What we do
The Northern Beaches Group meets regularly at Stony Range Botanic Garden where the beautiful Staghorn (Platycerium bifurcatum) on the right is growing.
Penny Hunstead keeps our schedule of monthly outings intriguing with a mix of bushwalks and garden visits. The Quarterly and Get-together events of the Australian Plants Society are also well attended by our members.
We enjoy both the excursions and the morning tea or lunch that follows which gives us a relaxing debrief and social time with fellow members.
Here is a summary of our outings for 2018.
Our first walk of the year was in the Warriewood Wetlands where there are always many water birds to be seen. This is a bonus on top of the delightful walk through, probably, the largest remaining stand of Swamp Mahogany (Eucalyptus robusta) forest in Sydney.
There is a full report in the April 'Caleyi'.
This month the group had a three exhibition bash in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney; the fine art 'Botanica' with the theme of Symbiosis, the highly detailed botanical illustrations of the 'Margaret Flockton Award', and finally the Calyx with its 'Pollination' display. This outing is reported in the May 'Caleyi'.
Over many years the Curl Curl foreshore has become overrun with weeds, especially garden escapes - accidental or deliberate. Our member, Russell Beardmore, is part of a group of bush regenerators that has been working to try and bring the foreshore back to its natural state. Russell gave us a guided tour showing progress to date and a look at what is ahead for the team. It is an uphill battle and we can have nothing but admiration for the volunteers involved.
The Koolewong Walk in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is only short but the view from the lookout over and beyond the Hawkesbury River and Broken Bay is breathtaking. There is a full report in the August 'Caleyi'.
Another ardent bush regenerator in our Group is our President Conny Harris. We walked along the area in Belrose where Conny has been, and still is, working to see the results. See the September 'Caleyi' for a full report.
The Stony Range Spring Festival is held every year in early September and, as usual, we joined with the Stony Range volunteers to run the event. It is largely a family day with activities and exhibits to engage children. We managed to sell a few plants and run a café which raises enough money to keep the group financial for the year to come. See the October 'Caleyi' for some images of the day.
Another place we like to walk in is the Katandra Bushland Sanctuary, partly because of the different plant communities the walking track runs through on its circular route. There is a complete report in the November/December 'Caleyi'.
I could only walk in the ridgetop part of the track which had been subjected to a fairly recent prescribed burn. It was good to see that regrowth, especially of Xanthorrhoea arborea, as shown here, was well underway. There was also epicormic growth starting to appear on the blackened trunks of Eucalyptus spp.
Image; Russell Beardmore. Taken at North Curl Curl.
An eastern species that grows in shallow, sandy soil . A bit tricky in cultivation.
Image; David Drage
A local favourite found in sand, cliff faces, heath and woodland margins.
Image; David Drage. Taken at Katandra Wildflower Reserve.
Local species. Straggly, hardy understorey species up to 2.5m. Bright flowers in Spring.