Red Gum Festival in Cavendish

We were recently contacted  by the committee organising a red gum festival  in Cavendish next year. FOGGS of course have the red gum walk in the Victoria valley, and many of us have a love affair with this iconic tree.

Following a couple of very successful community meetings where the festival concept was enthusiastically explored, the township of Cavendish, a small community in Victoria’s Western District, nestled on the Wannon River in the heart of the Red Gum Country, undertook to host an inaugural celebration.

The Red Gum Festival Development Group are currently working toward a unique festival in 2018, and would be delighted to hear from any individuals, groups, clubs or organisations
who are potentially interested in participating.

Please contact the Secretary, Nathan Bastock, via email,

The festival is but one of a number of exciting proposals within the ‘Celebrating Red Gums’ initiative. Community members have put forward some wonderfully creative ideas, including the  establishment of a ‘Friends of the Red Gums’ Group.

They publish a newsletter with articles by Neil Murray, Rob Youl and our own Neil Marriott, and also have a facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/CelebratingRedGums/

I enjoyed this quote of theirs from Murray Bail – Eucalyptus (1998)  :

Over time the River Red Gum (E. camaldulensis) has become barnacled with legends… there’s always a bulky Red Gum here or somewhere else in the wide world, muscling into the eye, as it were: and by following the course of rivers in our particular continent they don’t merely imprint their fuzzy shape but actually worm their way greenly into the mind, giving some hope against the collective crow-croaking dryness. And if that’s not enough the massive individual squatness of these trees, ancient, stained and warty, has a grandfatherly aspect; that is, a long life of incidents, seasons, stories.

Grasslands Seed Project

WAMA and Jallukar Landcare  have joined together to create a seed bank for restoring grasslands on the edge of the Grampians. Recently over 20 volunteers from WAMA, Grampians Australian Plant Society and staff from Greening Australia met in Pomonal. Our task was to sort, classify and plant seed collected over the past 6 months as part of the Grasslands Seed Project.

Expertise and knowledge was shared by local horticulturist Phil Williams, Botanist Neil Marriott and Ecologist Jess Gardner. Under their guidance, we learned how to de-construct the pods, locate the seed and place into labelled bags, weighed and ready for planting.  As part of this exercise we also had the opportunity to take a close up look at each seed pod with the aid of a macro lens.  How exciting this was to see the beauty and intricacies of nature – the patterns and symmetry unfolding under a macro lens – wonderful detail not visible to our human eye.

The plan is to grow these seeds “in captivity” for some years so as to build up the numbers before using them in restoration projects.

Some websites you may enjoy exploring:

A collection of photographs of plants and habitats, mostly from southern Victoria.

Canberra’s National Botanic Garden has been building up a collection of photographs and illustrations of Australian native plants for many years, which they are now working on digitising. They are also asking serious photographers to contribute reliable identified photographs to the index.

This freely downloadable e-book (PDF format), from the Field Naturalists of Victoria , consists of 9 parts, and is intended to serve as a resource to assist in the identification of some fungi that may be encountered in our native forests. It contains 340 species and over 1700 photographs of fungi, plus references for further study.