March 2020
Presentation by Merri and Manfred Eckert "Recovering from the Sampson Flat Bushfire Jan 3rd 2015"
Merri and Manfred

During the first couple of days after the fire started, Merri and Manfred watched from their property, the smoke steadily approaching. Finally they elected to move to safer ground down in the city. Early next day, fearing the worst they managed to obtain access to their property to find that their house and most external structures had survived the fire - but only just!
The images below are just some of this that we viewed during their presentation.
The most telling image is in the right most top row. - Showing the scorched ground surrounding the built up area of the house and sheds where surface fuel had been removed as part of their fire safety measures.
Most garden beds had been damped down with a water hose, and only one being omitted because of the rush to evacuate. The bed in question had a hay/straw mulch which unfortunately had been ignited by falling embers as the fire front passed over.
The top central two images show the bed burning, and the damage to the (inside edges) of the surrounding hedge.
Most of the rest of the images are self explanatory - with many garden features using material salvaged from the burnt areas of scrub. The unseen story here is the huge amount of assistance that they had from the local EFS and neighbours (assistance with machinery), even though many of their neighbours were completely burnt out.
The last image (the koala) is now a friend for life. He/she was found wandering near the house after the fire, and was offered water (maybe food too). He accepted immediately, and still visits the Eckerts on a daily basis for a drink and a scratch behind the ears.

March 2020
Presentation by Merri and Manfred Eckert "Recovering from the Sampson Flat Bushfire Jan 3rd 2015"

During the first couple of days after the fire started, Merri and Manfred watched from their property, the smoke steadily approaching. Finally they elected to move to safer ground down in the city. Early next day, fearing the worst they managed to obtain access to their property to find that their house and most external structures had survived the fire - but only just!
The images below are just some of this that we viewed during their presentation.
The most telling image is in the right most top row. - Showing the scorched ground surrounding the built up area of the house and sheds where surface fuel had been removed as part of their fire safety measures.
Most garden beds had been damped down with a water hose, and only one being omitted because of the rush to evacuate. The bed in question had a hay/straw mulch which unfortunately had been ignited by falling embers as the fire front passed over.
The top central two images show the bed burning, and the damage to the (inside edges) of the surrounding hedge.
Most of the rest of the images are self explanatory - with many garden features using material salvaged from the burnt areas of scrub. The unseen story here is the huge amount of assistance that they had from the local EFS and neighbours (assistance with machinery), even though many of their neighbours were completely burnt out.

Merri and Manfred

The last image (the koala) is now a friend for life. He/she was found wandering near the house after the fire, and was offered water (maybe food too). He accepted immediately, and still visits the Eckerts on a daily basis for a drink and a scratch behind the ears.

Member's presentation by Alan O'Leary

Alan is a passionate collector of South African bulbs. The Brunsvigia litoralis behind which he is standing (and relaxing - he had just lifted the potted plant up onto the bench so that everybody could see it, and came close to blowing a "pressure valve") is apparently becoming harder and harder to find in the "wild", as never-ending urban sprawl is eating up it's native habitat. Alan was asked what medium he grows such plants, and he said that he never purchases ready-made potting soil - he mixes his own. Normally he uses very gravelly, freed draining mix to mimic the SA coastal plains.
When quizzed about propagation of the litoralis, he said that normally it grows in the wild from seed. Small birds perch on the "kinked" flower stem (botanical term), and lean over into the flower to feed on the nectar, and in the process collecting pollen on their brow (also a medical term). The seed matures, and when appropriate, the main stem which is by then dry, separates from the bulb, and the whole seed head (up to 30cm across) rolls across the landscape, blown by the wind, dropping seed as it goes. The seed germinates almost immediately where it lies on the surface, throwing roots down into the loose soil.
Hopefully, Alan's talk will be the first of many from the "Special Interests Group", (and for that matter club propagators who have an interesting story to tell).

Member's presentation by Alan O'Leary

Alan is a passionate collector of South African bulbs. The Brunsvigia litoralis behind which he is standing (and relaxing - he had just lifted the potted plant up onto the bench so that everybody could see it, and came close to blowing a "pressure valve") is apparently becoming harder and harder to find in the "wild", as never-ending urban sprawl is eating up it's native habitat. Alan was asked what medium he grows such plants, and he said that he never purchases ready-made potting soil - he mixes his own. Normally he uses very gravelly, freed draining mix to mimic the SA coastal plains.
When quizzed about propagation of the litoralis, he said that normally it grows in the wild from seed. Small birds perch on the "kinked" flower stem (botanical term), and lean over into the flower to feed on the nectar, and in the process collecting pollen on their brow (also a medical term). The seed matures, and when appropriate, the main stem which is by then dry, separates from the bulb, and the whole seed head (up to 30cm across) rolls across the landscape, blown by the wind, dropping seed as it goes. The seed germinates almost immediately where it lies on the surface, throwing roots down into the loose soil.
Hopefully, Alan's talk will be the first of many from the "Special Interests Group", (and for that matter club propagators who have an interesting story to tell).