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: 24-02-2003


The Society

Current Newsletter

Application Form


John Zwar

Ph (08) 867 0324 ah


Chrissie Hallett

Ph (08) 8641 2937


Bob Baird

Ph (08) 8643 6343

Tradesperson / Gardener

Bernie Haase

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

NEXT EVENT:- SATURDAY, 10th May 2003, 1.00pm in the WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room.
AGM and Guest Speaker All friends and others interested are warmly invited to attend.

Our guest speaker for the next meeting will be Nick Bailey.

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 Café, 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 Café? (Café purchases also attract 10% discount for Friends – show membership card).
Stay & talk with other Friends over afternoon tea following the meeting.

Committee members, please note there will be a committee meeting held on Saturday 30th 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 meeting (AGM) at 1.00pm.

Sandy Gunter, a consultant for Rural Solutions S.A (which is the commercial consultant group of PIRSA) was guest speaker at our March meeting. Sandy is based in Port Augusta and has worked in the Rangelands for 7 years. Her main role currently is to provide support and advice to Soil Conservation Boards and pastoralists about land and vegetation management. Sandy spoke to us about the following aspects of her work:

  1. the monitoring of vegetation and land condition in the perpetual lease country.
  2. the plant identification course which she and Merri Tothill run for pastoralists in the rangelands.
  3. the Rangelands Action project which is a big community National Heritage Trust funded project that operates through out the Rangelands and aims to encourage land holders to protect biodiversity and increase pastoral productivity. This includes activities such as feral animal control, land rehabilitation, protecting threatened species of plants and animals.

Sandy’s talk and discussion with Friends gave a most interesting insight into her role and some of the fascinating work currently being undertaken in the SA rangelands.

A special welcome is extended to all recently joined members of the Friends. We look forward to your participation in our activities if distance allows!

A very attractive colour brochure featuring Eremophila is now available at the Garden. Text was provided by members of the Australian Plants Society, SA Region Inc with beautiful illustrations by AALBG Friend & artist, Rosemary Pedler.

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 or Bruce Leane (8643 6191) or Bob Baird for details (Phone number on front of News Release). Plants propagated by the Friends are available for sale from the Garden on Wednesday mornings only – this is proving very popular, with sales increasing. This is a good fund raiser, and importantly helps distribute appropriate arid zone native plants for growing in the wider community. 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.

At the April Port Augusta Flea Market stall Fay Poole, Margaret Hancock and Shirley Mundy sold approximately $160.00 worth of plants propagated by the Friends. Bruce & Gwen Leane helped with loading and unloading. Gwen reports that Wednesday morning propagation sessions are well attended by enthusiastic helpers and that we are running out of room for plants! Gwen is collecting seed for propagating and other Friends who may be in a position to collect seed of appropriate arid zone native species are encouraged to do this also and forward seed to her. Shirley Mundy has also produced labels and information sheets on plants for sale. The efforts of all helpers are greatly appreciated.

Friends are welcome to participate in these activities.

Sunday 11th May 2003 Bernie’s block – meet at Mambray Creek Roadhouse, 8.00am
Sunday 29th June 2003 AALBG – meet in car park, 8.00am
Sunday 20th July 2003 Telowie Gorge – meet at Mambray Creek Roadhouse, 7.30am
Saturday 15th August 2003 Corunna Station overnight camp out – Meet at Tanks car park, Lincoln Gap 1.30pm
Sunday 16th August 2003 weekend camp out
Sunday 21st September 2003 Bernie’s Block – meet at Mambray Creek Roadhouse, 8.00am
Sunday 26th October 2003 Bird Lake – meet at Gun Club Port Augusta, 8.00am
Sunday 16th November 2003 Port Patterson – meet at weighbridge Highway One – 7.30am
Saturday 13th December 2003 Christmas Social – Reichelt’s residence, Port Augusta, 8.00pm
Sunday 14th December 2003 AALBG – meet at car park, 7.30am

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

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 Fay Poole, Ph: 8643 6192. 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.

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 management (council) within the AALBG site. Each volunteer, please check with Bruce Leane, Bernie or with Pauline Hedger to ensure you have signed the appropriate paperwork, to provide coverage in the event of accident or injury.

Since the AALBG Board was terminated on 30 October 2002 the new working group has met once on 27th November, to consider further development at the Garden. The meeting was well conducted and worthwhile. It was mentioned that approximately $2million has been spent on the development of the Garden since it was proposed in 1981. The role and purpose of the Research Area was discussed. It was agreed that entry to the Garden should remain free of charge. Landscape architect, Kevin Taylor explained some of the planning work he has done, particularly relating to the Gardens network of tracks. A concept working document for the Garden is being developed. A Council apprentice has commenced computerising the Gardens records. The long drawn out issue of appropriate entrance gates and landscaping at the main entrance was discussed. (The Friends had offered substantial funding for this a few years ago, but the offer was declined by the former Board). Improved signage at the main entrance was discussed. More interpretive signs for the Garden are to be developed. These matters are currently being acted upon where appropriate and another meeting will be called when needed. Meanwhile liaison between members continues by phone.

This 669 page book has just been launched and is a comprehensive reference book covering all aspects of Australian Gardens. The book took 10 years for editors Michael Looker and Richard Aitken to compile. It contains over 1,500 entries, items on many botanic gardens including the AALBG and may be of interest to some readers. Cost, $120.00, ISBN 0195536444.

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!

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 form. Some recent forms have not been legible. MEMBERSHIP CARDS: Show your membership card in the AALBG shop for 10% discount on all purchases - including meals. Contact the Secretary if you are a financial member and do not have a card.

Issued 24.2.2003 by John Zwar, President, The Friends of the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, Port Augusta Inc., PO Box 2040 Port Augusta SA 5700. Ph (08) 8671 0324 ah, (08) 8671 8558 w, Facsimile C/- (08) 8671 0179 or by Email Friends Secretary, Chrissie Hallett – Email

© 2012 Friends of the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden