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!

My Garden Project

I like to have a nice garden but it is not something that comes naturally to me. Up until recently all I had in my small, rear yard was the big, above ground garden bed, some palms and two jasmine plants.

The garden bed was really too big for the space and because it was so deep I had stopped planting vegetables and my mint, parsley and oregano started to take over. I was able to quickly sell the garden bed on Facebook but then what was I going to do with all that soil?

It is still a work in progress but I felt happy today that I had made some improvements. I now have some cherry tomato plants, some irises, marigolds, snapdragons and repotted herbs. A friend kindly gave me some lovely succulents earlier this week and I decided to use my multi-level trays just for succulents.