Australian Plants Society, Southern Tablelands Group

Putting the right plants in the right places.

The Australian Plants Society Southern Tablelands Group have been nominated by the FROGS Landcare group for their great work in promoting interest in and planting of native plants in the Goulburn area. Their work has particularly assisted the Wetlands project in a number of ways.

They were able to give advice about the original vegetation that would have covered the area. The site being some old brick pits, its original vegetation had been substantially diminished, and many invasive weed species and exotic grasses had taken root across the area. The Society were able to assist in the choice of a range of native vegetation suitable for the specific aspects of the site such as the soil type, riverside environment, areas that flooded, steep slopes and the wetland ponds. The Society also provided important input to the long-term management plan.

Having worked out the appropriate species needed, Society members conducted local seed-gathering expeditions to ensure local provenance plants would be available for the site. FROGS Landcare group members were invited to participate in seed collection which allowed the sharing of knowledge of what and where and when to collect relevant vegetation species. Subsequently they have held regular workshops, providing training and experience for Landcare volunteers.

Using their expertise, the Society propagated the appropriate grasses, graminoids, shrubs and trees for the site from seeds and cuttings, raising them in their nursery, and hardening them to the local climatic conditions. This has been highly effective, with a success rate of 90% of plants. All this was done free of charge to the Wetlands Project. Subsequently the Society has undertaken transect and quadrat surveys at regular intervals, contributing to on-going monitoring and evaluation of the work.

A feature at the wetlands are some ‘garden’ areas within the Wetlands site which showcase native plants that thrive in the local area. The aim is to encourage local gardeners to realise the beautiful foliage and flowers will also enhance their own gardens, and thus increase the general interest in growing Australian native plants.

The Society also publishes a monthly newsletter, carries out surveys and data recording on other local sites, holds forums with guest speakers to involve and interest the local community. They maintain a productive propagation nursery and promote and sell local provenance native plants.

Here is a short video about the group