Plants

People ask us where we have got all the new plants-probably over 7,000 in the past 7 years:

Bellbowrie Markets (before flood)- relatively cheap

The Greening Australia Nursery at The Gap – http://www.qld.greeningaustralia.org.au/GAQOTSASP/                                                                       (A whole box of river gums can be quite economical)

Moggill Creek Catchment Group have supplied us with dozens of plants that are native to the western suburbs on numerous occasions – free to residents of the area

We have propagated the easier ones – sandpaper figs, blackbeans, lomandras. More recently we have struck grevillea plants from cuttings.

Ian has transplanted lots of hippeastrums, gladioli, agapanthus etc. and I have concentrated on transplanting dianellas, silky oaks, wattles that have taken root in the soil. Ian has transplanted existing elkhorns and native gingers. We have transplanted carpet grass since the flood.

Since joining the Western Suburbs branch of SGAP (Society for Growing Australian Plants) in order to learn more about native plants, there has been the added bonus of trading a few native plants at the end of each meeting – thanks to the generosity of the other members we have added some unusual natives to our gardens. SGAP also have plant sales during the year at Grovelly TAFE, the Botanic Gardens and at McGregor State High. (http://www.sgapqld.org.au/events.html )

When we travel by car we often see places to buy a few new specimens (western Qld, Robyn Grey Grevillea Botanic Garden, Butterfly farm at Esk)

The Moggill Tree Farm was our original source for the Sydney Blue Gums and other plants such as Zig-Zag Wattle – it has since closed down

Friends and relatives are always giving and sharing plants especially because they know our project

The BCC provides 40 free plants per year to us because of our Land For Wildlife Partnership

Plants are free to members of the Save Our Waterways Now.                                                              Check out the SOWN nursery information at http://www.saveourwaterwaysnow.com.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=59

After the flood the BCC (through Barb’s Trees at the Gap, Grovely TAFE) delivered 800 to re-vegetate the devastated riverbank

Redlands Indigiscape Centre sometimes has sale prices for koala trees etc

The local nurseries at Brookfield have been a help for the specific plants e.g. roses, citrus

Wallum Nurseries sell whole trays of native seedlings to the public. We bought a tray of barbed wire grass tube stocks in order to prevent erosion in one particular site.

Ian is always on the lookout for taking snippets from plants on suburban walks and one son, Andrew, is very good at propagating plants from seeds he has found in the bush.

Bunnings is good for vegetable punnets and cheap stakes

Natural regeneration

In areas underneath trees where bird droppings have fallen there are often seedlings of natives as well as declared pests such as Chinese Elm, passionfruit vines, Cadaghis and also ubiquitous tomato plants. Around the cottage vegetable beds there is a plentiful supply of figs – both native and non-native. The main self-seeded natives are: figs (all kinds), dianellas (blue flax lilies), axe-handle wood trees and tuckeroos. Along the riverbank there have sprung up

  • bottlebrushes
  • sandpaper figs
  • weeping figs
  • rubiginosa figs
  • kangaroo apple bushes
And some of the plants bent or broken in the flood are re-sprouting…
            

Near the dam:

  • eucalypts
  • hoop pines

Around the enormous eucalyptus tereticornis:

  • kangaroo apple bushes
  • axe-handle wood trees
  • sandpaper figs
  • kamalas
  • tuckeroos
  • scrambling lily vine
  • olive trees (non-native)

In the gully:

  • sandpaper figs
  • macarangas
  • kamalas
  • ferns
  • wattles (see N.B. below)

In the groves:

  • axe-handle wood trees
  • kangaroo apple bushes
  • lilies (the flood waters came up extremely high and deposited them)
  • sandpaper figs
  • ferns
  • whalebone trees
  • one cunjevoi

On the cottage bank:

  • wattles [Our Land For Wildlife officer visited us on 25th May ’12 and we were undeceived in our idea that our wattles were self-propogating…the seedlings were actually leucaenas (Leucaena leucocephala – native to tropical America)

Around the house:

  • lomandras
  • poincianas
  • jacarandas
  • leopard trees
  • firewheel trees

Near existing blackbean trees:

  • blackbeans

In the branches of trees, piles of rock eg. near clothesline tree, near front garden corner ironbark:

  • figs
  • ferns

In Danny’s garden:

  • bunya pines
  • silky oaks
  • dianellas
  • figs – sandpaper and glossy
  • tulipwoods
  • tuckeroos

See Natives and Otherwise on the Menu for a plan of the layout of the gardens and areas  mentioned above.

In June 2012 we are working hard to lay the groundwork for turning the side paddock into native habitat. We plant lots more lomandras around the dam for the frog and ducks and any other birds or animals that need cover. We are also excited to hear on the news that tadpole cane toads can be caught by being attracted to the poison in the glands of mature frogs. One day we hope to be able to employ this method in our dam. See http://scienceillustrated.com.au/blog/nature/new-weapon-against-cane-toads/

We also arrange for the Cadaghi trees, Broad-leaved Pepper trees and an Umbrella tree to be cut down. With the huge pile of mulch from the professional arborists’ work Ian plans to spread this over most of the northern slope after he has killed off the grass. We already have planted most of this site but this will really boost the new plants. See the post for April 2012.

Janet is working her way around the Granddaddy Tereticornis on hands and knees digging out with a trowel all the small asparagus fern vines…hundreds. At the same time she is cutting back the grass with the kamakiri – it is quite sparse because of the overhanging trees. As she does this she uncovers more and more natives that have been self-sown, which she stakes:  sandpaper figs, kamalas, glossy figs, whale-bone trees, axe-handle trees, kangaroo apple bushes, a macadamia or two, scrambling lilies, hoop pines, tuckeroos, a silky oak or two and a macaranga. Obviously these are indigenous species that flourish in their natural locality and are partly spread because birds prefer their fruit or seed. Of course there is the usual contingent of weeds besides the small asparagus fern vines: small balloon vines, cocos palms, chinese elms, corky vines, sida retusas, drunken parrots, nightshades, a mock orange and a couple of others common weeds.

                            

      

The prospect of a large section of bush garden that seems to have fallen from heaven is terribly exciting.

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