The Australian Plant Society encourages “People from all walks of life with a passion to learn about, share, grow and conserve Australian native plants and their habitats”. (https://austplants.com.au), The South Eastern Region includes the flora of Eurobodalla and Bega shires and is one of eighteen district groups in NSW. South Eastern region aims to “promote an awareness of Australian native plants in our community, inform its members about native plants and act as a social group for people with an interest in these plants”. (https://austplants.com.au) We visit gardens, learn to propagate and graft plants, experiment with soil mixes, listen to guest speakers and enjoy ourselves at our monthly meetings. We learn from our experiences and can implement them into our own gardening practices. Currently we are in recess due to the covid-19 pandemic. However, whilst staying at home, many of us are spending more time playing and working in our gardens. There has been so much to do. Although enjoying the beauty of flowers is always a pleasure for the all the senses. The Joy of Native Australian plants Grevillea leptobotrys is endemic to South West Western Australia where it gets hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. It predominately occurs in eucalypt woodland. Here on the South East coast of NSW we are able to grow it because it is a grafted plant. A member of our group Phil, taught us how to graft plants on a visit to his and Catriona’s garden recently. This plant is about 18 months old and powered along in the drought and was able to tolerate the rains as you can see.
Grevillea longistyla (above) is a great favourite, it seems to be always flowering in my garden. It is a species plant from south east Queensland and grows really well in our local area. It grows into a shrub 3m x 3m approximately.
Grevillea ‘Dorothy Gordon” (above) is a hybrid between G. sessilis and G. paradoxa and grows 1.5m x1.5m. This plant in dry, tough conditions is on its own roots and flowers well. The other one is a young grafted plant, yet to flower growing in moister, protected conditions The drought saw the loss of plants, though indigenous plants seemed to be the happiest of all and continue to thrive.
Petrophile pulchella, (conesticks), is a common shrub found locally. It grows on shallow sandstone soils in open forest or heathlands near the coast, though in our garden it tends to grow anywhere. In one of our monthly meetings we saw these plants in the wild; no wonder they are called pulchella because they are so beautiful. We also learned to recognise the difference between Petrophile and Isopogon from two very knowledgeable members who happen to lead the NSW group on these plants. This is a diverse group of people with a common interest; the love of native plants and the wish to ensure their survival. The ongoing drought and the fires over spring and summer had a huge impact on our native flora and fauna.
Grevillea leptobotrys (above) is endemic to South West Western Australia where it gets hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. It predominately occurs in eucalypt woodland. Here on
the South East coast of NSW we are able to grow it because it is a grafted plant.
A member of our group Phil, taught us how to graft plants on a visit to his and Catriona’s
This plant is about 18 months old and powered along in the drought and was able to toler-
ate the rains as you can see. The ongoing drought and the fires over spring and summer had a huge impact on our native flora and fauna.
Many people lost their homes and some people lost entire gardens. We all saw the devastation first hand in nearby grasslands and forests. Much of the flora is coming back luckily; for the survival of the human race depends on the work of our interrelated ecosystems. The onset of rains, whilst welcome to all and sundry, saw the loss of more dry loving and dry tolerant plants.
This plant is a Scaevola (above), purple fan flower. It came through drought, fires and rains. You can see some burnt leaves in the mulch though the plant itself is growing and flowering beautifully now that it has rained. It evens seeds itself– great for a cottage garden effect. There has been a lot to process; our emotional, mental and physical health has taken a battering but I hope we can all still get down and dirty in the garden. Enjoy the beauty and peace of plants. Carolyn Hopefully our group will meet again soon. If you wish more information we can be contacted: firstname.lastname@example.org