Hurstbridge Wattle Festival 27th August 2017

Well it rained and rained some more, then it blew a gale and hailed.  It was freezing but fortunately abated enough for us to set up and gave us sunny breaks through the day.  It was muddy everywhere.  The gazebo threatened to blow away during on particularly intense squall then we rigged guy ropes up to the large drums of water which were placed on the four corner poles – that sorted it!  Meanwhile the wattles in bottles would get wet, blown over and then set upright again to continue shining forth.  And shine they did.  As you can see from the pictures there were times when we looked like the YETI – we had gloves, hats, hoods, jackets, boots, put the sides up on the gazebo and IT WAS STILL COLD.  However we bunkered down and just got on with it and it became fun.

The display was a show stopper.  We were visited by friends and family and lots of people just strolling by who were amazed at the range of wattles and the different colours.  Many stopped for a longer chat about what to grow where.  We all gave out small samples of wattle for buttonholes, hats and hair, initially to children then adults wanted them too.  It engaged and drew them to our display of about 40 species.  The red wattle (Acacia leprosa ‘Scarlet Blaze’) stopped them in their tracks as did A. sessilispica with its deep golden rods.

There were lots of wattles on display and we have to thank Jill and Jo for collecting many of them from their owners on Saturday afternoon, others for dropping off to Jill & Mike, thanks also to Jenny  for gathering up the red wattle and others & to Latrobe people – Mike Cincotta and Rick for selecting and bringing local indigenous species for us from La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary.  Some of them were: Acacia brownii, ulicifolia, stricta, provincialis, verniciflua, lanigera, melanoxylon, paradoxa, genistifolia, dealbata.  There were also some from Phil’s old place (collected by Miriam).

These were the species present on our tables: Acacia acinacea, aculeatissima, calamifolia, cardiophylla, covenyi, chinchillensis, cultriformis, drummondii, fimbriata, farinosa, genistifolia, glaucoptera, gracilifolia, imbricata, lanigera, lasiocarpa, leprosa, leprosa ‘Scarlet Blaze’, myrtifolia, paradoxa, phlebopetala, podalyriifolia, pycnantha, spectabilis, sessillispica, stricta, trigonophylla, verticillata, verniciflua Spicy (Heathcote form), vestita.

Thanks again to all those who gave us specimens for the display. It was GRAND.

Report by Miriam Ford.

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