Heathmont Railway Line

Hi all

The recent working bee was another success with everyone tackling Wonga Vine and Quaker grass along the railway line.

I will let the photos do the talking though! Enjoy!

Dexter’s Working bee

I am pretty sure that everyone (including me) had a fantastic time on Sunday at Dexter’s.  The sun graced us with her presence and it was great to see some old faces and some new faces.

Once again, thanks to everyone for their help on Sunday and we hope to see everyone at the next working bee.

Working Bee: 3 June 2012 at Heathmont Park

What a great turnout from fellow Heathmontians at our local park!

Heathmont Park is a mixed area.  In some places there are lots of woody weeds  such as pittosporum, Acacia longifolia, Acacia elata and cotoneaster.  In other places, exotic grasses like kikuyu, panic veldt grass and sweet vernal are rampant.  And of course there is the blackberry patch and the tradescantia.

Elsewhere, however, the indigenous vegetation is dense and effectively keeping weeds at bay.  The many seedlings of correa and prickly currant indicate a healthy, thriving ecosystem.  As well, Heathmont Park is noted for its stands of allocasuarina trees.

At this time of year the correas are in full bloom and orchid leaves are just emerging ahead of their flowers.  Thanks to the good rainfall, fungi of many shapes and sizes, and in subtle shades of brown, tans, fawns and creams are flourishing.  Hiding under the grasses are small puff balls with their delicate “petals” opening out like stars.  A tree trunk is home to a cluster of tiny white parasols. Peeping from under fallen leaves are the glistening burnt orange caps of small toadstools.

Despite the threat of rain, a good number of volunteers arrived to battle the weeds.  The massive pile of pittosporum, weedy wattles and blackberries, plus the many large bags of soft weeds, indicate just how much was achieved.

Uambi: Update from planting and weeding bee in April

Members of Heathmont Bushcare will be delighted to know that the rains of recent times have been very beneficial in helping the little plants that were planted at Uambi (Harper’s Bush) in early April to establish themselves. Several weeks of very dry weather immediately after this batch of baby plants were put into the ground meant that each had to be individually watered, by hand, twice, in order to stop them shriveling up! The cold, wet winter weather of recent days has provided its own challenges with some plants becoming waterlogged, but so far only 2 of the 100 plants have not survived. That’s an impressive 98% success rate and a real testament to the care with which they were put into the ground over a month ago.

The cold and wet weather has also had the benefit of slowing weed growth in recent weeks. There are several invasive weeds to be found in Uambi which need constant monitoring, removal and sometimes spraying. The largest of these is the Radiata Pine which can grow up to 35 metres tall. These spread easily but are also easy to identify and remove when young. Sweet Pittosporum, ironically an Australian native plant which grows to 15m high, is another tree-weed that spreads very easily. It grows well in disturbed soil and its seeds are distributed far and wide by birds.  English Ivy, Onion Grass, Montpellier Broom and Wandering Jew can be a problem at times, but Asparagus Fern and Blackberries present more of a problem at Uambi as they are both very invasive and very difficult to remove. Blackberries really require spraying (often more than once) in order to kill them. Pulling out by hand is difficult because of the thorns and spread of roots, and often not very successful as blackberries will sprout again from any part of the root remaining in the soil. Asparagus fern is a native of South Africa that, given a chance, will completely smother other plants. It is an aggressive climber producing underground tubers which form dense impenetrable mats. Again, this makes removal by hand difficult but at least it does die easily and quickly when sprayed.

The winter months, when weed growth slows, allow us to concentrate on removing some of the larger weeds, such as the pine trees by ring-barking and the pittosporums by cutting them back and then poisoning the stems. It can sometimes seem like an overwhelming and never ending job, but with the help of Heathmont Bushcare members, we are slowly but surely winning.

Everyone can help by removing weeds from their own gardens and public spaces, and by discouraging neighbours from planting them. Much information about common weeds and how to remove them can be found at the Community of Ringwood Indigenous Species Plant nursery (CRISP) at 17 Greenwood Avenue in Ringwood.

Working Bee – Heathmont Railway Line

The Bushcare group met this morning (Sunday 4th March 2012) for another action packed morning of weeding and restoring. Opposite Bennett Avenue, the Heathmont Railway line is home to the Silver Banksia.

Even though it was a dark sky and rain threatened to keep a few of us away, we ended up with a great turn out and even made a new friend – a  blue tongue lizard found under one of the native grasses. The sun finally graced us with her presence and I am sure it warmed us all up!  It was a very special morning indeed.

Extensive work has been done at this site and it shows!  With all the rain we have had in the last few weeks, its good to see how green the bushland is and how healthy it looks.

After a few hours of weeding and re-planting of some native grasses, it was time for a nice hot cup of coffee and simply delightful apple and cinnamon muffins.  Definitely a great way to start a Sunday.  We hope to see you at the next event to be held on 1st April 2012 at Uambi.

(Please click on each photo for a larger view)