A Visit to a Torquay garden – 12 August 2018

Torquay Garden: Following on from Lara, we toured to Torquay.  On finding John and Barbara’s property, we were again greeted by a large Banksia praemorsa at the front gate, stunning in full flower.  This garden, originally set up for Proteas and Leucodendrons for the flower trade, also has a large collection of Australian plants.  After a pleasant lunch and John making us welcome, we launched forth to explore.
Set on 5 acres and alive with birdlife, we gained some idea of the size that some of our plants can attain.  Some of the Eucalypts were not too large.  Eucalyptus preissiana, 1 to 3.5m (rarely to 7m), Eucalyptus tetraptera 1.5 to 4m, both responding well to pruning.  Some of the Grevilleas reaching an impressive full size here – G. intricata, preissii subsp glabrilimba (Seaspray), halmaturina subsp laevis.  Other Grevilleas of note were ‘Bush Lemon’, candelabroides and subtiliflora.  Acacia acinacea was full of flower, Hardenbergia ‘Happy Wanderer’ and Acacia aphylla together showing off flower, foliage and form.  Chamelaucium uncinatum – various forms and a double flowered form of Philotheca were eye catchers.  Some of the Eremophilas were glandulifera, mackinlayi and punicea (small, compact 1×0.8m), ‘excellent shrub for a small garden or unit where space is limited’ (Australian Eremophila, Boschen, Goods & Wait).  Another plant of note was a Doryanthes palmeri with the unopened spike arching down.  We rounded off the day with lovely cuppa with a range of delectable cakes, thanking John and Barbara for a wonderful afternoon.
Report: Peter Smith, Images: Miriam Ford, Jill Lulham, and Joanne Cairns.

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Kevin Hoffman Walk at Lara, Victoria – 12 August 2018

Kevin Hoffman Walk:  We all really loved this site and yet hardly anyone from the group knew about it. The Walk is an 800m scenic linear trail running parallel with Hovell’s Creek and easily accessible to locals and visitors for a walk in beautiful and inspiring surrounds.  Matt Leach, the gardening supervisor, and Beverley Hoffman (Kevin’s wife) explained the history and generously walked and talked with us as we made our way along, surprised at the wonderful growth and wide range of many favourite plants. We walked in dappled light amongst groundcovers, low grasses and herbs, medium and tall shrubs, many in flower, and a wonderful cover of Eucalypts including River Red Gums planted by Kevin. The 4m Banksias were amazing. Landscaping include sculptures and interesting installations.
It represents over 40 years of landscaping and planting of Australian natives by an inspired and hard working person, Kevin Hoffman. Beverley spoke of how Kevin was out there working away every day, before work, after work and section by section to fulfill his dream.
Now run by the Friends of Hoffman Walk with support from the City of Greater Geelong and Barwon Water, there is enthusiastic community support which ensures that the garden is going to be maintained into the future for all to enjoy. Put this on your list of special places if you haven’t been. It is well worth the effort.  Report: Joanne Cairns. Images: Miriam Ford, Joanne Cairns, and Jill Lulham.

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Flower Table August 2018

Another great selection of flowers brought to our August meeting from members’ gardens – in Early Spring.  Some of the more unusual ones this month were Calamphoreus inflatus, Acacia farinosa, and Leionema lamprophyllum, with some Correas still flowering this month.

Thanks to Ben Eaton and Mike R. for images.

Click on an image, and scroll through via the arrows. You may see extra information at the bottom of each image.

 

Australian Plants Expo: 8-9 Sept in Eltham

Put this one in your diaries – not to be missed!  Plant lists are starting to come in, so you can check them on our website home page now, right up to the day before, as they are updated.  Some great speakers coming – Phil Johnson, AB Bishop and Loretta Childs.  Lots of displays, and demonstrations.  Check the event on our Facebook page too for more details.  https://www.facebook.com/events/367624927095848/

 

A Colourful Native Garden in Research – July 2018

What an amazing, colourful and diverse range of plants to see on a cold but sunny July afternoon.  Our members took the opportunity to visit David and Christine’s garden in Research, which was packed with interesting natives.  David, well-known to near neighbours Agatha and Lyla (whose large garden he kindly assists with), also has an outstanding oz garden which he has been tending for some 30 years.  David briefly outlined the story of his garden, and we set off to investigate.

A large well-established Rhododendron lochiae, an Austromyrtus dulcis and a Macrozamia communis (?) were all doing well by the back door.  Attention focused on the well-formed flower spike of Doryanthes palmeri (Spear lily) with multiple buds on the spike unlike D. excelsa with only one flower head per spike.  Up some rock steps to the top area where local blended in with introduced natives and Templetonia retusa, Epacris longiflora, Acacia podalyriifolia and Eremophila georgei were all flowering.

We walked down the bush path beneath an aged Angophora hispida to the recently redeveloped frontyard.  A large Eucalyptus nicholii and Grevillea robusta stood tall by the driveway with Lasiopetalum behrii thriving beneath and Westringia “Mauve Skies” and W. “Deep Purple” close by.

More Eremophilas, blazing Templetonias, Grevillea “Firesprite”, G. “Honeybird Pink”, G. petrophiloides to name a few.  Up some rock steps to a secluded pond area framed by Prostanthera lasianthos, Melaleuca nesophila and Kunzea leptospermoides, were Indigofera australis, Veronica arenaria, Epacris impressa (pink and white) and greenhood orchids thriving en masse.  Another feature being an Alyogyne huegelii trained espalier style growing thickly against a wall.

The list could go on…..but the clouds were threatening so the group settled for a cuppa, enjoying more of Christine and David’s hospitality before departing with the arrival of the rain.

Report by Peter Smith

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Flower Table July 2018

Another great selection of flowers brought to our July meeting from members’ gardens – in Deep Winter.  Some of the more unusual ones this month were Banksia baueri (the Possum banksia), Thryptomene calycina ‘Little Treasure’, Micromyrtus leptocalyx, with Acacia merinthophora still flowering this month.

Thanks to Ben Eaton and Mike R. for images.

Click on an image, and scroll through via the arrows. You will see extra information at the bottom of each image.

A great garden visit to Karwarra Australian Botanic Garden – Sunday 10th June

This amazing public garden holds over 1400 different species and is set on 2 hectares of bushland reserve.  This Kalorama garden is run by Yarra Ranges Council with the assistance of a Friends group.  It’s worth noting the entry to the parking area and main entrance is not clearly signed.  (Much to my misfortune, Karwarra is also not listed in the TomTom GPS.   😉  Jill)

About 25 of us took advantage of a sunny winter’s day to explore the rich diversity of plants in the garden.  Several well defined gravel and bush paths branched out in different directions.  The plants were mostly well-labelled and the more recently planted areas in particular were ablaze with Epacris, Thryptomene, Banksias, Grevilleas, Correas, Hibbertias, Dampieras and Anigozanthos to name some of those in flower.  The foliage of the Thomasias, Pomaderis, Spyridiums, Melaleucas, Lomatias, Telopeas and numerous pea plants (some flowering) also vied for our attention.

People recalled plants and the copse of now mature snow gums from previous visits.  Lovely mature trees and some of the original canopy date back past 1965 when the gardens started.  Some of the older sections were in the process of being rejuvenated.  There were several old and newer ponds, all blending harmoniously with the surrounding bush. We rounded off the visit with a cuppa in the visitors’ centre, and some of us collecting souvenirs from the small well-stocked nursery.  All too brief.  We needed more time to explore the gardens fully and hear the story of this place and the people responsible.  A place with conservation, garden and people woven together…..not over engineered.

For some of the history of Karwarra there is an interesting article here .

Thanks to Peter for organizing and hosting the afternoon tea.

Report by Peter Smith, Jill & Joanne.

Images courtesy of Miriam Ford and Jill Lulham.

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Flower Table June 2018

Be inspired by this selection of flowers brought to our June meeting from members’ gardens – in Deep Winter. Some of the more unusual ones this month were 2 Wattles and a blue flowering herb: Acacia wildenowiana, Acacia merinthophora and Dampiera wellsiana.

Thanks to Ben Eaton and Rob for images.

Click on an image, and scroll through via the arrows. You will see extra information at the bottom of each image.

Private garden with Billabong in Donvale, Sunday 6th May

Some thirty years ago Bill and Sue had the vision to turn their bare block (former orchard) into a bush garden.  They used the services of Doug Blythe (landscape gardener), who shared their passion and also encouraged them to incorporate a large water feature, which nestles into the bottom section of the block abutting the Mullum Mullum Creek Linear Park.

Granite rocks, gravel and brick paving were used in a flowing, natural style.  The planting was mostly indigenous and has now matured into a natural bush haven for birds and other wildlife.

Last year Sue and Bill consulted with Phillip Johnson Landscapes.  Phillip and his team proceeded to transform their, by now, obsolete concrete swimming pool into a natural “Billabong” landscape.  A natural creek bed, fed off rainwater, winds down to cascade into the larger pool, whilst a secondary pool (former spa) falls also into the larger pool. Large mudstone slabs were craned into position creating the waterfalls, surrounds and the steps.  An impressive landscape – an ecosystem where plants, frogs and numerous other creatures thrive.

Thankyou to Bill and Sue for their hospitality, and for arranging the weather!

PLANT LIST for Billabong, Upper Pond and Creek, provided by Sue and Bill:

Acacia pravissima ‘Kuranga Cascade’, Adiantum aethiopicum, Apodasmia brownii (Coarse Twine Rush), Baloskion pallens, B. tetraphyllum ssp meiostachyum, B. tetraphyllum ssp tetraphyllum, Baumea juncea (Bare Twig Rush), Blechnum nudum,  (Fishbone Water Fern), B. penna-marina (Alpine Water Fern), Dichondra repens, Doodia aspera, Eleocharis acuta (Common Spike-sedge), Goodenia gracilis, G. humilis, Isotoma fluviatilis, Leptorhynchos tenuifolius (Wiry Buttons), Lythrum salicaria, Marsilea costulifera (Narrow-leaf Nardoo), M. drummondii (Common Nardoo), Mazus pumilio, Meeboldina scariosa (Velvet Rush), Myriophyllum crispatum, Nymphaea daubeniana “Dauben”, Nymphoides montana, N. spinulosperma (Showy Marshwort), Ottelia ovalifolia, Pellaea falcata (nana), Potamogeton crispus, Pratia pedunculata, Pycnosorus globosus (Billy Buttons)

Report by Peter Smith. (Thankyou also to Ben Eaton, Miriam Ford, and Jill Lulham for photos, and Miriam for video.)

Note: Phillip will be a speaker this year at our Australian Plants Expo at 2pm, 8th September.  Phillip Johnson has won many awards, including Best in Show at the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show (UK).

Also click on the video underneath the slideshow below.

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