Friends of the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden Port Augusta Incorporated


The Friends of the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden Port Augusta, Incorporated

NEWS RELEASE: 26-02-2001


The Society

Current Newsletter

Application Form


John Zwar

Ph (08) 867 0324 ah


Gwen Leane

Ph (08) 8643 6191


Bob Baird

Ph (08) 8643 6343

Tradesperson / Gardener

Bernie Haase

Ph (08) 8641 1443 ah
Ph (08) 8641 0711w

NEXT EVENT: March Meeting - Saturday 24th March 2001, 1.00pm in the WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room.
This will be our first meeting for 2001 and all friends and others interested are warmly invited to attend.

GUEST SPEAKER: Our guest speaker for the March meeting will be Howard Morgan, who is an exchange ranger from the UK, spending a year in SA at Mambray Creek in the Mount Remarkable National Park. Howard is a Warden in the Brecon Beacons National Park in South Central Wales, a position he has held since 1984. This National Park is about 70km long by about 15km wide but is very different from an Australian national park in that it includes agricultural land and villages as well as natural areas. There are larger towns on the park perimeter. Howard will show slides and talk about his experiences. It will be most interesting to compare his national park with the national parks with which we are familiar in Australia.

GARDEN LOCATION The AALBG's main entrance is off the Stuart Highway (Woomera Road) approx. 1.5km north of the junction with the Eyre Highway at Port Augusta West. Follow the entrance road into the garden to the car park (about 1.2km). Besides the Bluebush Cafe, the Visitor Reception Building houses a fine interpretive display, a large range of Australian made gift items and books in the shop (ideal Christmas gifts with 10% discount for Friends), and toilet facilities as well as the adjoining WMC Herbarium Meeting Room. Why not arrive early, visit the Garden and enjoy lunch in the Bluebush Cafe? (Cafe purchases also 10% discount for Friends – show membership card).

APRIL MEETING: Sunday 8th April 2001, 1.00pm in the WMC Herbarium Meeting Room at the AALBG.
(Note change of day to Sunday). This meeting will be only two weeks after our first meeting for the year. Our meetings are dependant on the availability of appropriate guest speakers, so are not always at regular intervals.
GUEST SPEAKER: The European theme will continue at this meeting when our Guest Speaker will be Dr Ursula Ewald, Professor of Geography at Heidelberg University in Germany, who will present an illustrated talk on –German Forest History and Exploitation” which will contrast with many of the presentations we have had focusing on arid zone horticulture, botany and natural history. Ursula was our Guest Speaker and gave two presentations to the Friends at our AGM in July 1999, during her last visit to Australia. Unfortunately she was diagnosed with cancer shortly after this and returned hurriedly to Germany for treatment. More recently she has returned to work following successful treatment, and will be visiting Australia for six weeks. She has maintained a close interest in our Garden and recently had an article featuring it published in a German garden magazine. (It will be on display at our next meeting). Ursula looks forward to renewing friendships with people she met in Australia during her last visit. This promises to be an interesting meeting.

JUNE MEETING: Saturday 2nd June 2001, 1.00pm in the WMC Herbarium Meeting Room at the AALBG.
GUEST SPEAKER: Back to an Australian theme for this meeting when Pam Catcheside a leading authority on fungi will speak and show slides on this fascinating topic with a particular focus on arid zone fungi. Pam and husband David may also undertake a fungal survey in the Garden if there has been rain. They are the states leading authorities on fungi and have added considerably to the collection in the State Herbarium. This is a topic we have not touched in our 17 years of meetings. Pam is also President of The Field Naturalists Society of South Australia Inc. More information will be provided in the May News Release.

LAST MEETING: Friends President and founder, John Zwar presented a well received illustrated talk covering aspects of environmental management at Olympic Dam and Roxby Downs, particularly water efficient landscaping. He also spoke on arid zone plants and landscaping from elsewhere in Australia and overseas, including aspects of his Churchill Fellowship study tour investigating amenity horticulture in arid regions on four continents.

The dinner was held in the Bluebush Café in the evening following the November meeting. Approximately 20 Friends enjoyed a fine three course meal. Thanks to the ladies staffing the Bluebush Café and to Morry Vile who handled bookings. This was a fitting way to end our activities for the year.

COMMITTEE MEETINGS: Committee members, please note there will be committee meetings held on Sat 24th March and Sat 2nd June at 10.00am in the WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room at the AALBG.

Friends are welcome to participate in these bird watching outings.

Sunday, 18th March 2001 Port Patterson - meet at weighbridge at Highway One south of Port Augusta, 8.00am
Sunday, 22nd April 2001 Mambray Creek - Meet at Mambray Creek Roadhouse, 8.00am
Sunday, 27th May 2001 Telowie Gorge - Meet at weighbridge on HIghway One 7.30am
Sunday 24th June 2001 Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, 8.00am
Sunday 29 July 2001 Pichi Richi Tourist Camp - meet at complex 8.00am
Sunday 26 August 2001 Lake Gilles Conservation Park -Meet at Tanks Carpark, Lincoln Gap 7.00am
Sunday 23 September 2001 Dutchman's Stern -Meet at Stirling North Deli 7.00am
Sunday 21st October 2001 Mambray Creek - Meet at Mambray Creek Roadhouse 8.00am
Sunday 18th November 2001 Chinaman's Creek - meet at turnoff on Highway One 9.00am
Sunday 9th December 2001 Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, 7.30am

For more detail and further information contact Peter on telephone (08) 8642 5723 or Brian on (08) 8642 3314

GARDEN REPORT 30.10.2000 ³ 16.2.2001 by Bernie Haase.
Welcome to the first report for this year. It has been a very hot start to the year with long hot periods and a top temperature of 47.3 degrees C and little rain for several months. Some young plants and even a few older ones have suffered, but others are thriving, as long as water is kept up to them. Some plant deaths have been caused by blocked drippers, usually blocked by ants desperate for water. New types of drippers (Netafim Landflow) are being used and are working well so far and Netafim Techflo are about to be used on new systems.
The usual work has continued, including propagating, planting, mulching, recording and labelling. Vandals have been quiet, with only the boundary fence and some irrigation lines cut. It must have been too hot for them!
From November 6th to 10th, Friends Brian Powell, John Zwar and I went on a plant collecting trip funded by the AALBG Board to the Gawler Ranges area. We stayed at Wudinna and covered the areas of Paney Station, Scrubby Peak, Yardea Station and Pinkawillinie Conservation Park. We collected seed, cuttings and dug up small plants, (with permission). Some cuttings were sent back to Port Augusta and prepared and planted by Friends volunteer propagators and Jimmy at the AALBG before our return. We stopped at Lake Gilles Conservation Park and collected more specimens on the return journey. Approximately 312 plants of 41 species were dug, 264 plants of 13 species were propagated from cuttings, and seed of 60 species was collected. It took a while to sort, identify, clean, and package the seed and to identify the other plants. Planting of the Gawler Ranges area in the Garden will occur when weather eases, to enhance the survival rate of plants. These plants will form the nucleus of the Gawler Ranges regional section.
The Flinders Ranges area has had irrigation installed and some planting done. Propagation of plants for this area is in full swing now and more seed of Flinders Ranges species was recently obtained from the Greening Australia Seed Bank at their Quorn depot. As room becomes available in the propagation house seed is sown.
Jimmy (apprentice gardener at the AALBG) and volunteer Brian Powell went to Rhonda and Peter Hall's Pinery Nursery near Balaklava and picked up a load of old stock eremophilas, not suitable for sale. These have been potted up and rejuvenated by Friends volunteer propagators and will be sold along with other surplus plants propagated by the Friends to raise funds for the Garden. The Friends shade house is full and a shade cloth covering was added to protect young plants from summer heat. Bruce and Gwen Leane and Bob and Mrs. Baird have regularly attended Friends propagation sessions.
The bird hides have had irrigation installed around them and screening plants planted nearby to help reduce their visual impact. I have been upgrading the site maps, compiled a list of eremophila species in the Garden and prepared a rare and endangered plant list of species suitable for the Garden. A rare plants area is to be established in the Garden soon. That's it for the first episode of life at the AALBG for this year.
B. Haase

EREMOPHILA BROCHURE: Besides text prepared by members of The Australian Plants Society the full colour brochure will feature paintings of eremophila species by Friend and painter Rosemary Pedler of Koolunga. The brochure is being produced by the AALBG Board, and will be available later this year.

WORKSHOPS AT AALBG: At the last committee meeting it was decided to investigate the possibility of conducting plant workshops for Friends and the wider community. Melissa Horgan, Bushcare Support Officer, Greening Australia, Quorn has agreed to conduct these. Two workshops are proposed as detailed below. If interested in participating please phone Gwen Leane 8643 6191, to register your interest and for further details.


EREMOPHILA FESTIVAL: This biennial event organized by the Friends is scheduled for Saturday 7th September 2002. Secretary Gwen is involved in planning and contacting potential speakers and participants. Please forward suggestions or requests to Gwen.

Date: Saturday April 7th 2001
Location: The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden
Time: 10:00am to 12:00pm
  • Workshop on plants of the Flinders Ranges and region
  • Slide show and introduction
  • How to identify plants
  • Suitable plants for the Garden
  • How to propagate native plants
  • Kids activities such as colours of the bush, bushland friends and how healthy is your scrub


Date: Saturday June 16th 2001
Location: Quorn Bushcare support Base and surrounding areas or the AALBG and surrounding areas
Time: 09:30am to 1:00pm
  • Workshop on seed collection of native plants
  • Recognising native plants
  • Legal aspects of seed collection
  • How to store seed
  • Brief propagation hints
  • Slide show and activities in the area
  • Kids activities match the plant and seed, seed shapes and seed critter


WIRRABARA FOREST WALK: A visit and guided walk through the Wirrabara Forest is proposed for April, date to be finalised. (21st 25th or the 28th April are being considered). A bus is being organised for transport. Times, cost and date selected will be announced at the March meeting. If interested in this outing please phone Gwen Leane or Bob Baird.

ROXBY DOWNS, ANDAMOOKA, WOOMERA TOUR: A weekend bustour to these northern towns is being planned for August 2001. Details will appear in future News Releases. An interesting program of visits to gardens and places of interest in each town will be developed. The tour will include an overnight stay.

PORT PIRIE SPEAKER: The Garden Club of Port Pirie invited Friends Committee Member Bruce Leane to speak at their meeting in February. It was a meeting of many clubs in one. Several 'Friends' were present; also representatives from the Australian Plant Society and members of the Garden Club. Bruce spoke on pruning fruit trees, gave tips on growing tomatoes successfully in the backyard, and other hints on growing. vegies and fruit. Apart from the heat, the meeting was friendly, and members were enthusiastic.

VOLUNTEER PARK: Maurice Vile attended a meeting to discuss the development of a Volunteer Park which will recognize the commitment and contribution of Port Augusta volunteers in their community.

BIRD HIDES: Two bird hides have been built in different areas of the garden by Port Augusta Bird Society members with support from other community groups. Local bird artist Peter Langdon is painting pictures and preparing text on some of the birds likely to be seen from the hides. When complete they will be prepared as information panels in full colour and mounted in the bird hides. The Friends are funding this work.

AUSTRALIA DAY AWARD: Committee Members Gwen Leane and Morry Vile accepted a Certificate of Recognition for the Eremophila Festival in the –Community Event of the Year” section of the Australia Day awards ceremony in Port Augusta on January 26th. The Eremophila Festival was instigated to showcase the Garden and the versatility and beauty of the Eremophila genus. Gwen said the Friends were delighted with the award and acknowledged that the Eremophila Festival was a team effort.

BOOK LAUNCH: After almost four years of high expectation, anticipation and despair, a book titled •The Fence is Down” by Gwen Leane (Friends Secretary) was finally launched at The Fountain Gallery, Port Augusta, at an exhibition titled •Looking After the Country” featuring the work of artist Lyn Hovey and photographer Reg Dodd, depicting outback South Australia, on 1.2.2001. –The Fence is Down” emphasises the need to keep the Dingo Fence, north of which the animal is allowed to run free, but south of the fence, in sheep country it will be run down and killed. The fence, properly maintained will provide the best of two worlds for the dingo and for landholders. The book is available at The Fountain Gallery Port Augusta, Meg's Bookshop Port Pine, The Port Pine Regional Tourism and Arts Centre, and also from Gwen Leane, P0 Box 608 Port Augusta 5700.

KALGOORLIE GARDEN: The Kalgoorlie ³ Boulder (WA) Native Plants Garden was established in 1995 by the Kalgoorlie ³ Boulder Urban Landcare Group. The Garden has 65 species of local native plants, suitable for growing in a Goldfields garden. Each is labelled with common and scientific names. There are also information signs on - mulching, waterwise gardening and weeds. The 1ha garden is located in Killington Crescent, Fairways, Kalgoorlie and is open to the public at all times. Its purpose is to encourage local residents to plant local native plants in their gardens, to show visitors the flora of the Goldfields region and to teach junior landcare and school children about local native plants. If in Kalgoorlie you may like to visit this garden.

NEW MEMBERS: A special welcome is extended to recently joined members of the Friends.

MEMBERSHIP: Would members please check the date on their News Release address label to see if their subscription is due? Renewed subscriptions are very much appreciated! Receipts are normally attached to the next news release to save on postage.

MEMBERSHIP CARDS: Don't forget to show your membership card in the AALBG shop to receive your 10% discount on purchases - including meals.

VOLUNTEER INSURANCE COVERAGE: All volunteers working at the Garden are covered by Council's insurance coverage, but each MUST sign a statement which indicates the work they are undertaking on behalf of the Garden Board within the AALBG site. All volunteers please check with Bruce Leane, Bernie or with Pauline Hedger at the Garden to ensure that you have signed the appropriate paperwork to ensure coverage in the event of accident or injury.

Issued 26.02.2001 by John Zwar President, The Friends of the Australian And Lands Botanic Garden, Port Augusta Inc., P0 Box 2040 Port Augusta SA 5700. Ph (08) 8671 0324 ah, (08,) 8671 8558w, Facsimile C/- (08) 8671 0179 or by e-mail

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