The Mary River Turtle: Uniquely Australian, Ancient and Endangered.

The Mary River freshwater turtle (Elusor macrurus) is one of the most uniquely Australian and critically endangered turtles, living only in south east Queensland’s Mary River. Forty years ago, Mary River turtles were sold as ‘penny turtles’ through the pet trade, hatching just in time for Christmas. Twenty six years ago, this turtle was finally scientifically described. Ten years ago, the Australian government ruled against the Queensland government proposal to dam the river, which would have exterminated this species. Now, Queensland’s Tiaro and District Landcare volunteers monitor Mary River turtle nest sites, protecting them from extreme weather and predation, while the Mary River catchment group look after the health of the river system, the only home that this endangered turtle has, giving it a better chance of survival.

Rarity Is Commoner Than You Think

I own a critically endangered plant. It comes from Madagascar, an island degraded by human activity and peppered with endangered species. When I discovered the news that my Gerold’s Thornless Crown of Thorns was on the brink of extinction, I had a flashback to planning the Rare & Endangered Plants Garden for the Royal Botanic…

Hedge on the Edge: Is This The Ultimate Hibiscus?

I have been instructed by Denise Horchner of the Perennial Poppies Garden Club to write about my Phillip Island Hibiscus, Hibiscus insularis. This Australian species could be described as the ultimate hibiscus. As far as I’m aware, I’m the only person who uses this critically endangered wildflower as a flowering hedge. Planted to welcome visitors and to shelter my front garden from desiccating wind, birds and people love its blooms. I make jam and a soothing tea from a species that has become my signature plant.

Open Day At Bellis, August 2014

FULL DETAILS SEE: http://www.opengarden.org.au Leave Brisbane’s suburbs behind as you visit 813 square metres of rural Wynnum. Check out my award-winning, thrifty sustainable garden: blue bananas, stingless bees, home grown bath sponges, and turf mostly mowed by guinea pigs. See how a decade of organic gardening has converted uncompromising acid sulphate soil into a wonderful,…

Ecofest, Gladstone

Interest in conservation and sustainability has never been stronger in Gladstone. Ecofest, an annual event marking World Environment Day, has grown up. It’s now one of Australia’s leading environmental events for sharing information, celebrating conservation initiatives, Australian technology and pooling resources.

Do Sydney’s Botanic Gardens Need Redeveloping?

Instead of asking the staff at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, The Guardian asks assorted architects for their take on the controversial plan to redesign one of Sydney’s most cherished and tranquil landmarks…

Favourite Flying Fox Food Trees: What To Plant

  Flying-foxes are flying gardeners, they sustain forests along eastern and northern Australia, pollinating native trees in national parks and reserves that have become separated or isolated by settlement. Flying foxes also spread tree seed, helping to landscape vast areas of Australia. Many forest-dwelling threatened species depend on these ‘batty’ forests to provide them with food…

Love Cycads

Q: “What’s a cycad?” A: “Just over 300 species of cycad survive, many are only known as fossils. Think Tolkein, think Middle Earth, think  dinosaur food. Wonderful plants, the kind you want to have with you always.”

Concerning Australia’s Batty Forests And Convict Lettuce

I’d like to start my Australia Day speech by acknowledging the Bundjalung people, Beaudesert’s original landscape gardeners. I’d also like to thank Woolworth’s who have been supporting Australia Day for thirteen years. I am lucky. I seem to have made a career out of doing what I love. I am a freelance curator, broadcaster and gardener. I…