by SGAP Rockhampton Branch
Reviewed by Jan Sked
It is excellent to see another of our Branches producing a book to cater for gardeners, bush regenerators and anyone else who wishes to use suitable native plants in their area, namely the Fitzroy basin in central Queensland, with its variable environments, rainfall and soils.
This book has been funded by a grant from the Natural Heritage Trust and has been compiled by members of Rockhampton Branch of SGAP.
I found the concept of the book quite interesting with the species selection based on the nine catchments of the Fitzroy River Basin. A Catchment Map is provided, showing these nine catchments, and readers are advised on how to use the map and the Species Selection Table to choose the correct plants for their area.
The Species Selection Table is at the beginning of the book and provides a chart where 350 species are listed showing the catchments in which they occur, the soil type, habitat, habit of each plant and the various uses to which they may be put. It is very simple to use and most informative, although at first I thought I would have to stand on my head to read sections of it.
The Species Descriptions follow the Species Selection Table, and these provide detailed descriptions of all the species listed in the Species Selection Table. Species are arranged alphabetically by botanical name. There is a chapter on Propagation, providing basic propagation methods and a page of tips on various aspects of propagation that members have learned along the way.
Planting Advice covers site preparation, fertilizing, nursery conditioning, planting, mulching, watering, plant protection, salinity (a major challenge in revegetation projects), various management options, and a list of plants not to plant, i.e., significant environmental weeds in the Fitzroy Basin.
The book finishes up with a list of References and Further Reading, and an Index of Common Names.
There are no colour photographs in the book, although it does have a colourful cover illustrated with two paintings by Dawn Pound, who has also provided a number of line drawings throughout the book.
The more I read this book, the more I like it. It is simply set out and very easy to read. I am sure it will be of immeasurable use to the people of Rockhampton and Gladstone and areas north, south and west of there. My hearty congratulations to the members of Rockhampton Branch for producing such a useful publication. Being a confirmed bush tucker taster, I particularly like the mention of the edibility of various plants.
Postage and Packing: $8 in Qld, $12 interstate.
Society for Growing Australian Plants
P.O Box 716
Rockhampton Qld 4700