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: 22-07-2002


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: Annual General Meeting - Saturday 3rd August 2002, 1.00pm in the WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room.
All friends and others interested are warmly invited to attend.

NOTE: Change of Date from 27 July mentioned in previous News Release to 3 August

GUEST SPEAKER: Our guest speaker will be Colin Jennings, a retired teacher of chemistry and science. He graduated Bachelor of Science at Adelaide University and received a Diploma in Education from the same university. He taught for seven years in South Australia before being seconded to teach in Papua New Guinea for two years. On returning to SA he was appointed Senior Master in Science at Urrbrae Agricultural High School and taught there for twenty years. He has a very keen interest in a wide range of horticultural pursuits, especially in the cultivation of species plants from a wide range of genera, both native and exotic. He also has a more than passing interest in photography.
Colin has been an active member of the Australian Plants Society (SA Region) for over twenty years and Leader of the ASGAP Eremophila Study Group, and editor of its Newsletter, since 1990. He has been a registrant at several ASGAP Conferences at which he has presented papers relating to eremophilas. He was a member of the organising committee for the ASGAP Conference held in Adelaide. He has spoken about eremophilas at a number of native plant societies and has been responsible for the organisation of four Eremophila Study Group Workshops. Colin co-authored the popular SOAP (SA Region) publication Eremophilas for the Garden.
His talk will be about eremophilas, concentrating on the developments which have taken place in their propagation and cultivation in recent times. The talk will be supported by a selection of slides of species which are relatively new to cultivation.
Colin will also bring to the meeting a selection of grafted eremophilas, many of which are relatively unknown in general collections; these will be available for sale. They have all been produced by Ray lsaacson from Geranium, who is a very active member of the Study Group. Part proceeds of any sales are donated by Ray to the Study Group.

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 3rd August at 10.00am in the WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room at the AALBG followed by lunch in the Bluebush Café at 12 noon, before the AGM at 1.00pm.

LAST MEETING: Our guest speaker was Dr Lance McCarthy who has established a wonderful collection of scientific publications from the voyage of Matthew Flinders to Terra Austrahis. Dr McCarthy’s presentation was titled:

Influential Scientific Publications from Matthew Flinders’ Voyage to Terra Australis

His talk concentrated on original documents and illustrations. The Port Augusta Council has acquired some of Dr McCarthy’s collection of prints of original paintings by botanical artist Ferdinand Bauer who accompanied Flinders on his voyage of discovery. Some of these prints are on display in the WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room at the Garden. In addition Dr McCarthy is donating some of his collection. This was a wonderful opportunity to see some of these historic documents and hear of their significance.

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

EREMOPHILA BROCHURE: A colour, brochure featuring Eremophila is in preparation. Text was provided by members of the Australian Plants Society, SA Region Inc with illustrations by Rosemary Pedler. This brochure may be ready by the August meeting. The Eremophila collection at the Garden is probably the largest collection of this genus anywhere and is one of the most interesting features at the AALBG, located next to the Visitor Reception Building. The diversity of foliage colour and texture, flower colour and attractiveness to birds and relatively small size of many species all add to the increasing popularity of eremophilas as garden plants.

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

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

GARDEN REPORT 9.5.2002 - 3.6.2002 by Bernie Haase.
It’s been only a month since my last report, but things are still developing here. Planting in several areas, mulching, recording and labelling plants has continued. Weeds are not a big problem so far this year because of the lack of rain, but some irrigated areas such as the annual beds have been weeded. Unfortunately we have experienced a run of severe frosts which have affected some of the new plantings, as well as some older established plants.
Scale insects have attacked some eremophilas which have been controlled by use of insecticide. The eremophilas have also been fertilised, just before a recent rain, which has given them a boost so they will look their best for the Eremophila Festival.
Irrigation main lines have been extended from regional areas into neighbouring islands of mixed plantings. This has reduced the irrigation system sizes in the mixed planting areas, thus increasing water flows, and will allow for extra plantings in these areas. New drippers have been installed in improved areas, and the rest will be replaced when new stocks of drippers arrive.
Extra posts have been installed along the track system where existing pipe sleeves under the tracks were previously installed, and new pipe sleeves laid as well. These posts will also be used as future guide posts for different walks around the Garden.
The kitchen extension to the main building is progressing, with the frame built and the electrical wiring being installed, with minimal damage to plants in theEremophila Garden and the courtyard.
I was able to supply seed of some species I had previously suggested, of grey foliaged plants requested for a new section being developed at the Royal Melboume Botanic Garden. I hope they will be able to grow in the Melboume climate. There have been some public enquiries attended to and site tours with visitors and Green Corps groups in the last month. Rabbit control also continues and numbers are very low and it is taking longer to find them.
After the usual Friends Wednesday moming plant propagating and selling time, Bob and Una Baird stayed behind and cleaned and sterilised a heap of dirty pots and tubes which was a great help in time saving for Jimmy and me.
The Friends plant carrying trailer was borrowed by Transport SA contractors to transport plants to Hawker to revegetate areas disturbed by roadworks.
The local Green Corps Group and the council are repairing erosion and replanting an area of cliff face and land next to Rotary Park in Port Augusta. I have assisted with this development by supplying lists of plants found on site and of plants from the local area, suitable for planting at this site.
So, that's what's been happening here since the last newsletter.

B. Haase

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!

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.

WEDNESDAY WORKING BEES: A group of Friends meets at the Garden each Wednesday. The main task is plant propagation, but other tasks include label production, educational sessions with visiting groups of students, weeding and assistance with upgrading irrigation systems. If interested in helping occasionally or on a regular basis phone Gwen Leane or Bob Baird for details (Phone numbers on front of News Release). Plants propagated by the Friends are available for sale from the Garden on Wednesday mornings only. If you wish to pre-order plants to be propagated by the Friends please discuss this with Bruce Leane. Friends from other areas who can not normally participate in Friends activities are welcome to call in and meet our volunteers if passing through Port Augusta on a Wednesday.

FRIENDS VOLUNTEER GARDEN GUIDES: We have several trained garden guides who meet tour groups and individual visitors for guided tours of the garden. We urgently need more volunteers to be trained as guides to spread the load for our existing guides. The guides provide a valuable service in the Garden, and they meet interesting people from many places. Training is not difficult and is quite comprehensive. If interested in this please contact Secretary Gwen. You may like to accompany a guide on a Garden tour to see what is involved, before making a decision. Visitors pay a small fee for guided tours and 80% of this goes to the Friends.

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, If you have internet access you may like to visit the ANPC Directory at:

EREMOPHILA FESTIVAL: The third biennial 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 will have several stalls selling arid zone plants including our own -Friends propagators are growing a wide range of plants for this. Other stalls will feature bush foods and produce. Presentations will include talks on 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. Story telling for children, indigenous dancers, singers, and bush ballards are proposed. Garden tours and propagation demonstrations are also planned. All this and more. Gwen has formed a sub committee to help organise 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.

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. New members: Please clearly print name and address on membership application. Some recent forms have not been legible.

OCTOBER MEETING: The date is tentatively set for Sat 5th October (check next News Release to confirm the date), with The Hon Barry Wakelin MP, Member for Grey as guest speaker. Before the meeting commences Barry will "launch" the Regional Plantings, developed at the Garden which commenced with a $15,000 grant from the Centenary of Federation Fund awarded to the Friends, and which was the catalyst for this development at the Garden. There was considerable input also from AALBG Gardeners, Council and some voluntary help. The “launch" will be at 1.00 pm in the Garden and along with the installation of information signs describing each regional section developed so far, will recognise the completion of the grant. The further development of regional plantings at the AALBG, featuring associations of plants from various botanical regions will continue as the normal Garden budget allows.
Following the “launch” Barry will be our Guest Speaker, talking about the environment in general, how with greater environmental awareness, farming practices have changed (he is a farmer from the Kimba area), and some interesting environmental developments in the electorate of Grey.

Show your membership card in the AALBG shop for 10% discount on all purchases - including meals.

Robert Brown panelLEFT: Robert Brown panel in the AALBG. John Zwar and Michele Bain of Designhaus have recently developed a series of new panels featuring plants collected by Robert Brown on the Mount Brown expedition 200 years ago, and also describing Matthew Flinders voyage of discovery (Robert Brown was the botanist on The Investigator), the ascent of Mount Brown, and the re-enactment of this ascent 200 years later to the day, on March ldh this year organised by the Scientific Expeditions Group. John Zwar was a member of the re-enactment party. The new panels should be in place at the AALBG before our next meeting.

ABC OPEN GARDEN SCHEME: As part of The Year of the Outback two home gardens at Roxby Downs, the Johnstone garden at 9 Emeroo Court and “The Green House” garden at the home of the Beveridge family at 11 Grevillea Place, as well as the recently commenced Roxby Downs Arboretum will be open to the public on 24 and 25 August, l0am-4.30pm both days. $4.50 admission. Maps & directions from Roxby Downs Visitor Centre on the open days.

Issued 22.07.2002 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