Journal of the Australian Native Plants Society Canberra region (Inc)

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Daytime Activities Group

By Words: Pam Morrison; Photos: Paul Goggin

Sept 2023

Illawarra Grevillea Park Botanic Gardens,
Menai Wildflower Group
and Mt Annan Botanic Garden

Over two sunny days in July, a keen group of members from the Daytime Activities Group (DAG) travelled north towards Sydney. On the Sunday afternoon we visited the Illawarra Grevillea Park Botanic Garden. Then on the Monday we visited the Menai Wildflower Group, finishing the day by visiting the Mt Annan Botanic Garden. There was lively chat about plants at the picnic lunch on Sunday, followed by a wander through the Grevillea Gardens seeing many unusual and stunning species. The time spent in the gardens was enjoyed by all and many arrived back in Canberra with new plants for their gardens. Monday took us to the Menai Wildflower Group’s garden at the Illawong Rural Fire Station where we were provided with a delicious morning tea before exploring two native gardens.

Grevillea ‘Alex’s Pink’
Grevillea ‘Bulli Beauty’
Grevillea ‘Honey Gem’

One garden was replanted in 2004 after severe bushfire damage and has not looked back. It now has a mature collection of plants from all over Australia, plus hives of native bees. Many were in flower. The second garden is behind the fire station and known as ‘The Mounds’project.  This was built on three mounds built by Sutherland Shire Council out of rubbish removed from Gross Pollution Traps in the local area. After rubbish was removed from the silt and capped with clean soil the Wildflower Group planted out mounds with specimens propagated by the Group from as many different plant families deemed able to handle the unusual soil mix. Almost everything grew, thereby proving to be a successful experiment. After farewelling the Menai Wildflower Group, we drove to the Mt Annan Botanic Garden, lunching in the restaurant there before wandering through various sections of the Gardens. Again, many plants were in flower.

Grevillea ‘Callum’s Gold’
Grevillea venusta
Grevillea ‘Dorothy Gordon’

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