Epacris impressa Australian Plants Society Northern Tasmania Launceston
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Meeting Place: Max Fry Hall, Gorge Road Trevallyn, held on the third Tuesday each month at 7.30pm . Excellent guest speakers relevant to our interests alternating with “Club Nights” when members display/show native plants etc. A warm welcome is extended to persons interested in native plants to come a long as a guest to one of our meetings – there is no charge and supper is served at the end of the meeting.

Plant Nursery

Propagation and sale of plants is the activity by which the Northern Group of the Society gains most of its revenue.

Propagation we hold propagation sessions at our nursery on the FIRST Saturday in each month commencing at 1.00PM and concluding at 3.00PM. Visitors and members are always welcome - for further information telephone our nursery manager, Sharon 0409 273 996.

Plants sales to the public are held each autumn and spring at Max Fry Hall in Trevallyn.


Excursions organised by the group enable members to visit places related to our interests which are sometimes not open to the general public. We have visited Mt Read on the West Coast (the home of the ancient Huon Pine) the magnificent art archives of works by Margaret Stones, William Gould etc at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Bluff River Gorge on the East Coast and the world heritage area below Dry’s Bluff. We also visit members’ gardens and organise outings with other groups such as the Ramblers Walking Club and the Launceston Field Naturalists Club.

Ben Lomond

Members on an excursion to Ben Lomond

Heritage Forest: Native Plant Garden

In 2005 the Plant society with the help of members of the Understorey network and interested members of the public planted 400 plus Tasmanian plants as the beginning of a purely Tasmanian garden.

The site off Conway St Mowbray overlooks all of Heritage Park and has sweeping views over Inveresk and Launceston. Launceston City Council provided the site, fenced it and mulched garden beds. Most of the initial plantings were supplied by Habitat nursery with additions from the APSTasmania Northern group nursery.
The garden is part of a larger plan for this part of Heritage Park . There has already been a Eucalypt forest planted below the site, it contained 500 trees of entirely Tas. provenance and was planted with the help of Forestry Tasmania. Other plantings have since taken place involving Greening Australia and the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers.

Each year since the initial planting there has been a review of the planting successes and failures. Whilst Tasmanian plants are very adaptable to harsh conditions of desiccating sun or heavy rains, the garden has suffered some losses. New plantings and some re-plantings have been ongoing as we learn which plants thrive and which suffer in the local conditions.

The garden has matured and is now rewarding visitors with a wonderful displays of floral shrubs, small trees and plants, particularly in springtime or early summer. In 2012 the visual affect was enhanced with the addition of new features.

A "dry river bed" was constructed in the southern corner to enliven a barren area of rocky ground. Large grassed areas were dug out and more native plantings introduced to form two new garden beds. Pathways which meander around and through the various garden beds have been defined in a rustic manner by driftwood and rocks. Seating areas have been expanded to allow comfortable picnicking with wonderful views of Launceston city.

In 2015 several additional garden beds were added or extended along with many more landscaping features. An open day was held on Saturday 24th October 2015, where the public were invited to celebrate 10 years since the Native Garden's foundation. A new interpretive sign was unveiled and Plant Society members were on hand to advise on native plant matters. Free native plants were available along with refreshments.

Heritage Forest

Planting day at Heritage Forest

Cataract Gorge
The group has also taken some responsibility in co-operation with the Launceston City Council for the care of a delightful native plant area in the First Basin, Cataract Gorge, Launceston.


National conferences are held every two years, each state taking its turn to host the conference. These provide the opportunity to explore the flora of other states with the help of expert local guides and to meet like minded people from across Australia.

Annual State get-togethers are opportunities for members from all parts of Tasmania to further their knowledge of the national flora and to meet socially with members from other groups.

Education is another of our functions. Our guest speaker program is one aspect of this as is the informal learning we obtain from other members at our “club nights” Our guest speakers regularly provide fascinating talks on a wide range of topics related to native plants.

Shade House Shade House
John, Roy, and John finishing touches to shade house John, Roy, John, and Trevor constructing shade house

Building the New Shade House:

Our new nursery is progressing beautifully with members constructing a new shade house in December 2009. The shade house is constructed in modular form which will allow it to be dismantled and re-assembled at another site when such times arrive. The shade house is another showcase of John Simmons many talents as he designed, supervised and helped build the structure and it is wonderful structure and will hold a great number of our cuttings and plants.

Our first propagation session was held at the new nursery in February 2010.

Nursery Update August 2010. The “John Simmons Shade House” is proving to be a great asset for our group, John has installed an automatic watering system. Sharon reports that we have about 120 punnets of cuttings propagated and are all looking good but we need some warm weather to really kick them along. The group have committed to purchase a Heat’n’Grow heat bed which will be thermostatically controlled and will hold 40 punnets of seedlings/cuttings. This should really improve our strike rate for cuttings. The group intend to concentrate on our annual autumn sale in April each year as our major outlet for our plants. It is a pleasure for members to visit and work in the nursery with the wonderful stainless steel work benches constructed by John an we anticipate many years of happy propagating in our facility.

Trevor, Ken, Noel & Karen
Roy & Noel working
Gillie & Lynne working & chatting
View in the shade house

The John Simmons Shadehouse

On Saturday 1st September, 2012, about 22 friends and Northern Group members assembled at our nursery at “Grassy Banks” when group Chair person Janet Hallam officially opened our shade house – the commemorative plaque unveiled by APST Tasmania Chair person Jill Clark.

The Northern Group decided to dedicate the shade house to our legendry member John Simmons OA, who designed, supervised and assisted in the construction of the shade house. John decided on a modular design that can be re-located when the Percy’s decide to stop hosting our nursery. His meticulous design meant the shade house fitted together perfectly. When the shade house was completed it was decided that we required trestles to support the benches, John Simmons then produced these, a few weeks later three beautiful new work benches appeared at the nursery, once again quietly constructed by John Simmons.

It soon became apparent that watering was going to be an ongoing, daily chore. Once again John Simmons came to the rescue and designed, constructed and installed and automatic watering system that works superbly.

Without the knowledge, drive and expertise of John Simmons our nursery would not be the wonderful facility it is today –John Simmons the Northern Group thank you most sincerely for the time, thought and effort you have devoted to our nursery facility.

The John Simmons Shade House
Opening of the John Simmons Shade House
Work area at the Nursery
Opening of the John Simmons Shade House

Page last updated 22/8/2016