Document Sample
					                           FRIENDS OF WARRNAMBOOL
                               BOTANIC GARDENS

   Issue No. 48                                                                             Winter 2008

                                           President Report
        The Friends has enjoyed a busy and most fulfilling year culminating in receiving a grant to restore
the damaged heritage listed fernery from Heritage Victoria. The grant will be used to fund much needed
carpentry and restore the sprinkler system in the fernery. As most people are aware this fernery is one of only
three such ferneries still existing in botanic gardens in Victoria with one at Ripponlea and the other at
Bendigo. Once again we must acknowledge the tireless endeavours of our member Marigold Curtis. The
fernery is most significant as it was first constructed in 1888 with the original plans dated to 1866. It contains
rare Otway ferns sourced locally.
        The Friends continue to work with and acknowledge the accomplishments of our curator, John
Sheely and his staff. John has initiated educative working bees with the members on a monthly basis. All
members are encouraged to attend these occasions of which there are reminders in the quarterly bulletins
posted or emailed to all members.
The gardens have continued to be a focus for many groups and activities throughout the past year. Many
people enjoyed the Australia Day festivities and also Jazz in the gardens for the annual Wunta carnival.
        The friends also continue to offer informative guided walks of the gardens on a fortnightly
occurrence. Over the past year the Growing Friends have also lovingly provided time and expertise by
propagating and promoting plant life. We are reminded that there will be a plant sale on 21st September from
11am to 2pm with a bbq lunch and coffee and tea near the rotunda. Friends are encouraged to pot up special
plants beforehand.
        The gardens continued to provide the staff and friends the opportunity to liaise with staff from
Geelong and Southern Grampians. In addition to Friends hosted groups from the early child care facility at
Southwest Tafe. Another highlight of the year was the hosting of the Casterton and Geelong Garden Clubs.
        The Gardens has also seen the installation of two picnic tables and seats. These were a gift from
Isobel and David Jones on behalf of the F.J Foundation, for which we are most grateful. Their installation
has been managed by the Gardens Staff and they provide a great addition to the Gardens.
        Another highlight of the Friends' year was the presentation of important historical films at the
Warrnambool Art Gallery. The films were initiated by John Wilkins, a former visual arts lecturer at Deakin
University. The films have been edited on to a dvd format featuring new and old interpretations of post and
past Second World War events.
Anne Lynch

                            ANNUAL SPRING GARDEN DAY
The Friends and Garden Staff are holding a Garden Day and Plant Sale at the Botanic Gardens on
September 21st from 11am to 2pm
John Sheely will be on hand for any garden related advice. Wide variety of plants propagated at the
gardens by the staff and friends for sale. Guided Walks and Plenty of food and entertainment.
We would very much appreciate any plants that you may be able to donate for the Sale - if
you have any plants these could be dropped of at the growing area/depot yard, Cockman
Street during work hours. And of course if you are able to help on the day please contact a
committee member.
                       THANK YOU FOR YOUR ON GOING SUPPORT

                                           AGM Report
        Donna Ellis, lecturer in horticulture and garden designer, was guest speaker at the Friends of
Warrnambool Botanic Gardens AGM on Thursday 17th July. Her illustrated address on Hamilton
Botanic Gardens : a Guilfoyle Garden, was of great interest to the thirty five members who attended
the meeting held in the Warrnambool Club. Tim Hubbard, Heritage Advisor, provided an update on
the historic guns and cannon of south west Victoria. One of the most significant is the cannon,
which has been part of the Gardens for almost 100 years. The wooden carriage is in urgent need of
preservation. The „Friends” are keen to facilitate a reproduction carriage to enable the cannon to
again be accessible in the Gardens.
        Guided tours will continue on the second and fourth Sunday of each month starting from the
main gates at 2.30 and a plant sale and BBQ will be held near the Rotunda on Sunday 21st
September from 11.00am
Information on the Gardens is available on the new and developing web site at
      Anne Lynch was confirmed as President and Mandy King Secretary for the coming year.



                                       AS AT 30TH JUNE, 2008

Cash Book Balance at 1st July, 2007                                          2,868.66

Add: Receipts                                                                9,658.35

Less: Payments                                                            (12,064.82)

Cash Book Balance as at 30th June, 2008                                        462.19

Balance Per Bank Statement at 30th June, 2008                                  462.19


                             TERM DEPOSIT RECONCILIATION

                                       AS AT 30TH JUNE, 2008

Opening Balance as at 1st July, 2007                                        15,363.07

Add: Receipts - Interest                                                     1,085.76

Closing Balance as at 30th June, 2008                                       16,448.83

                         Botanic Gardens Team Update August 2008
The recent rains have been gladly welcomed at the gardens.
We have had substantial rain in both July and August, which should stand us in good stead for spring.
The winter annuals have survived the rains well with the Kale at the front gate bed proving a winner with a
subtle display of colour appreciated by many a visitor – well done Ros.
The dwarf sweet peas located in the sausage beds are about to flower and will bring spring colour into the
The Corymbia maculata (Spotted Gum) located towards bed 21 was recently pruned due to extensive branch
failure from storm damage.
The barrel of the tree is still standing but will be removed once the surrounding area has drained and
machinery is able to access the tree.
Unfortunately, the retention of the tree is not possible given the storm damage it sustained.
Replanting adjacent to this tree is proposed in autumn 2009.
Another tree to be removed was the Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (Lawson‟s Cypress) located closest to the
cypress arch.
This tree was a poor specimen with extensive dieback that according to records had been in decline since
A juvenile Phoenix canariensis (Canary Island Date Palm) was uncovered during the removal of the tree and
will be retained within this palm precinct.
We are pleased to report that the heat bed is up and running with both power and plumbing installed.
Both cuttings and seed are currently occupying the heat bed.
Mark Bowman an apprentice gardener at WCC is currently working as part of the gardens team and doing a
great job.
The new calendar of activities is out so please mark in your diaries the first Tuesday of each month and come
along to the gardens and get involved.
See you in spring
John, Ros, Mark A & Mark B

                                          THE MENAGERIE
Some of our members still recall the menagerie, which was located along the Cockman St. boundary, west of
the fernery and adjoining the circular bed with the giant bamboo. This was established in the time of
Scoborio‟s curatorship and gradually disappeared under William Donald.
“The aviaries and animal enclosures were a common thread linking almost all the western Victorian botanic
gardens. … … … In comparison with Melbourne, which in 1859 became the „Botanical and Zoological
Gardens‟ and boasted llamas and angora goats, the menagerie at Warrnambool was modestly small and
known to have included a monkey, kangaroo and emu. A similar situation existed at Hamilton.” (C.M.P.

We thank Jill Heathcote for providing the following delightful extract from the Warrnambool Standard of
September 13th 1895.

          The latest addition to the bird life in the Botanic gardens is a native companion. The bird is a large
one, possessing a silvery-gray plumage, black tipped wings and a cap of crimson feathers on his head. His
quarters are with the wallaby, and this companionship of fur and feathers seems likely to become agreeable.
At first the native companion proved himself the master, for he accustomed himself to look on the kangaroo
with his glittering yellow eyes and then to pick at him with his long beak till he bounded away. Fleet as the
marsupial is however, the long strides of the native companion match his leaps, and a chase around the
enclosure always ends in favour of the bird. When angry the native companion utters a noise resembling the
growl of a dog, but when he is in a pleasant mood he will stand on one leg and play pitch and toss with an
empty matchbox, a nail or any small article his beak can grasp. When this pair of “natives” are apart, their
antics are equally entertaining. The bird will pirouette like a skirt dance , droop his wings and flutter and
ruffle his feathers into a dozen shapes, while the kangaroo sits supported on his tail, and sways the upper
part of his body on the lower as a pivot .Both eat out of the same dish, unlike the fox and the stork At present
there is a splendid cockatoo in one of the cages in the Gardens. He is as agile as a gymnast. The Gardens
are the resort just now of many wild birds including about 100 magpies which chatter in the tall pines. Fully
fifty gaily plumaged parrots are to be seen occasionally, besides half a dozen jackasses screaming with
laughter. There are also a number of smaller birds in the trees of exquisite form and feather, so shy that even
a keen observer will not often get a glimpse of them. Altogether the Gardens are daily becoming more
beautiful, and their attractions are thoroughly appreciated by visitors to Warrnambool as well as by the

Another extract from the 23rd June 1898 records a claim to fame by another occupant of the menagerie.
       A copy of “The Shooting Times and British Sportsmen” (London) … … … related how the pelican
was devouring all the birds in the Gardens that it could capture. It was also published in the “Westminster
Gazette”, so the local cannibalistic bird may be said to have gained a world wide fame.
By the time that was published, the bird was dead, having injured its throat swallowing a seagull.
The Menagerie was part of a different age and few will regret its closing.            PV 16/08/08

       BGANZ Australia Plants Forum Diversity & Direction 2008 23rd - 24th September
                  Geelong Conference Centre, Eastern Park, Geelong

BGANZ - Botanic Gardens Australia & Newzealand

'The often quoted statistic (Australian Bureau of Statistics surveys 1993-1995) that people visit
botanic gardens more than any other cultural venues apart from cinemas, demonstrates the need
for a body dedicated to representing the interests of these precious resources.'

Part of their very inclusive programe is listed below. Visit the web site to see the full program and
registration form

23rd Rethinking Landscaps
Were in the world are we?- Peter May. Rethinking landscapes fashions fads and avoiding a fatalistic
approach- Felix Hemingway. Waterwise Gardens the good bad and ugly- Kevin Walsh. Selection &
design of plantings for a new botanic garden- Paul Thompson. Gardens for a changing climate- Tim

24th Diversity and Directions, influencing the Agenda
The role of botanic gardens in influencing public and private horticulture- Phil Moors. Reinstating
the focus on plants, Investing in future horticulturists-Tony Hughes. Engaging the community in
sustainable gardening. Why we need the Urban Forest-Dr Peter Fisher. Guilfoyle's volcano-Andrew
Laidlaw. An untapped resource, Garden plants conservation Ass of Aust.-Richard Barley.
BOTANIC GARDENS Inc.                                 Society for Growing Australian Plants
President                                            SGAP are holding their Flower Show and Plant Sale in
Anne Lynch                    (03) 5562 1303         the Warrnambool College Hall on August 21st from
                                                     9-4. Soil testing and refreshments available
Vice-president                                       For more details call Michael Mattner 0355676477
Pat Varley                    (03) 5562 4800

Secretary                                                     CANNON IN THE GARDEN
Mandy King                    (03) 55620343
                                                     As reported in our last newsletter the cannon in the
Minute Secretary
Laurel Myers                  (03) 55617571          garden is under research as to the best way to
                                                     undertake restoration.
Kathy Wicherson               (03) 5562 1436         You could help compile the history of our cannon
                                                     through your recollections and stories, both fun stories
Growing Friends
Judi Phillips                 (03) 5562 3320         of the canon while it has been in the gardens and
                                                     maybe your memories or reports of its life before the
Guided Tours                                         gardens. Maybe you have some ancestral anecdotes or
Isobel Jones                  (03) 5568 1076         written history. We are keen to create a little booklet
                                                     and design a history plaque when restoration has been
Newsletter Editor
Marigold Curtis               (03) 5567 6316         completed.

Historian                                                                 STOP PESS
Marie Johnstone               (03) 5562 3238

Archives                                             Closure of Cockman Street
Jean Fitzpatrick              (03) 5562 3447         The Friends are alarmed that this proposal has been
                                                     revived. Refer to the Standard 23rd Aug 2008
Public Officer - Grants
Billie Rowley                  (03) 55611583
                                                                           WEB SITE
Correspondence:                                      The gardens now has a web site, this is in construction
Friends of Warrnambool Botanic Gardens Inc.
P.O. Box 1190                                        but in time will carry a lot of interesting facts relating
Warrnambool 3280                                     to the gardens.
Email:                We will post the past news letters along with future
Our newsletter is published spring, summer,
autumn and winter.                                   Visit the site by copying
                                            into your web browser
If you would like to contribute to our publication
please forward material to the above address.        and enjoy.
Membership: Payable at/or by the AGM
                                                     If you would like to contact the friends send an email
July 2008                                            to

August 2008                                                            NEWSLETTER
                                                     The newsletter is now been sent by email. If anyone
                                                     would like to join the email/newsletter list please send
                                                     an email to