Epacris impressa Australian Plants Society Northern Tasmania Launceston
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Meeting Place: Max Fry Hall, Gorge Road Trevallyn.

When: the third Tuesday in each month (except December and January) at 7.30pm.

Knowledgeable, experienced guest speakers relevant to our interests with a few "Club Nights" with excellent presentations by well informed members.

A warm welcome is extended to persons interested in native plants to attend our meetings as a guest. There is no charge and supper is served after the presentation giving an opportunity to socialise with the speakers and members.

Some of our Guest Speakers over the past few years include:

Dr Nigel Forteath Greg Jordan Nigel Swarts Genevieve Gates
Professor Nigel Forteath
Four Springs Lakes
Assoc. Prof. Greg Jordan Palaeoendemics Dr Nigel Swarts
Tas Orchid Conservation
Dr Genevieve Gates
& Dr David Ratkowsky
Tasmanian Fungi
Vishnu Prahalad Mark Wapstra Phillipa McCormack Noushka Reiter
Dr Vishnu Prahalad
Tasmanian Saltmarsh Wetlands
Mark Wapstra has been a
popular annual speaker on Tasmanian plants
Dr Phillipa McCormack
Conservation Law
Dr Noushka Reiter
Saving our Native Orchids

Native Plants Nursery at Windsor Community Precinct

Propagation and sale of plants is the activity by which the Northern Group of the APST gains revenue to enable us to support the nursery, Tasmanian Native Garden, guest speakers and other administrative costs. Any surplus is donated to worthy organisations whose aims are similar to our Society.

Propagation sessions are held at our nursery in the Windsor Community Precinct in Riverside on the first Saturday in each month from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

Visitors and members are always welcome to participate in a very pleasant afternoon which is both instructional and educational about propagating and growing native plants. We conclude with a friendly chant and a cup of tea or coffee, and cakes.

Plants sales to the public are held each autumn and spring at Max Fry Hall in Trevallyn. This is becoming increasingly popular due to the quality and diversity of our native plants.

Members in shade house Friendly cuppa after propogation session
Clockwise from top left: Members in the John Simmons Shade-house; A friendly cuppa after a
propagation session; Propagation in the old stables at Windsor Community Precinct;
Georgiadis Costa from 'Gardenting Australia' visits the nursery
Costa visits the Nursery Propogation in the old stable


Excursions organised by the group enable members to visit places related to our interests which are sometimes not open to the general public. Some of our many excursions :

> Private properties at Mt Read on the West Coast (the home of the ancient Huon Pine) and private Midlands and NE estates.

> The magnificent art archives of botanical works by Margaret Stones, William Gould and Ellis Rowan at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.

> Bluff River Gorge and Winifred Curtis Reserve on the East Coast.

> Bridport, Four Springs Lakes, Powranna and Tom Gibson Reserves.

> Alpine plains at Mt Barrow, February Plains and Surrey Hills in the NW, as well as our National Parks.

> Members' gardens, the Arboretum and the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.

> Organise outings with other groups such as the Launceston Field Naturalists Club and the NW and southern groups of the Australian Plant Society.

Allan Gray from the Tasmanian Herbarium and a
eucalypt specialist, instructs at the Launceston
Field Naturalists Club property, Skemps
Vale of Belvoir alpine daisies
Scoparia at Mt Barrow Wielangta State Forest
Scoparia at Mt Barrow Wielangta State Forest near Orford
Dans Reserve with Miguel de Salas February Plains
Dans Reserve looking for Viola species 'serpentine' with
Dr Miguel de Salas from the Tasmanian Herbarium
February Plains (Basil Steers Hut)


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 10/5/2018