naturescape12_mar2016 tour x website

Despite a very hot afternoon, the member’s Naturescape Sundowner event on 14 March was a great success.
The Friends and guests who attended enjoyed a guided tour of the RioTinto Naturescape Kings Park (RTNKP) site, hands-on activities and learnt about the philosophy of RTNKP and the future Stage 2 extension.
The evening finished with some refreshments and a very entertaining talk and slide show by Marcelle Broderick, Director of Business & Visitor Services, BGPA, entitled Four Gardens and a Conference.
‘Many thanks for organizing the event on last Monday evening…I had fun ‘tasting’ a couple of activities the children can do in the Park … and Marcelle’s talk was great. Nice knowing what other Botanic Gardens are doing. It was really an enjoyable night.’ Ratna Sulastin.

clean up aust day

A record 30 volunteers attended a Weekend Bushland Carers Session on Clean Up Australia Day, filling the back of a ute up with 25 large bags of rubbish!
The clean up effort started at the bushland around Synergy Parkland along May Drive and also up Poole Avenue.
Interesting or unusual items collected included a handbag, 2 hub caps, a fake million dollar bill, part of a shed, the front grill of a car, hospital waste and a perfume bottle.
It was an enjoyable morning and satisfying to help the ‘lungs of Perth’ breathe a little better.

w.ftrudi pollard natural dye talk

On the 23rd February textile artist Trudy Pollard gave a talk to the Friends of Kings Park on fabric dying using local plant material.
We were all mesmerized by fabrics soaked with eucalyptus bark or wrapped around branches of Sheoak being transformed into delicate colours and textures. She divulged some of her secrets, often learned from experts all over the world. The colours were exquisite, so subtle and varied.
Trudy inspired us with her creativity as well as her wonderful work with Cambodian women who had suffered so greatly in the past. She uses this beautiful silk herself which she dyes with our wonderful plant material. Her daughter assists her with all the admin work and funding. They are a formidable team. I think we are all waiting for her first workshop to try out these techniques for ourselves.
To view some of her examples, Aspects of Kings Park will soon be stocking some of her creations.

Ursula Keel.

Article published in Issue 93 of For People and Plants.

The Kings Park Plant Development team has released its second Boronia hybrid, ‘Plum Bells’. This variety is a hybrid between the white bell-flowered form of Boronia heterophylla known as ‘Moonglow’ and B. megastigma, the famous highly fragrant brown and yellow-flowered species from the south-west of Western Australia.

Plum Bells WB 20 Wafex 1 (2) Rod Ockerby of Immij

Photo by Rod Ockerby

The flowers on ‘Plum Bells’ are bell shaped, similar to both its parents and different to the first release from the Boronia development program, ‘Magenta Stars’, which has star-shaped flowers. The colour of ‘Plum Bells’ is reminiscent of some of the brighter coloured fruit of the same name. ‘Plum Bells’ is spectacular in flower in the spring. It is highly suitable for container growing or in semi-shaded locations in the garden. Like most free flowering Boronia it responds to well-drained acid soils with good levels of organic mulch to 10cm, which keeps the roots cool.

Boronia 'Plum Bells' potted plant.

Photo by Ellen Davies

Very limited numbers of both ‘Plum Bells’ and ‘Magenta Stars’ will be available for purchase through the Friends of Kings Park plant sales from May 2016 .   Check availability on the plant sale list before the sale. Good numbers will be on sale in most major retail nursery outlets from spring 2016.


ClimateWatch Lara Jenny (2) x web

The Friends of Kings Park ClimateWatch program is excited to welcome Lara Oppermann and Jenny Lai as the new ClimateWatch coordinators. Ella is stepping aside to chase employment but is leaving ClimateWatch in very capable hands.

Lara and Jenny are both second year science students at UWA and already have some exciting and novel ideas for the group. Jenny majors in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management while Lara majors in genetics and biochemistry. Between the two they form a dynamic duo both offering their unique strengths in research, management and communication.

Both ladies participated in a ClimateWatch based unit at UWA last year. Lara’s final group article was selected to be published in the online student driven journal Cygnus. Her grouped analysed ClimateWatch data on the Poinciana tree (Delonix regia) and highlights the importance of receiving consistent and accurate data for citizen science projects to be successful. Give it a read and others at

ClimateWatch will continue to operate as per usual. However Lara and Jenny will now be your main point of contact for any inquiries you may have. They can still be contacted at [email protected]. Keep your eye out for two fresh faces in the Park and hopefully you get to meet them both soon!

An article by Graham Edwards, State President Returned & Services League of WA (RSLWA), published in For People & Plants Issue 89 Autumn 2015.
The RSL Spirit of ANZAC Grevillea was released by the Returned Services League of WA on 16 March 2015, in partnership with the Kings Park plant breeding program. This new Grevillea variety commemorates the first major military action by Australian and New Zealand forces at Gallipoli a century ago.

Spirit of Anzac Grevillea photo by Dave Blumer


The RSL appreciates the development of this unique plant to help commemorate Australia’s fallen. It will enable all members of our community to participate in the centenary of ANZAC. On 25 April 1915 the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps stormed ashore at a location now known as ANZAC Cove. The ANZACs were participating in a major conflict for the first time, just 13 years after Australia’s federation. Some 11,000 ANZACs died at Gallipoli. More than 62,000 Australians fell in the First World War.–ACXjumo

The RSL Spirit of ANZAC Grevillea was selected because of its lush red flowers and its tough geographical heritage from across Australia. The parent species of this Grevillea hybrid grow in some of the most inhospitable locations in Australia, either surrounded by hundreds of kilometres of sand dunes, battered by salt laden winds or subject to searing heat.

The red flowers remind us of the blood shed by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and its origins from some of the harshest corners of the country reminds us that the ANZACs came from all walks of life and fought in incredibly hostile conditions. Experts advise me that the RSL Spirit of ANZAC Grevillea is a hardy, bird attracting shrub with stunning large red flowers from autumn to summer. It is suitable for most Australian climates. It thrives in well drained soils and is drought tolerant.

grevillea-spirit-of-anzac 2 Digby Growns


They tell me the RSL Spirit of ANZAC Grevillea will grow in full sun or partial shade, reaching about 2 metres high by 1.5 metres wide when mature. It can be pruned in late spring to keep compact and promote massed flowering.

Once established RSL Spirit of ANZAC Grevillea will grow and flower with twice weekly summer watering and just on rainfall in the wetter months. Apply a slow release fertiliser suitable for Proteaceous plants every six to 12 months as required.

spirit of Anzac label


The RSL Spirit of ANZAC Grevillea will be available through the Friends of Kings Park Plant Sales. Check availability on the plant sale list before the sale.

It became available at all leading plant outlets from mid to late March throughout the country. We also hope to see it appear in commemorative parks.

Proceeds from the sale of this variety will go to a special ANZAC Centenary fund managed by the RSLWA.

Photos by David Blumer and Digby Growns.