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: 05-08-2003


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, 30th August 2003, 1.00pm in the WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room. AGM and Guest Speaker.
All friends and others interested are warmly invited to attend. As this is our AGM all committee and executive positions will be declared vacant and nominations received and elections held as necessary. Please consider who you will nominate for office. One important position to be filled is that of Treasurer as Bob Baird is relinquishing this role but is happy to work alongside and assist the new treasurer initially if this help is needed. Reports will also be presented. Following the election of officers we will hear from our guest speaker.

Our guest speaker for the August meeting will be Nick Bailey who has been employed in National Parks and Wildlife as Senior Resource Protection Officer/Investigator for 22 yrs. He is stationed at Port Augusta, working in the Outback and Ranges Region which encompasses more than 2/3rds of the state. He investigates offences under numerous environmental legislation both state and federal. The main area of investigative responsibility is the illegal trade in native fauna and flora, illegal clearance of native vegetation, Aboriginal heritage and natural resources including fossils, and wildlife management especially kangaroos, fire and emergency and fire investigations; a man of many hats. Nick prosecutes offenders in court and conducts training for rangers in natural resource management and other tertiary students. His is the only such position for more than 2/3rds of South Australia, a vast area and he would really appreciate some help! Nick will be speaking about his role and the work he does.

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.

Steve Forbes, Director of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide provided an insight into the contemporary role of botanic gardens as both gardens, and as cultural and scientific institutions. He spoke about the directions he's taking the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide, and their focus as both a garden and an institution exploring our relationship with our environment. This future is highlighted in the Garden's by-line 'Plants, culture & environment', and is consistent with the fundamental concern for the type of place we want our society to be in the future. Steve has returned from living and holidaying and in East Africa, and was not able to resist showing some of the astonishing plants and scenery of the region including Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and the Ruwenzori (Mountains of the Moon) in Uganda. Steve’s wife Rebecca also spoke about her fascinating life and work in Tanzania where she established and managed the Environment, Health and Safety Department of a large gold mining operation.

A species until recently listed as extinct is soon to have a home in the AALBG. Rediscovered on roadsides in the mid-north it is to be received back in the arid zone at the Garden this month. The low growing smokey grey Spiny Daisy, Acanthocladium dockeri,) may not look spectacular, but is a plant with a story. It was first located by the Burke and Wills expedition in 1860 on the red sand of “Bambamero” at the junction of a small creek with the Darling River. In SA it was collected at Overland Corner in 1910. Although appearing at such widespread localities repeated later attempts failed to relocate the daisy and it was presumed extinct. In Extinct and Endangered Plants of Australia the writers sagely suggest it may have been overlooked by modern collectors. No surprise then that it took an untrained but interested local, Paul Slattery, to rediscover the species in a patch of native grassland near Laura. Soon two more sites were located in the Laura/Gladstone district and a fourth site near Blyth. Local native plant enthusiasts were stunned that they had managed to overlook it, thinking it was a common saltbush.

When the news of the discovery broke in 1999 the AALBG were fast in approaching authorities to request planting material. Now, following the preparation of a recovery plan and initial investigations of its biology using Natural Heritage Trust funding the time has at last come. The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden has been selected as a prime site to provide public access and education on this little known endangered species.

Friends are invited to an information session and handover event on August 13th 2003 at the Garden (Rare Plants Section) at 11am Item by Glenda Kleinig, 22/5/03, Ph: 8663 2480

An exhibition of limited edition photography by Friends member Matthew Dowling, celebrating the ancient landscapes of the Flinders Ranges and the South Australian Outback was held in July at the Woolshed Restaurant, Rawnsley Park. One of the photos exhibited was of the AALBG, and greeting cards featuring this scene are available from the Friends. Matthew can be contacted on Ph 8648 0126.

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!

The Botanic Gardens of Australia and New Zealand are holding their inaugural congress in Geelong from 24 - 28th October. The congress aims to examine the contemporary issues facing botanic gardens and arboreta in Australasia today in order to maintain their relevance to their communities and importance in the 21st century. The four streams during the congress are Heritage Planing and Protection, Conservation and Science, Community Networking and Horticulture and Arboriculture. There will be practical workshops and field trips as well. Excellent international and local speakers will participate. Full registration is $400, $350 if registering before 29 Aug 03. For further information phone John Zwar on 8671 8558.

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.

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 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.

The Port Augusta Flea Market stall continues to be a popular outlet for plants propagated by the Friends. Shirley Mundy, Morry Vile and others help co-ordinate and operate the stall which is a good fund raiser and also publicises Friends activities.

Friends are welcome to participate in these activities.

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

Are you interested in plants? Do you like meeting people? 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 educational and promotional role 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.

GARDEN REPORT 29.4.2003 to 19.6.2003
by Bernie Haase.
Friends, we have been progressing steadily here with the usual work and with new developments. Propagating, planting, recording and labelling is ongoing, as is weeding spraying and pest control. A steady stream of public enquiries and some tours have been attended to. Vandalism to fences, the entrance sign and solar panels has occurred, and our donation boxes have been burgled several times even though I had redesigned the locking mechanism. They have now been removed. One of our irrigation timers has been playing up and after several attempts has been repaired.

We have begun removing several rows of plants in the courtyard. They had been damaged by frosts and have not recovered. They will be replaced by hardier more suitable species. The storm water drainage improvements around the main building have finally been completed and damage to the eremophila garden repaired.

There have been several track planning meetings where tracks were chosen for development into set walks or for mini bus access. A route for an access road through the Garden to Flinders Red Cliff was also selected. A route for an internal track to the Boardwalk Lookout was chosen and may be developed depending on funding.

The latest aerial photo is being used to update site maps. I have rewritten the Tour Guides information booklet because the previous one was out of date. Some plants on the walk have gone and others have developed. A training tour along the walk was held with all the tour guides. More tour guides are still needed to lighten the load on our regular guides.
The Friends propagators are busy filling orders for people and selling plants on Wednesday mornings and at some weekend markets in town. A small hot house has been ordered by the Friends to assist with propagation in the winter months. B Haase

Bernie Haase recently provided the following information; highest and lowest recorded temperatures and rainfall recorded at Port Augusta for the years 1996 to 2002.

Highest recorded Temp (°C)
Lowest recorded Temp (°C)
Rainfall for the Year - mm

This 669 page book published in 2002 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!

Members of the AALBG Reference group and others have met in recent months to consider work which could be undertaken with Tourism SA grant funding to improve the visitor experience in the AALBG. Following meetings, submissions and recommendations from some of those who attended were forwarded to Port Augusta City Council for a detailed grant application to be compiled and forwarded to Tourism SA.

A seed collecting trip to remote areas of north western South Australia is planned for September. Applications for permits to collect seed, and for access to Aboriginal lands as well as other planning for this 10 day expedition is in progress. AALBG Gardeners Bernie Haase and Jim Martin accompanied by Rieck Shine from Council and John Zwar (Friends and Reference Group member) are intending to participate. In addition a seed collecting trip to the North Flinders Ranges, hopefully led by Brian Powell later in the year will also eventuate. These trips should result expanded regional collections in the Garden.

The friends offer (which was rejected by council several years ago) to fund appropriate gates at the main entrance to the AALBG is being reconsidered and a proposal compiled by a council planner. We look forward to the main entrance to the AALBG being improved and developed so that it becomes an imposing, fitting and welcoming entrance which will encourage people to enter. We look forward to seeing the proposals once complete and to helping financially with this important project.

NEW INFORMATION SIGNS detailing plant life, birds, marine life, geology and history of the site for installation at Flinders Red Cliff are being prepared. Information has been checked by a panel and it is hoped completed signs will soon be in place.

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.

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 05.8.2003 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