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Seeing native plants in gardens and reserves

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There are some wonderful places to visit to see native plants, both in their natural world, and in public gardens. 

Public native gardens in Sydney region

The Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan

Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve at Kareela

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden at St Ives

Stony Range Botanic Garden at Dee Why

Sylvan Grove Native Garden at Picnic Point

Illawarra Grevillea Park at Bulli

Public native gardens outside Sydney

Booderee Botanic Gardens, Jervis Bay

Burrendong Botanic Garden and Arboretum, Mumbil, near Wellington

Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens, Batemans Bay

North Coast Regional Botanic Garden, Coffs Harbour

The Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra


Below is a selection of stories about some of these public places. 

District Group support

Our District Groups support many community places, working closely with the community to share our knowledge and passion for Australian plants and their habitats and make plants available to the public. Examples include:

  • Blue Mountains Group holds an annual spring show at the Glenbrook Native Plant Reserve, a two hectare site containing a rich diversity of mountain flora as well as a native plant nursery.
  • Coffs Harbour Group is a contributor to the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden, which features forests and plants indigenous to the Coffs Harbour area, as well as rare and endangered plants of Australia.
  • Menai recently expanded its nursery, The Compound Nursery, and enhanced the landscaping at Illawong Rural Fire Station.
  • Newcastle operates a nursery at the Hunter Wetlands Centre.
  • North Shore supports the Ku-Ring-Gai Wildflower Garden in St Ives, an area of mostly natural bushland and two endangered ecological communities. The Society runs regular ‘walks and talks’ through the Garden
  • Northern Beaches supports the Stony Range Botanic Garden in Dee Why, a six hectare sanctuary of beautiful native plants and amazing sandstone landscapes, originally a disused quarry.
  • Nowra is a long-running exhibitor at the famous Berry Garden Festival, holding plant sales to inspire like minded people to grow native plants.
  • Sutherland Group is a long running supporter of Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve at Kareela, which in 2017 received a $5,000 federal government Stronger Communities Programme grant, matched by Sutherland Group, to produce over 20 interpretive signs for the Reserve.


Callala Creek Reserve boardwalk, by Leslie McKinnon, Nowra Group

On a beautiful autumn afternoon last weekend, we headed off to Callala Bay to seek out the Callala Creek Reserve boardwalk. The boardwalk has been recently reopened after being damaged by fires at the end of 2016 and sits between Callala Bay and Callala Beach taking in the Callala Creek salt marsh. The walk consists of constructed recycled plastic boards and areas of open bush paths. The boards allow visitors to walk through the Sepp14 wetland without causing damage to the wetland itself. 

This small area contains a number of different vegetation communities including Swamp Oak floodplain forest dominated by Casuarina glauca, where the graceful sprays of Dendrobium teretifolium (Bridal Veil orchids) can be found in early spring. 

Examples of both Swamp sclerophyll forest and Bangalay sands forest are traversed...more

Visit to Sir Joseph Banks reserve, March 2018, by Jan Williamson, North Shore Group

Three members of APS NSG went “on holidays” and ventured to Loftus on the balmy Saturday morning. We arrived just in time to join Rhonda leading the group on the guided tour of the beautiful Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve. 

As with Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Gardens, the initial development of this area as a native reserve was due to the foresight of keen conservationists some fifty years ago. Conditions have changed over the reserve’s life and plantings are reflecting these. For example, the rainforest area is no longer as cool and shady so the plants that once thrived are struggling, so other plantings are now occurring. Sutherland Shire Council and APS Sutherland Group have recently undertaken some major improvements of the Reserve...more

Visit to Boongala Nursery by Kevin Stokes, Newcastle 

A small group of Newcastle members had a very pleasant visit to Boongala Nursery run by Mal and Jenny Johnston in Kenthurst, Sydney. 

This garden and nursery has been an institution for many years for those interested in Australian plants and is well worth a visit.

There are several walks through the grounds including a rainforest walk.

A large range of plants are for sale, including some grafted Eremophilas, some of which disappeared into the back of my car with lightning like speed. One of my favourite plants was among them, that being Eremophila mackinnleyi. This impressive Eremophila is to be seen to great advantage at the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens at Port Augusta (along with with many other Eremophilas and small Eucalypts)...more

A zoo of trees - visit Eucalyptus Arboretum, Currency Creek, South Aust, by Kevin Stokes

Ever seen a 'zoo of trees?' 

Kevin Stokes from Newcastle Group is fascinated by eucs and suggests a visit to the Currency Creek Eucalyptus Arboretum in South Australia can be a rewarding experience. 'The main purpose of Currency Creek Arboretum (CCA) is research into Australia's dominant natural group of plants, the eucalypts (genera Angophora, Eucalyptus and Corymbia).

Currency Creek Arboretum was established and is managed by Dean Nicolle and is largely self-funded. The arboretum has the largest collection of Eucalypt species in the world, with over 900 species and subspecies (and over 8000 individual plants). This is almost double the number of Eucalypt taxagrown on any other one site elsewhere. Major plantings continue most years.'...more

For more stories, see the archive

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