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Our members love sharing their stories, insights and experiences with others. Below are a selection of posts. Members are welcome to post their stories. 

Warren and Gloria Sheather regularly post articles on their garden experiences. See their Garden Diary here.

Members' stories are also regularly published in GardenDrum, an online gardening magazine - a selection of these are provided for your interest in the media section


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  • 4 Jan 2019 8:47 PM | HEATHER MILES (Administrator)

    We were asked by a reader about pruning eremophilas. 

    Question: I have an Eremophila glabra (Murchison Magic) that flowers all year round.  I've never pruned this plant therefore it's getting out of control and quite leggie.  Could you please let me know when is the best time to prune this Eremophila of mine? 

    Answer from Ben and Ros Walcott: Most eremophilas do well with a good prune to keep them dense. The best time is when the flowering has slowed down but often that isn’t possible so just do it when you can. In Canberra we tend not to prune in the late autumn because the new growth gets hit by the frosts but otherwise, anytime seems OK. How hard to prune depends on the plant and the effect you are after. We know someone who cuts some to the ground but for us that is too radical. Pruning by up to ½ is not too radical. 

    Thanks to our readers and Ben and Ros Walcott for their answer. 

    Here is an Eremophila nivea 'Beryls Blue' growing in the Hunter Valley. More information on eremophilas can be found in our plant database - Plant database Shrubs



  • 21 Dec 2018 8:33 PM | HEATHER MILES (Administrator)

    An Invitation…


    You are cordially invited to the 2019 APS NSW Get-Together.  This not to be missed event is being held at a varied range of locations in the Newcastle area.  

    There are a range of different native vegetation communities available to explore. Your visit will take you to some of the gems of the area and you will be able to see the spectacular coastal flora at its peak.  

    Highlights will include a visit to the Hunter Wetlands Centre where you will be welcomed to the Newcastle Groups home base, this will also include the opportunity to purchase from the wide range of native plants produced by the “Thursday Mob”. https://wetlands.org.au

    A visit to the award-winning Hunter Region Botanic Gardens and herbarium is also on the agenda.  https://huntergardens.org.au

    There will be some gentle bushwalks included, these will feature some of the special places that can be found in the Newcastle area.

    There will also be an evening dinner to look forward to on the Saturday night.

    More details including registration forms and prices will be covered in the next issue of Native Plants.

    So, please save the date – 17-18thAugust 2019

  • 10 Dec 2018 9:41 AM | HEATHER MILES (Administrator)

    Here are some stunning images from Colin Lawrence of the Newcastle group, who captured the lorikeet enjoying its fill of the dwarf eucalyptus. This tree lived in a pot for a a couple of years and then was planted out 5 and a half years ago. It certainly looks happy!



    All images by Colin Lawrence. 

  • 12 Nov 2018 1:15 PM | HEATHER MILES (Administrator)

    A reader recently asked for help to identify a butterfly or moth in her garden. 


    Question:

    Does anyone know what butterfly/moth made this cocoon? I’ve seen bright blue butterflies, lime green, large black and white and small white with black borders, small brown and large brown butterflies. Clearly I don’t know their names, and it would be lovely to ID this one.

    Answer:

    One of our plant experts, Dick Turner, has responded: You have a case moth larva sheltering inside the protection that it has made for itself. The larva or caterpillar uses the cover for protection while it moves about foraging on leaves.

    Your specimen could be Saunders Case Moth.

    They do not cause major problems in the garden or outside environment, and are a fascinating creature to observe in your own backyard.

  • 6 Nov 2018 4:12 PM | HEATHER MILES (Administrator)

    Dear members and friends, 

    Come and join us this Saturday morning to visit a native/blended garden in Sutherland, to be followed by fascinating talks in the afternoon by Lawrie Smith AM on Designing with Australian Natives. The day will finish off with a fun trivia quiz (with prizes) hosted by Karlo Taliano.

    The afternoon venue (from 1pm) is at  at Loftus Community Hall, Loftus Ave, Loftus.

    Afternoon tea will be served and there will be raffles and native plants for sale.

    Entry fee for Saturday’s sessions is $10 for members and $15 for non-members, payable at the door. This helps cover costs.

    For more information and location of the garden visit, see here: Nov 2018 Get together info v3.pdf

  • 7 Sep 2018 10:12 PM | HEATHER MILES (Administrator)

    Cilla, of the Central West area, wants people to be aware of a new threat to Mount Canbobolas and its rare flora. 

    The draft plan of management for Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area could permit a large new mountain bike network (> 60 km trail) plus associated infrastructure in what is quite a small area (1600 ha) with highly significant remnant vegetation, with many threatened and endemic plant and animal species.

    Cilla has provided a submission guide prepared by the Central West Environment Council.   People can use the information in this to prepare their letter. The submission can be lodged as follows:

    Have your say

    Public exhibition is from from 29 June to the 1 October 2018.

    You can provide your written submission in any of the following ways:

    Here is the submission guide. 

    Submission guide final.docx

    For more information, see the website: https://savemtcanobolassca.com

  • 3 Sep 2018 9:24 PM | HEATHER MILES (Administrator)

    Myrtle Rust is a serious plant disease which has already had, and is likely to have an even more, devastating impact on many threatened species and ecological communities, wetlands of international importance, world heritage properties and national heritage places. 

    Myrtle Rust is also having, and will increasingly have, a devastating effect on the built Australian landscape, nation-wide, where more than 60% - 70% of the plants used are Myrtaceae.

    Some members may be aware that Native Plants Queensland is leading a campaign for government action against the spread of Myrtle Rust. 

    An important part of the campaign is an online petition to the Parliament of Australia seeking a National Myrtle Rust Summit. 

    Please sign the e-petition for a National Myrtle Rust Summit straight away. It only takes a few seconds. The petition closes on 19th September when it will be presented to Parliament

    Thank you for your support.

    Maria Hitchcock, OAM

    Go to: this link

    https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Petitions/House_of_Representatives_Petitions/Petitions_General/Petitions_List 

    Write EN0686 in the search box. (note, that is zero686)

    More information here prepared by : Comments on Myrtle Rust Action Plan Rev E.pdf


  • 3 Sep 2018 8:41 PM | HEATHER MILES (Administrator)

    ANPSA's  Conservation Officer, Dr Eddie Wajon, has been working hard to prevent the clearing of land in WA which would result in loss of habitat for threatened species.

    See this report from him along with the species threatened. 

    Thanks to Mary Slattery, the Secretary or ANPSA, for bringing it to our attention. 

    Click here for the full report: ANPSA Meetings with politicians in Canberra 20180821


  • 21 Aug 2018 9:01 AM | HEATHER MILES (Administrator)

    A reader recently asked for plants to discourage cats from entering the garden. Here are the plants suggested by our panel of experts that are thought to be cat repellent, due to the smell of their foliage i.e. attractive to humans but not to animals. The reader's plants needed to thrive in tough conditions being southerly facing and sandy soil. 

    Here are some suggestions:

    • Try the mint bushes e.g. Prostanthera ovalifolia, and other species of mint bush that would be suitable for your area, and maybe available for sale.
    • Others with fragrant foliage to consider include:
      • Darwinia citriodora, Lemon-scented Myrtle
      • Philotheca myoporoides, Long-leaved Wax Flower
      • Crowea exalata
      • Mentha australis, Native mint
      • Zieria cytisoides, Downy Zieria
    The plant shown here is Philotheca.

  • 21 Aug 2018 8:51 AM | HEATHER MILES (Administrator)

    A website reader recently asked for good Australian natives which will keep unwanted visitors at bay.  

    Here are the suggestions for prickly shrubs and hedging plants from our panel of experts:

    • Grevillea rosmarinifolia cultivars such as'Scarlet Sprite' (pictured below)
    • Grevillea Winparra cultivars eg 'Winparra Gem' - dense, tough, fast growing, up to 2m
    • Hakea sericea - prickly and copes with sand, prune to keep to 1m
    • Graptophyllum ilicifolium - rainforest type look with dark green "holly-like" leaves, but very tough and copes with dry, also lipstick pink flowers, prune to keep to 1m
    • Bursaria spinosa, Blackthorn - this flowers in autumn which offers an advantage to wildlife by providing sustenance ahead of the approaching winter.
    • Acacia ulicifolia, Prickly Moses or heath wattle. There are also a number of small wattles that have spiky foliage, but remember that these species are fast growing and may be short lived
    • Westringia fruticosa - dense, tough and copes with sand, but not prickly
    • Anything marketed as attracting small birds would work as usually dense and prickly for habitat.


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