Roses, Bugs and Blue Wrens

A packed house attended FOBIF’s AGM last Monday to hear Cassia Read’s talk ‘Gardening the Goldfields: you can have your roses and Blue Wrens too?’

Cassia giving her talk. Photo Asha Bannon

A major theme in the info-packed talk was to present the garden as part of the wider environment, as well as an island in it. Of course, gardens meet the aesthetic, practical and emotional needs of the resident-gardener—but they also can provide food, shelter, water and habitat for local native wildlife. Cassia encouraged listeners to see their gardens as links in the neighbourhood to other gardens and to local bushland, critical stopping points for mixed-flocks of bushland birds, that forage across the local urban landscape.

Insects, bugs, and creeping things get a bad press generally, but they were heroes in this vision, signs and sources of health in the garden. Above all, the talk was not prescriptive: Cassia urged gardeners to open mindedly observe what was happening in the garden, to be prepared to try things, to look around the neighbourhood to see how their gardens could complement others.

One of the photos in Cassia’s talk: Julie Hurley’s fledgling garden.

We’re hoping Cassia’s talk will be a preview of a Gardening the Goldfields book FOBIF is looking to publish in…the near future.

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