LAUNCH OF ‘GUIDE TO INDIGENOUS PLANTS & PROBLEM WEEDS OF THE NEPEAN PENINSULA’ – NEPEAN CONSERVATION GROUP – SORRENTO COMMUNITY CENTRE
10 June 2016

LAUNCH OF ‘GUIDE TO INDIGENOUS PLANTS & PROBLEM WEEDS OF THE NEPEAN PENINSULA’ – NEPEAN CONSERVATION GROUP – SORRENTO COMMUNITY CENTRE

Cr Fraser – I should like to thank your President Ursula De Jong and the Nepean Conservation Group for your kind invitation to me as a Nepean Ward councillor to launch this this new and revised edition of the “Guide to Indigenous Plants and Weeds of the Nepean Peninsula”.

This is an important publication and my thanks also to the Nepean Conservation Group and all those who have contributed to its preparation – to mention but some and Ursula has mentioned many more – John Treware, John Franklin, Sarah Patterson and Gwidga Walker and also Laura Crilly from the Shire’s Natural Systems Team.

At my own parents’ home in Melbourne, I was brought up under a spectacular 100 old Algerian oak in a garden established by my mother and father of azaleas, camellias of several varieties, rhododendrons and, of course, English grass.

When my parents came to build the beach house in which I now live at Rye, my mother rather determinedly announced that she wished to have a native or indigenous garden and they set about doing so. I can recall my mother fossicking about the many nearby vacant blocks of land and the roadside reserves and successfully locating exquisite native orchids and – I am not sure that she could do this now – transplanted some into her new garden.

This she quickly abandoned as none could be transplanted and survive out of their immediate micro environment – which just does to show how sensitive are the many remnant indigenous vegetation areas in the Nepean Peninsula, including the many remaining drainage blocks. These remnant areas need to be not only treated with respect and care but are vital areas of native vegetation in open space which need to be protected and preserved.

Many years later – having successfully established and maintained their indigenous garden for some decades – my mother rather directly remarked  to me one day that “All plants are weeds”.  Her comment nonplussed me at the time but, as I look about the garden now,  I can see how these seductively named plants have crept back into her garden –  the seductively named cotoneasters,  coprosmas,  pittosporums,  polygala, and agapanthus – the so called “Lilly of the Nile” – horrible weeds that have no place amongst our indigenous flora of the Nepean Peninsula.

These and many others are identified in this excellent publication. And I note in its title the juxtaposition of “Indigenous Plants” and “Problem Weeds”. This contradistinction is important and perhaps if we all focus on protecting and encouraging these indigenous plants, there will be no place for the problem weeds.

And I am now delighted to officially launch the “GUIDE TO INDIGENOUS PLANTS & PROBLEM WEEDS OF THE NEPEAN PENINSULA”!