee has been busy organising another interesting and varied program of speakers, workshops and excursions for the upcoming year. To kick the year off they have volunteered to do a show and tell of their personal gardening experiences with Australian Natives on the evening of February 19th. At the start of March, member, Charles Saffroy, will again offer a small workshop opportunity for those who would like to learn about using Australian Natives as a bonsai. Then on the 16th of March a bigger opportunity for members to experience a variety of propagating methods is on offer up at Seawinds Nursery in Arthurs Seat. At this point the committee is still waiting to confirm the full program. Click on the Calendar tab to see the most up to date version of the 2019 program.

Plant of the Month – January

A Crinum lily from member Robyn Tyson’s garden has been giving her a lot of pleasure too as you can read about here.

Crinum pedunculatus

‘Last year as part of Verena’s rearrangement of her pond area, she needed to rehouse a couple of lilies. She asked me if I wanted one, I said yes without really knowing what I was getting. It took a tarp, a wheel barrow and lots of newspaper to move the metre high plant. Verena said it did best in full sun and didn’t mind get wet. So this wrapped up plant sat in my carport while I tried to work out where to put it. One son said that it doesn’t fit into the garden, but I’m a sucker for plants being given away, half my garden is made up of these. So it was planted near the frog bog in full sun, watered, given a feed of Seasol and fed with Bush Tucker. Fingers crossed it lives. So at Christmas I was pleasantly surprised to find 2 flower buds, so I think it must like the sunny spot it’s in. Thanks Verena for my Crinum lily.’

Garden Visitors

As our garden develops we are pleased to welcome a variety of fauna into it. Over the summer we have had our usual family of magpies greeting us at the start of the day. We have also enjoyed visits by some King Parrots, Crimson Rosellas and Kookaburras, except the one who flew in and tried to steal a burger cooking on the barbecue.









Most recently I was surprised by this Blue Tongue Lizard when I moved a piece of black plastic lying on the ground. Actually it was equally surprised and quickly moved off into the safety of our ground covers.

Plant of the Month – February

Without a lot of rain one our focuses has been watering shrubs that have been planted in the last twelve months or so to keep them alive. Sadly a few only shrubs have died. This tough little plant, Eremophila ‘Augusta Storm’ has given us a good show of delicate purple flowers.

Early notice

Our annual plant sale will be held on Saturday 4th May this year. Keep the date free!

This is another great opportunity to find that special plant for your garden or perhaps buy several and expand.

Look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming meetings, workshops or excursions.

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Autumn 2018 Newsletter

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.

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.

Neutrog Offer

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.

Help needed

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 – mornpenaps@gmail.com

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.