The Rhodo Gardens Regeneration

Marvellously and miraculously, the fire-ravaged bushland of the Rhododendron Gardens is beginning to regenerate and is showing green.  Good news is that four of the original seven White Pearl Rhododendrons have survived along with their name-plates.  These were the first Rhodo shrubs to be planted in the Gardens by various important people—Paul Sorensen being one of them, in 1972.

Four of the original seven White Pearl Rhododendrons have survived along with their name-plates
Paul Sorensen’s name plate, 1972

The Five-Point-Plan Progresses

As a consequence of this burst of growth, the volunteers have been able to move forward with all areas of the Five Point Plant for the Gardens’ regeneration. Three grants have been received and some of the money has enabled us to purchase approximately 300 Rhododendrons from Toolangi Nursery, in Victoria.  They were delivered, personally, by the nursery owners, Daryl and Mary-Jo, who then joined the human chain—a ‘bucket brigade’—to unload them into a holding-cage…in the rain!  

Part of the ‘bucket brigade’ to store the new Rhododendron plants
The 300 new Rhododendron plants

Intrepid MonVols

So, in recent weeks, while the world has been in lock-down, your intrepid MonVols have been pottering away within the Gardens—land clearing, preparing soil and planting.  And many of the new 300 Rhodo plants are now already in the ground.  We have been able to work because we are caring for a ’Living Collection’…so work has progressed with the appropriate ‘social distancing’.

Some MonVols working hard
Also planted is this rare plant in the Proteaceae family, an Isopogon Fletcheri

Mary Batty’s Boat

Now that the Lake is once more fabulously full of water, a boat has been acquired at a very reasonable price from member, Mary Batty.  Thank you Mary!  It will be used for checking water levels, clearing weeds etc…. and it also will save MonVols having to don waders to perform these tasks.  The ‘boat launch’ provided on-lookers with much laughter as some MonVols found their ‘sea-legs’.

Blue Mountains Tourism President, Jason Cronshaw, talking to students and Gardens volunteers

Anyone can join the MonVols in the Rhodo Gardens on a Monday, and as there are so many varied tasks to be done on this 18.3ha property, a knowledge of gardening isn’t necessary. And it’s friendly fun.

Catherine Harker, Webmaster

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