Australian Plant Society meets at Horse Island

Australian Plant Society South East NSW Group held its October meeting incorporating our AGM was held at Horse Island, courtesy of owners Christina and Trevor Kennedy. 

Christina’s love of Australian plants is abundantly evident in the sprawling gardens she has designed over the years.  As growers of Australian plants we were fortunate to be able to visit this garden and marvel at just how well Australian plants can look when planted in a formal style.

We farewelled our president of two years, Margaret Lynch, thanking her for her wonderful contribution to our group.  The other members of the committee were re-elected unopposed and two new members have volunteered their services so we have another committed and enthusiastic committee to take us into next year.

Our guest speaker was Professor Simon Haberle, Director of the School of Culture History and Language at ANU.  He presented the topic “Gardens, Pollen and Respiratory Health: What we know, what we don’t know and what we need to know about pollen and its impact on our daily lives”.

Simon began by introducing his involvement in a long term monitoring program for climate change science and community health management explaining the role of pollen and how different plants have evolved the most efficient ways to distribute pollen to ensure successful reproduction.

During question time Simon was asked to comment on the widely held belief that wattles are to blame for at least some allergies.  His table showed that wattles  produce pollen from July to February (peaking between August and November) but the grains are too heavy to become part of the airborne pollen mix and can therefore be exonerated as a culprit causing hay fever.  Interestingly it is the many non-native plants that are highly allergenic.

Christina was then asked to introduce her new book ‘Horse Island’ which is a personal story of Christina’s and her forebears’ involvement with Horse Island and her decision to use Australian plants rather than exotics. 

Our next meeting is on Saturday, November 5, meeting at 9.30am at Batemans Bay.  We will travel firstly to the garden of Cliff Williams at Currowan then we will travel in convoy along Western Distributor Road to discover the varied forest types on the ranges of Currowan SF, through parts of Yadboro, Clyde, Shallow Crossing, South Brooman and Boyne State Forests.  For inquiries please phone Amanda on 0421 426 366.