Sloppy ABC Reporting Could Harm Threatened Species

Letter to the editor, ABC News on line: “Regarding ‘Unwelcome bats just won’t beat it’, mere sensational reporting isn’t journalism. This report is misleading, and factually incorrect. The presence of starving, and stressed flying foxes outside their normal range is currently a result of famine in their natural range.

Queensland’s Flying Foxes Are Starving – Again

Pictured: driven by famine, a black flying fox drinks nectar from my banana flowers before sunset Bat Conservation & Rescue Qld President, Louise Saunders, is alarmed by the large number of reports about hungry flying-foxes staying by food trees through the day and not returning to their camps. “This is of huge concern as bats…

Grow Local: The 21st Century Food Garden

We’ve had a wonderful autumn here in Brisbane. Warm, sunny, moist and unusually calm weather has given me excellent growing conditions. For the first autumn since moving to Queensland in 2003, this gardener has hardly had to worry about watering: the Chinese celery is particularly fine, and my Greater Celandine is flourishing in conditions equivalent…

Symbionts In The Shrubbery

Whilst scrabbling around on my knees this morning, mulching the front garden with chopped sugarcane, I noticed the biggest and best display of coralloid roots is currently bursting through the surface of the leafy soil.

First Flowering: Pandanus cookii

This summer my fifteen year old specimen of Pandanus cookii flowered. It was collected from Cape York by Yuruga Nursery in the Atherton Tableland, where I bought it. Like all Pandanus, they are intolerant of frost and grow best in sub-coastal gardens in full sunshine in an open position with excellent drainage. I watered my…

Pretty Edible

I had a vacant vegetable bed last summer and decided to plant it with decorative edible plants just to show how good food can also be decorative. On the blue bamboo frame I sowed luffa, beside the frame I planted golden sweetpotato ‘Marguerite’. The central plantings consisted of Amaranthus tricolor ‘Joseph’s Coat’, and near the…

Seeking Sansevierias

Having to give away my collection of croton cultivars during Brisbane’s ongoing drought made sense at the time. But I do enjoy collecting plants, so I’ve decided to collect drought-resistant Sansevieria instead. Pictured is Sansevieria suffruticosa subsp. longituba from Kenya, which grows 15 – 20cm high. This plant produces flowers on spikes up to 30cm…