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: 26-02-2002


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: April Meeting - Saturday 13th April 2002, 1.00pm in the WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room.
All friends and others interested are warmly invited to attend.

GUEST SPEAKER: Our guest speaker will be Rosemary PedIer, a long term member of the Friends and supporter of the AALBG. Rosemary farms at Koolunga and will give a presentation on her Gibson Desert trip, undertaken in 1999. This was a wet year in that region with much of interest for a plants person. The trip of about 3.000km was organised by Frontier Services (the bush ministry arm of The Uniting Church). Those participating drove their own vehicles, in convoy and Rosemary drove her farm ute. The trip began and ended in Alice Springs, and botanical highlights included Grevillea wickhamii, expanses of Ptilotus, Parakeelya and cassias, many Acacia species, eremophilas, and some desert eucalypts. Rosemary was surprised and impressed by the number of large trees in this, one of the driest deserts in Australia. Another highlight was the opportunity to visit some remote Aboriginal communities. Rosemary said "this was a thrilling exhausting trip but I would do it again in a flash”! We look forward to her presentation.

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.

COMMITTEE MEETING: Committee members, please note there will be a committee meeting held on Sat 1th April 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.

LAST MEETING: Our speaker was Ronda Hall, accompanied by husband Peter, from Pinery Nursery which is, located on their farm, 1km from the small town of Pinery, on the Adelaide Road, midway between Balaklava and Mallalla - (08) 8527 7018). Peter has collected eremophilas form 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. 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 brought a selection of Eremophila plants in flower to the meeting and spoke about them. Thanks Ronda & Peter for sharing your experience with us — it was an excellent opportunity to learn more about the large and fascinating Eremophila genus which our Garden has helped promote so effectively in the wider community.

CHRISTMAS DINNER: Following the meeting on 1st December 2001, about 30 Friends enjoyed a delicious traditional Christmas dinner, prepared once again by the ladies from the Bluebush Café. The dinner was held in the WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room at the Garden, This was a most fitting end to our year of activities. The large table was beautifully decorated for the occasion.

Friends are welcome to participate in these bird watching outings.

Saturday 10th August 2002 Lake Gilles Cons Pk, 2 day camp out. Meet at Tanks carpark Lincoln Gap, 1.30pm
Sunday 11th August 2002 Lake Gilles camp out (10 & 11th August)
Sunday 29th September 2002 Mambray Creek - Meet at Mambray Creek Roadhouse 8.00am
Sunday 20th October 2002 Chinaman Creek - Meet at turnoff on Highway One 8.00am
Sunday 10th November 2002 Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden - Meet at carpark, 7.00am
Sunday 1st December 2002 Port Patterson - Meet at weighbridge, Highway One, 7.30am


GARDEN REPORT 21.6.2001 1.11.2001 by Bernie Haase.
I hope everyone had a good Christmas break and a happy new year. Nothing unusual has been happening here since my last report. Propagation of plants has continued, as has planting in the Eremophila Garden, mixed planting areas, annual beds Rare Plants area and West Coast Mallee areas and a lot in the Gawler Ranges Area. Replacement acacias have been planted in the Research Plantation. All new plantings have been mulched, with plantings recorded, labels made and installed.
Weeds have been removed from around planted plants, with further weeding needed in the Flinders Ranges area. Rabbits are an increasing problem in and outside the Garden, with some rabbit control undertaken. Foxes & cats which come and go as they please are hopefully assisting with rabbit control, though they are also environmental pests. Some fox and cat control has also been done. Spraying to control scale insects on some Myoporum and Eremophila species appears to prevent them from spreading. Some Santalum have been attacked by caterpillars which have also been controlled.
Vandals have broken parts on solar panels used for floodlighting at the main entrance, and have also pulled up and broken the railway iron barricade fence which prevented access by motor bikes and off road vehicles to the Spencer Gulf foreshore section of the Garden. Protected coastal vegetation has subsequently been damaged with these vehicles entering and tearing up the beach area. The rail fence gate at the other end of the beach was also pulled down but has been repaired.
Jimmy, who has finished his apprenticeship is now a permanent Council employee at the Garden. The first thing he did in this role was to have a minor accident, in which his hand was cut requiring stitches and time off work! Not the best of starts.
Drip irrigation line which has perished after five years has been replaced in some locations, with more to be done. A new track has been developed in the Rare Plants Area to facilitate expansion of that section. Additional irrigation has been installed.
Last week the new Council CEO, the Works Manager and the Parks & Gardens Supervisor toured most of the Garden with me and were surprised at what has been achieved here. A steady stream of public inquiries, local, interstate and even a few from overseas have been attended to. A new power transformer for the main building has been installed and replaces the underrated one orriginally installed to serve the site.
The Friends Propagation Group took time off over Christmas as the shade house was full, though propagation has commenced again now. A small hardening off area was built by the Friends adjacent to their propagation house. Friends have potted on many plants for sale at stalls and for the Eremophila Festival.
Well, that’s it for the first report of this year.
B. Haase

ADELAIDE FUNGAL STUDIES GROUP: Pam Catcheside who was one of our guest speakers last year with a fascinating presentation on fungus has advised that this group will meet on Tuesday it March at The Plant Biodiversity Centre, Hackney Road Hackney at 7.3Opm. Their meeting will be on the second Tuesday of each month with forays to see fungus on second Saturdays. Those interested in participating are welcome to contact Pam for further information on Ph (08) 8278 5004.

SHOW AND TELL: Those attending Friends meetings are invited to bring unusual plant specimens and other relevant items of interest to meetings for a show and tell segment, which we expect will be educational for us all!

ENCOUNTER 2002 PORT AUGUSTA: The weekend of March 8th to 10th will feature activities at Port Augusta, including some at the AALBG. Encounter 2002 celebrates the bicentenary of the expeditions of exploration and the encounter between British Captain Matthew Flinders and his French counterpart, Nicolas Baudin, in SA waters in 1802. From March the 9th onwards an exhibition comprising species of plants collected by botanist Robert Brown who accompanied Flinders on his voyage of discovery, along with prints, paintings and maps will be on shown at the AALBG. Further information Ph (08) 8642 6890. The exhibition will be launched by Port Augusta Mayor Mrs. Joy Bloch on Friday 8th March. Other events planned for Port Augusta include a “Long Lunch” on the wharf, featuring English, French and Aboriginal foods. Tall ships will visit the city. A commemorative plaque will be unveiled by one of Flinders’ descendents, and craft and produce stalls, displays and games will be set up near the main wharf. This will include a stall selling plants propagated by our Friends volunteer propagators, and will be a good opportunity to buy eremophilas and other plants not always available commercially. At 4pm The Mt Brown re-enactment party will be farewelled on the Enterprize, departing the main wharf. This group will re-enact Robert Brown’s ascent of Mt Brown in the southern Flinders Ranges. John Zwar will be a member of this group. In the evening a multi media concert will be held at Central Oval, and festivities, stalls, displays and activities will continue on the Sunday. Further information:
phone (08) 8642 6890. Also if you have internet access see - extract follows:
Port Augusta, ENCOUNTER 2002 Programme (from website) Saturday 9/Sunday 10 March
Wimila - A Celebration for Port Augusta' community event. Tall ship day sails available. Two taIl -ships open for public inspection 4 - 6.30pm Monday 11 March. SA Maritime Museum’s travelling exhibition at Fountain Gallery 9-11 March see the exhibitions and cultural performance program for details). For information on all events contact (08)8642 6890. Website:

10.30am Saturday official unveiling of commemorative plaque by Lisette Flinders Petrie, great great
grand-daughter of Matthew Flinders, at the main wharf. Public welcome.

12 midday Saturday official opening of community event and tallships welcome at main wharf area, featuring produce and craft stalls and displays, games, boating displays and a ‘long lunch’ at the Port Augusta Yacht Club. Free admission, except for ‘long lunch’, which is $30pp.
4pm Saturday official farewell to Mt Brown re-enactment party, departing main wharf on the Enterprize to re-enact Robert Brown’s ascent of Mt Brown (in the southern Flinders Ranges). Public welcome.
7pm Saturday ‘Udi Mutinda’ concert at Central Oval, free to the public. Featuring Troy Cassar-Daley,
Artoowarrapana, County Drifters, traditional dancers and local Indigenous performers.
11am Sunday official opening of Mt Brown lookout at Woolshed Flat (one hour from Port Augusta). Public
welcome although some restrictions on access. Further information (08) 8223 6161.
l0am Sunday community event continues at the main wharf, with ‘milk carton’ regatta, raft races, sailing events and boating displays.

FRIENDS PLANT STALL, ENCOUNTER 2002, 9th & 10th MARCH: This stall will be set up at the wharf at Port Augusta on the Encounter 2002 weekend and operate from 12 noon till 4pm on Saturday ‘& from 10am till 4pm on Sunday 10th. Those able to assist are asked to phone Gwen Leane on (08) 8643 6191 as she is preparing a roster of helpers. Eremophilas and other arid zone plants of excellent quality will be on sale.

AALBG ENCOUNTER 2002 DISPLAY: If in Port Augusta on this weekend take time to visit the display at the AALBG featuring botanical specimens, collected from Mt Brown, photographs of original specimens collected by Brown, 200 years ago, maps. and prints. Thanks to Robyn Barker of the Plant-Biodiversity Centre, Adelaide for providing much of the material and to Port Augusta staff for mounting the display. Copies of the book “Natures Investigator” the diary of Robert Brown in Australia 1801 — 1805 by TG Vallance, DT Moore & EW Groves are also available at the Garden Gift Shop for $75 (less 10% discount for Friends — show your card when making purchases).

EREMOPHILA FESTIVAL: The third Friends Eremophila Festival is scheduled for Saturday 7th September 2002. Secretary Gwen has been working hard planning for the day and contacting potential speakers and participants. We are. likely to have several stalls selling arid zone plants including our own — Friends propagators are growing a wide range of plants for this. Other stalls are likely to feature bush foods and produce. Presentations are likely to include Mallee Fowl, Living with Herbs, The Green House —environmental house project, Eremophilas, and Working with Sugar — making native flowers out of sugar for cake decoration. A writers competition, story telling for children, indigenous dancers, singers, and bush ballards are proposed. Garden tours and propagation demonstrations are also likely. Gwen has formed a sub committee to help plan this event If you would like to assist in any way or have suggestions, please contact her on Ph 8643 6191. Additional helpers will be needed nearer the time.


  • first annual report produced for the Garden was recently completed and can be seen on Port Augusta Council’s website or at the Civic Centre. A copy has been provided for the Friends.
  • A Draft Living Collections Policy for the AALBG has been prepared by Helen Smyth of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide and is currently being considered by Board Members - thanks for your input Helen.
  • The environmental toilet built in the Garden last year is now in use. Thanks to Board member & Friend Pat Katnich for securing state government tourism funding to help provide this facility.
  • The Friends continue to provide labelling for the AALBG - approximately $1,000 worth of aluminium strip for plant label manufacture was donated recently. Plant names are engraved with a gravagraph machine donated by the Friends.
  • The number of visits to the AALBG website is increasing with 1.800 visits to the site recorded for February. As well as seeking information on the Garden and plants, many people visit the site for information on lizards and birds. The site is visited by people from many countries besides Australia including UK, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Japan, USA, France, NZ, Belgium, Spain, Israel, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Singapore, Mexico and Brazil. It is an excellent way of promoting the Garden - Thanks to Friend Horst Weber from Dublin Ireland who has developed and manages the website as a volunteer.

AUSTRALIAN NETWORK FOR PLANT CONSERVATION (ANPC): The ANPC is a non profit network of organisations and individuals interested and involved in plant conservation in Australia The aim of the network is to bring together and increase linkages between the community, industry and government. The ANPC is running ‘a Plant Conservation Training Program “Demystifying Threatened Plant Conservation” on 16 & 17th April at Woolongong NSW which may be of interest to NSW members or people who may be travelling that way in April. Enquiries: (02)62509509. The ANPC also maintains an internet Directory of Plant Conservation Resources with links to more than 200 plant conservation websites. Visit the Directory at:

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 26.02.2002 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

© 2002 The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden