Canberra community group SEE-Change, along with support from volunteers, the ACT Government and several local and national organisations, planted 2,000 shrubs, grasses and groundcovers in O’Connor recently. This habitat planting is designed to attract small insectivorous birds, like the endangered Scarlet Robin, and native bees and butterflies into Canberra’s suburbs.
While Canberra has large stretches of mown grass and mature trees in its public open spaces, wildlife corridors or habitat patches with a multi-layered understorey are missing. The current landscape favours large aggressive birds, like Currawongs and Noisy Miners. This project will reinstate native plants, and large logs will be installed to attract bugs and birds.
SEE-Change project officer Jennifer Tonna said “the site is opposite Turner Primary School and is near the Sullivans Creek concrete drain and the David Street wetland. Given its proximity to the school, the site has great potential as an educational space.”
A Canberra Ornithologist bird spotter, Ian Baird has surveyed the birds on the site and will continue to monitor them over the next couple of years.
For more information visit see-change.org.au/birdscaping-canberra
Unearthing almost forgotten vegetables
A truly elegant book, From the Earth: World’s Great, Rare and Almost Forgotten Vegetables is a picturesque and inspiring journey into a selection of weird, wonderful and delicious heirloom and open-pollinated vegetables. Acclaimed Australian chef Peter Gilmore shares some of his most favoured and unusual vegetables for their uses, attributes and their simple beauty.
Each profile includes the vegetable’s history, outstanding qualities, cultural information and one of Peter’s recipes. These recipes are relatively simple, yet fancy, with the vegetable in question the star of the show. The accompanying photos of both vegetables and recipes are nothing less than stunning.
Peter also introduces readers to some of the growers he works closely with and their fascinating stories.
From the Earth is beautifully presented as a large hardcover book, and is on quality paper you rarely come across anymore. It is the perfect Christmas gift or addition to the coffee table.
From the Earth: World’s Great, Rare and Almost Forgotten Vegetables by Peter Gilmore, published by Hardie Grant Books. RRP $80 hardback.
Photography by Brett Stevens.
Braidwood Open Gardens
This year’s Braidwood Open Gardens, held as part of the Festival of Braidwood, will showcase some of Braidwood’s most historic properties, and some newer gardens, in the midst of the green drought currently gripping the district. The event is a fundraiser for Braidwood’s not-for-profit preschool, and will see five properties open their gates to the public: Durham Hall, Exeter Farm, Winstanley House, Henleigh under Poverty and Bedervale.
Over the weekend, other various activities will be on offer including the annual airing of the quilts, markets, art exhibitions, vintage car display and garlic fiesta.
Refreshments will be available at Winstanley House and there will be guided tours of Bedervale Homestead, showcasing its collection of National Trust-listed furniture and contents.
When: Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 November 10am to 4pm, Braidwood
Entry: $5 per garden, $20 for an all garden pass, under 18s free