Wildflower Exhibition in South Western Australia -Feature article

South West Exhibition includes hundreds of rare and exquisite wildflowers

Now its 94th year, Busselton Wildflower Exhibition is gearing up to welcome local enthusiasts as well as visitors from further afield this September. The South West corner of Western Australia is renowned for having one of the richest and most diverse flora in the world and attracts visitors from around the State, Australia and overseas.

Kangaroo Paw

Exhibition chairman Barry Oates said it was an opportunity to see spectacular wildflowers you couldn’t see anywhere else in the world. “It is a truly unique experience and a great way for people to connect with part of Busselton’s community and history,” he said. In addition, Geographe Community Landcare Nursery’s Coordinator, Rod Cary will be onsite to assist wildflower enthusiasts to learn more about the local varieties. Mr Oates stated that the relationship with Rod and the Nursery is highly valued for advice on Exhibition day plus assistance with accurate naming of the diverse range of wildflowers.

The City of Busselton has been a long-time supporter of the exhibition. Mayor Grant Henley said the exhibition highlights a wonderful array of native flora, rich and diverse in the South West.  “Much of the flora on display would not be experienced by any one person at any one site, so it’s a rare and fantastic opportunity to do so,” he said.

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association’s Joint CEO/GM Marketing, Sharna Kearney said, “The South West region provides a rare opportunity to experience exceptional concentrations of endemic wildflower species. You can get a close look at a wide range of these wildflowers at the Busselton Wildflower Exhibition as well as by getting out and about in the region.”

The exhibition is loved by locals as well as visitors “One doesn’t have to be a gardening or wildflower expert to be amazed at the beauty and variety of specimens on display” says Busselton resident, Deirdre Chell. “I come back year after year and always find something new to view or photograph” she said.

Wildflowers on display are chosen by people who have obtained licences from the Dept of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (Dept BCA) to pick wildflowers in the week of the Wildflower Exhibition.

All pickers are conscious of the need to preserve native flora and pick responsibly. Rare and endangered species are not picked. The Busselton Wildflower Exhibition gives those unable to ‘go bush’ an opportunity to see a great variety of specimens.

Assorted Wildflowers

Australia’s South West, Chief Executive Officer Catrin Allsop said that “Almost 80% of Australia’s South West’s plant species cannot be found anywhere else in the world. In August through to November, more than 8000 species of wildflowers and 300 species of delicate orchids are in bloom, making it a popular and beautiful time to visit the region.”

Organised by the Uniting Church of Busselton, the Wildflower Exhibition also includes the following:

  • Photography display (Busselton Camera Club)
  • Geographe Community Landcare Nursery sales and advice
  • Waterwise garden display (Geocatch)
  • Light refreshments will be available throughout the day
  • Variety of stalls displaying local produce and crafts for purchase

Bring your camera along to test your skill at capturing the rare beauty of the flowers on show.

Exhibition Details:

Place:    Uniting Church Hall and Grounds, 47 Kent Street, Busselton

Date:    Thursday, 26 September and Friday, 27 September 2019, 9am- 4pm

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In my garden

I got the camera out yesterday and took a few snaps of my garden. I haven’t tended it much in a while but with sunshine and rain it seems to be thriving. We have our first day of Winter on Saturday!

Can you find three herbs and guess what they are?

We had a short break from Philosophy but start again tomorrow discussing Simone de Beauvoir and Existentialism. Should be interesting 🙂

Feature: Geographe Community Landcare Nursery Inc.

OPEN DAY – MAY 11

I am assisting in the promotion of the 94th Annual Busselton Wildflower Exhibition to be held on 26 &27 September 2019.

The Exhibition Committee and volunteers work in partnership with the Geographe Community Land-care Nursery Inc. and Coordinator, Rod Cary, a former TAFE lecturer in Margaret River. Rod’s scientific knowledge of native plant species is invaluable. He assists Exhibition volunteers with the accurate identification of wildflowers for display at the Exhibition. Rod is also available for the two days of the Exhibition to answer questions about the native plants and their requirements. Barry Oates, Chair of the Exhibition Committee, said the relationship with Rod is highly valued.

This amazing nursery is a not-for-profit community organisation, located at the Queen Elizabeth Avenue site in Busselton for the past 16 years. They look like being there for many years to come.

They are self-sufficient through plant sales for their daily requirements and they sometimes receive Government funds for special projects (a recent building was funded by the Royalties for Regions funding).

Some numbers to impress

  • The Nursery grows up to 90,000 plants each year.
  • They have around 80 volunteers with up to 60 assisting each week.
  • Volunteers may be retirees, people with disabilities (some with carers) and work-for-dole participants. Volunteers help each other with the tasks to be undertaken.
  • They have about 250 Australian native plant species available for wholesale customers plus there are around 300 species of cultivars (cultivated varieties) of native origin.
  • About 10% of sales are retail with the remainder of the plants sold wholesale to mining companies, local government, developers and small property owners.
  • Growing native plants from locally collected seeds produces much better results due to their genetic diversity – better chance of some of them surviving because of this diversity. They have had breakthroughs with a range of species.

***** I just love the wildflowers and really enjoy finding images to share!

Reflections on my philosophy classes

Over the past few weeks we have been discussing David Hume (1711-1776), Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and Georg Wilhelm Hegel (1770-1831).

I have to say I have found them at the same time, very hard work and yet brilliant. If I had just read about them in the book we are using I would never have grasped some of their concepts but having a group discussion about them was really stimulating.

David Hume spoke about causation and that we can never assume that because we observe something happening once, we can’t be sure that it will happen the same way again! Lots of talk about billiard balls.

From Kant I learnt about the Categorical Imperative – I understand it to mean that if I need to determine if an action is moral I need to consider how it would be if it was a universal law that the action be carried out by anyone/everyone.

And then there was Hegel. I found him the most difficult to understand and yet the most fascinating. Hegel’s philosophy covered such a wide scope. I think I almost understood his “thesis – anti-thesis – synthesis” but don’t ask me to explain it here. Again, the group discussion really helped my understanding.

Next fortnight we will discuss Bertrand Russell and I am looking forward to it!

Rene Descartes continued

We had two interesting discussions on Thursday based on information on Descartes in Tom Butler-Dowdon’s book, 50 Philosophy Classics. I also provided some handouts based on my research mostly on the internet. This morning’s group found Descartes famous ‘I think, therefore I am’ difficult to grasp. Also the idea that Descartes could discard all existing knowledge and experience and start again in judging what he believed to be true. Is it really possible to imagine that all your past ideas and experiences can be erased to the point that the only thing one can know is that they are a ‘thinking thing’.

Descartes goes on to to say:

“And the whole force of the arguments I have used here to prove the existence of God consists in this, that I recognise that it would not be possible for my nature to be as it is, that is to say, that I should have in me the idea of a God, if God did not really exist.”

We discussed that people throughout time and in different cultures throughout the world independently believe in some form of higher power. But does that really prove that God exists? It doesn’t disprove it either!

The afternoon group suggested that Descartes’ attention to God in his writing was more pragmatic due to the time (early 1600’s) in France. Many of his ideas in maths and science, astronomy could have been seen as heresy if he didn’t publicly pay homage to a belief in God. Galileo suffered being called a heretic for his advances in scientific knowledge so Descartes, as a witness to this, withdrew some of his writings (The Book of the World).

Primarily our group is about having a stimulating discussion and keeping our brains active. The participants know that I am not a philosophy academic and hopefully that enables them to think and to express valid views on the topics raised in the book. And we can get to know each other and start to build some social networks in our community.

This week we look at Rene Descartes

He thinks, therefore he is!

This nine minute video gives a quick overview of the massive ground that Descartes covered in his lifetime as a philosopher, mathematician and scientist.

I will write again after we have our two discussion groups tomorrow.

A little family history …

I got a pleasant surprise today when a distant cousin sent me some old photos and scans. One family member who is well known to me from stories but I didn’t ever meet her – my Great Auntie Mary. She was born in 1892 and died in 1994.

Auntie Mary Moran
Auntie Mary wrote this poem on her 92nd birthday. She was quite a woman!

She had quite a strong interest in politics too!

Not a night person anymore!

I realised this morning that I completely messed up on my previous post. Thanks to those who ‘liked’ it anyway!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In the past I was always at my best in the evenings – did my best work when I was studying etc. Time to review this I am afraid.

My previous post was about Machiavelli but I had the heading of Descartes. I don’t think they have much in common – especially the ‘ends justifies the means”!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Machiavelli Continued …

We had two lively discussions last Thursday on Machiavelli. He is mostly remembered for the words “the ends justify the means” but I don’t believe he actually ever used those words specifically. In his book, The Prince, he develops something of an instruction manual for a Prince who is about to lead his kingdom.

There are around ten people in each group competing to share their ideas. I try hard to let everyone have a chance to talk.

It was inevitable that we would end up discussing some well known politicians such as Donald Trump and Theresa May. We also tried to discern if Machiavelli really supported unscrupulous behaviour or whether he was just “telling it like it was/is”. We generally believed he wrote from his knowledge and experience within the government of the day.

Since Thursday I see so much Machiavelli wherever I look. People in power presenting an acceptable face to the world but barely hiding some of the measures they take to continue in their roles.

It could be argued that we all have a dark side or shadow but hopefully most people work towards bettering themselves and not at refining their dark arts!

Niccolò Machiavelli

Tomorrow our U3A Group will be studying Machiavelli.

He is definitely an interesting character to consider and I am sure there will be some lively discussion. Consider the following quote:

It makes one think in these times when we long for strong leadership based on integrity. Stay tuned for more …