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: 01-11-2001


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: December Meeting - Saturday 1st December 2001, 1.00pm in the WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room.
All friends and others interested are warmly invited to attend.

GUEST SPEAKER AGM: Our-speaker will be Ronda Hall, accompanied by husband Peter, from Pinery Nursery, located on their farm, 1km from the small town of Pinery, on the Adelaide Road, midway between Balaklava and Mallalla —Ph (08) 8527 7018. Peter has collected eremophilas for more than 35 years and has built up a large collection of the genus. In more recent years he established a nursery, ,Intended as a retirement interest, but this snowballed. A sharefarmer farms his property and Peter spends much of his time in the nursery. Ronda and Peter are members of the Friends, and will join us for the Christmas Dinner in the evening too. They provided many of the plants for the Eremophila Garden at the AALBG, initially, and have provided many more since then. Many of these plants have been donated. Rhonda will bring a selection of Eremophila plants to the meeting and talk about them, and if time allows we can accompany Ronda and Peter on a walk in the Eremophila Garden, adjacent to the meeting room, to talk about some of the plants on display.

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 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). Stay and talk with other friends over afternoon tea following the meeting.

CHRISTMAS DINNER: 1st December 2001 (following our afternoon meeting which will finish about 4.00pm) in the
WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room at the Garden, prepared once again by the ladies from the Bluebush Café. This
traditional Christmas dinner is a fitting end to our year of activities. Time: 6.30pm drinks, Dinner 7.00pm. Cost
$22.00 per person. Please book with Morry Vile, Ph 8642 2021 or Gwen Leane on 8643 6191 by 26 November. All
Friends, new members especially are invited to join us.

LAST MEETING: Melissa Horgan, Bushcare Support Officer is based at the Quorn Bushcare Support Base and is known to some of our Friends through seed collection and plant propagation workshops which they have attended, at the Garden or at Quom. Her presentation covered the role she plays in representing Greening Australia, Bushcare Support and the projects in which she is involved across the rangelands. She spoke about projects concentrating on sustainable land use, farm forestry, and managing, restoring and protecting native vegetation. Melissa is also involved in Natural Heritage Trust Bushcare funded Green Corps projects and she described seed collection and plant propagation workshops which concentrate on plants of local provenance, using locally collected seed of local native species for the particular area. Thanks Melissa for sharing your experience with us!

COMMITTEE MEETING: Committee members, please note there will be a committee meeting held on Sat 1st December at 10.00am in the WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room at the AALBG.

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

Friends are welcome to participate in these bird watching outings.

Sunday 9th December 2001 Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, 7.30am


GARDEN REPORT 21.6.2001 1.11.2001 by Bernie Haase.
It’s been a while since my last report, so I hope this one will fill readers in on what has happened here for the last four and a half months. Seeds have been ordered in for the rare plants, Flinders Ranges and other areas. Some seed has also been sent in by the general public, as have some plant cuttings. These have all been planted, pricked out and potted up and are now growing on so our small nursery area is just about full. Plants grown earlier were planted in winter and most are growing well. Planting is continuing as plants are hardened off. All are mulched, and name labels made and installed. Most areas have been fertilized. Weeds have been and still are a big problem this year because of winter rains. They are being sprayed and hand weeded. Long fruited turnip weeds have taken over and have been pulled out of all garden areas. Council employees, Skillshare workers and the Friends have all helped. Rabbit and fox control has continued, and there are no kangaroos on site at present. Scale insects on eremophilas and myoporums have been sprayed. Vandals have caused damage at Flinders Red Cliff and at the Boardwalk.
A plant label holder has been made to store spare aluminium strip labels in our office. Aluminium strip for new labels has been purchased and donated by the Friends. The track around the clay pan area has been mulched so people don’t have to walk through mud when it is wet. Irrigation has been upgraded in some roadside planting areas and more irrigation pipe has been bought and other areas will be upgraded soon. Irrigation timers have been reset for daylight saving and new batteries installed. Several new naturally occurring species have been found growing on site; 2 introduced weeds, I native grass and a Goodenia. Quite a few public enquiries have been attended to identifying plants, plant locations, photographs and bird watching The site maps have been upgraded for tour guides, public handouts and for future planning. Plant and animal lists have also been updated but are still to be retyped. A consultancy group has been employed to compile a detailed plan for future development of the Garden. Information for regional area signs has been collected and sent to John so new regional area signs can be produced. A tour of the Garden with the tour guides was held to show them what new plants are growing, and the newer areas being developed. A water diviner was employed to locate the best site for a bore, with the long term aim of supplying water to the proposed salt pan area. A location has been identified, but it is a long way from where the water may be used. Our work vehicle blew its gear box but has been replaced.
A new environmentally designed toilet has been built in the Myall Tree area. It has a dry septic tank, wheel chair access, rainwater tank and native pine cladding. It wasn’t all that cheap to build! A new shed has been built in the work compound for the Friends, for storage and plant propagation and other work. It has a concrete floor, water, power, burglar alarm and phone connected. It is well fitted out and is a busy work area when Friends are present. Plant name labels were engraved for a college native garden at Tatachilla by Bob Baird, raising $140. The Friends also sold plants at the ABC Car Park Caper held in Port Augusta and raised about $800. The ABC reporters toured the Garden the day before and taped information supplied by Deon and me, and this was broadcast during the Car Park Caper from where the ABC Garden Show was broadcast, but I did not hear it and do not even remember what I said. I was invited to assist with a 2 day plant collecting trip with State Herbarium staff. We were to collect specimens of plants collected by Robert Brown when he walked from where the Investigator was moored near Mt Granger to the summit of Mt Brown, almost 200 years ago. The specimens collected will be used in a commemorative display at the AALBG next year. I have taken more colour slides from photo points at the garden which show progress of garden development and will show them at a future Friends meeting.
An old fridge has been donated by Pat Katnich and 2 thermostats installed to maintain the temperature at about 20 degrees C. This will be used for seed germination. The Tracks to Federation train passengers had an early morning breakfast at the AALBG The preparations and serving was greatly assisted by Friends volunteers. The boundary tracks and some others have been graded which helps also as a fire break. Well, that’s it for this instalment on life at the AALBG.

B. Haase

FRIENDS CAR PARK SALE: As part of the Centenary of Federation celebrations the ABC Radio Saturday morning Garden Show normally broadcast from Adelaide, was broadcast from Port Augusta on Sat 20th October in conjunction with the car Park Caper plant sale, sponsored by this programme over several years in Adelaide. Along with many local groups and individuals, the Friends had a plant stall, run by about 8 volunteers who worked from 800am till 12 noon. This was one of the most popular and busiest stalls and the crowd around it was 3 deep at times. New committee member Geraldine Davis had organised a large and very impressive vinyl banner with the Friends name and logo in colour. This was made to fit the side of our tandem trailer which has shelves for boxes of plants, and will be reused to promote Friends activities in future — thanks for suggesting and having this banner made Geraldine! Thanks to all who helped prepare for this sale and to volunteers on the day - approximately $800 was raised selling plants propagated by Friends volunteers. A great effort by all concemed, and good to know that more appropriate arid zone native plants, some of which are not available commercially, are finding their way into peoples gardens.

CENTENARY OF FEDERATION BARBECUE AT AALBG: On Tuesday 23 October, approximately 200 passengers travelling on a special Indian Pacific Train, as part of the Tracks to Celebration, Centenary of Federation event enjoyed a lavish barbecue breakfast at the Garden. About 14 Friends volunteers, including some who are also Garden Guides assisted the 4 regular Bluebush Café staff prepare and serve the breakfast, and then clean up afterwards. They started at 5.00am and worked till 8.30am. Some volunteers had also helped with preparations the previous day. Some of the guests had time to do brief garden tours. All agreed the event was a great success despite the short time frame, and the guests left with a very good impression of Port Augusta and the Garden. Thanks to all who volunteered their time!

EREMOPHILA BROCHURE: The Garden Board agreed some time ago that a brochure featuring eremophilas should be produced. The text was prepared by an Australian Plant Society member, and recently Friend Rosemary Pedler who is an accomplished botanical artist prepared paintings of eremophilas which she has donated and will be used to illustrate the brochure. These lovely paintings may also. be reproduced and used on other products to be sold in the Garden gift shop.

AALBG RESEARCH AREA: Neville Bonney of Greening Australia recently inspected plantings GA has undertaken in the AALBG Research Area. These are part of a trial being replicated in several semi arid areas of Australia to assess a range of arid zone tree species with potential for timber production in low rainfall areas. He is pleased with progress to date, and will be back soon to weed and check losses. The excellent season has resulted in prolific weed growth this year. Perhaps 1 or 2 Friends would like to help Neville weed and check the planting when he returns - this will take about 2 hours. They may then be able to check for weeds say every 3 months and assist Neville when he visits briefly once or twice yearly to inspect, record data and assess progress. If able to assist please phone John Zwar, 8671 0324 ah.

FRIENDS PROPAGATORS: A keen group of Friends meet at the work compound of the Garden each Wednesday morning to propagate plants from both seed and cuttings. Some plants raised are for planting in the Garden and surplus are available for sale. These funds raised by the Friends are committed to further development of the Garden. Thanks to all our volunteer propagators! If interested in joining this group, on a regular or occasional basis, phone Bruce Leane for details - Ph 8643 6191. Friends travelling and in Port Augusta on a Wednesday may wish to meet and help volunteers. You will be most welcome!

MOUNT ISA BOTANIC GARDEN: A Friends group has been established to promote the proposed garden in this NW Queensland city. Recently John Zwar visited Mt Isa to advise the Friends Group on establishing their garden, and also met with City Council, Chamber of Commerce, State Development Dept, TAFE, Rotary and other interested groups in the city, and was interviewed on two radio programmes and by the daily newspaper. The Friends are an active group and were keen to hear how the AALBG at Port Augusta has developed. With the high level of interest in Mt Isa in their proposed garden it is likely that development will commence in the new year. A fine site is available by a large fresh water lake near the city. The site incorporates natural bushland and low rocky ranges. John’s visit was funded by WMC Fertilizers which operates a large phosphate mine and fertilizer plant south of Mount Isa, and their assistance is gratefully acknowledged.

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.

AALBG WEBSITE: For those with internet access, inspect our website which has undergone further development and improvement - thanks to Friend Horst Weber in Dublin Ireland!. Any comment would be welcome. The address is:
The Green House is an environmental house project at Roxby Downs surrounded by a water efficient garden - to find out more see their web site:

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 1.11.2001 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

This newsletter also featured an artcicle prepared by John Zwar and printed in Botanic Gardens Conservation News, the publication of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, based at Kew Gardens, London.

© 2012 Friends of the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden