Monday, 22 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Sticky Everlasting

I would like to thank everyone who participated in any of the working bees or supported the Stationeers  in 2014 a Safe and Relaxing Christmas and a Peaceful New Year. We will be back in action again in 2015 as the work of the Stationeers is ongoing. I plan to schedule a working bee in January because we have to tackle the poplar suckers that just keep coming back. Allan Bruno, winner of the Moonee Valley Councils' 2014 award for Public Service, recently donated his $250 award money to the Newmarket Stationeers. It is very humbling that Allan has chosen our group to receive the the donation because he has done so much for the Flemington Community via the Learn To Drive Program and setting up the Rotary Op Shop so Thank you Allan. If you would like to become a Newmarket Stationeer let me know via this blog or contact the Flemington Association website. Ros

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Working Bee, November 11th 2014

Poa Labillardieri
Working Bee Tuesday, 11th: Seven attendees. We pruned the Myoporum away from the rocks and edges of the retaining walls, pulled out poplar suckers, watered, picked up rubbish and weeded. We stopped for a minute's silence at 11:00 am. Later that day Peter rang to inform us that Metro Trains would need to drill some bore holes and an access path would be made for the equipment to move up the slope. Thomas, Margaret N. and I returned and removed some of the vulnerable plants and potted them for future replanting. As November progresses the grasses are developing their decorative seed-heads and the Dianella tasmanica its blue berries.The paper daisies and Wahlenbergia are continuing to put on a good display.

Coastal Cushion Bush, Stipa elegantissima and Dianella tasmanica

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

October Working Bee

Lomandra longifolia & Pelargonium australe

Lomandra and Pelargonium flowers

Stipa elegantissima amongst the shrubs

Dianella admixta under the landing
The Melbourne weather forecast for October 14th was for showers, but as is often the case, Flemington missed out so the Stationeers working bee proceeded under an overcast but rain-less sky. Both Margarets, Roger, Anita, Chris, Ros and Thomas were in attendance. We pruned the acacias and various other shrubs, collected rubbish, watered the dry zones under the peppercorn and station landing and pulled out poplar suckers. With a little bit of skillful engineering using a fallen tree branch and garden stakes, Thomas and Roger constructed a rustic retainer on the steepest part of the slope to hold some new plants: Sticky Boobialla (Myoporum petiolaris) surrounded by ground-cover Ruby salt-bushes. Over the coming hot summer the retainer will slow down the water run-off and allow the new plants to become established.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

September working bee

Despite dire weather forecasts the planting conditions were perfect for both plants and volunteers. We welcomed a new Stationeer, Christine Wood and the number of participants jumped to nine after Meegan joined us. All the new perennials (pictured) were planted.They will need some supplementary watering as the weather warms up; the soil was surprisingly dry and compacted in most places.Thomas, John and Roger broke up some of the worst compaction but to make good the new plantings we will need to  improve the soil around them at the next working bee. 

Sticky Everlasting. Prune in Autumn to extend its life.

Tufted Bluebells and Lobe-seed Daisy
Lobe-seed Daisy prefers moister soil than the other perennials planted today.
Clustered Everlasting may sucker slightly and spread. After flowering ( October- March)  it should be pruned severely to encourage new growth.

Monday, 25 August 2014

September 2nd Working Bee 2014

Native Bluebells

The next Stationeers working bee will be on Tuesday, September 2nd at 10:00 am. It will be a planting session: the plan is to fill in the gaps on the lower part of the embankment between the grasses and small shrubs with more yellow and white daisies and bluebells to provide visual interest and food for native bees and butterflies over the summer months. I ordered the plants four months ago. Thomas and I picked them up last Monday. These plants are perennials; If they were shrubs or trees it is already too close to summer to be planting. Meet near the tap as usual in Pin Oak Crescent. Bring a trowel or other small planting tool and a bucket or watering can if you have one. Don't forget gardening gloves and a hat.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

August 5th Working Bee

John preparing to plant a native Dianella Lily

Dianella Lily
Margaret watering newly planted Plectanthus
Rosemary grevillea keeps on flowering
Seven volunteers; Thomas, Ed, Margaret N., Roger, Vivienne, John and Ros enjoyed perfect weather for the August working bee. We carried out some planting in areas of dry shade while Ed scouted both sides of the station for litter and Roger watered from the station steps to the tap. We were able to remove the tree guards at the peppercorn end of the station as the salt bushes planted at the start of the year have doubled in size. Afterwards we relaxed with a coffee at La Delicataessa.                                                                      

Sunday, 27 July 2014

End of July- best flowering plants

Acacia acinacea

Grevillea rosmarinifolia
Too small to have an impact yet but our two small Grevillea plants are covered in flowers and show much promise. Their flowers stay on the plant over an extended period of time and are a valuable source of food for nectar-feeding birds. The acacias are just beginning to flower. In about two weeks from now they will enlighten the whole embankment. We have two species: Acacia acinacea and Acacia pycnantha.
The next working bee is planned for Tuesday, August 5th but we need to look at the long-term weather forecast before we make it official.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Working bee Monday July 7th 2014

Midwinter and a lovely sunny morning for Stationeers: Roger, Ed. Margaret Noble, Thomas and Ros. We enjoyed the sunshine, the beauty of the garden and each others' company as we worked. It was interesting to observe the way shadows cast by the buildings opposite fall across the embankment at different times of the morning. Taller buildings would cast a shadow for most of the morning and have a significant effect on plant growth.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Working Bee July 2014

July Working Bee: Monday 7th at 10:00 am
Meet in Pin Oak Crescent near the tap as usual. Tasks include light weeding, collecting the inevitable detritus, particularly Myki receipts, watering under the station and a little planting if time and numbers permit. BYO gloves and hand tools.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Newmarket station to be repaired not demolished

The latest news is that the Station building will now be restored, not demolished. It seems like a miracle. Refer to the Flemington Association web page for more detailed information.

Find more old photos of Flemington at the Flemington Association web page under Heritage.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Wabi-sabi seat

As we move into winter we notice subtle changes to the weathered old railway sleeper seats; a beautiful transformation as moss and lichen begin to appear on the surface of the timbers. 

What has occurred is an example of the Japanese concept of Wabi-sabi: the aesthetic of things impermanent, weathered and imperfect.The moss and lichen enhance the aged, but still strong, red gum timbers; Nature's response to cooler temperatures and rain. Come summer and the patina will change.
I can no-longer contemplate any thought of removing these timbers and replacing them with new. We will have to incorporate the imperfect seat into our new seating design.
For an expansion on the concept of Wabi-sabi go to:

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Working bee 3rd June 2014

At least two of the regular Stationeers are away at the moment but we still mustered six volunteers this morning despite drizzling rain. After picking up bucket loads of rubbish and bottles and doing a little light weeding, the station embankment is looking much better. Thanks, Thomas, Ed, Marina, Ian and Roger.         
From the number of germinating weeds we pulled out today, we will need to concentrate on weeding plus some planting at the next working bee when the poplars have dropped all their leaves, exposing a few areas at the top. Anywhere that weeds germinate is suitable for selected ground covers- plants that don't mind total shade in summer but will out compete winter germinating weeds. We could relocate plants from under the station if needs be. meanwhile, I will do some propagating.
Ros Nataprawira
One of the autumn-winter bloomers

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Station to be partially demolished

March, 2012 Demolition of old ramp and stairs

Since 2010 a group of dedicated volunteers have established a beautiful garden at the station. We would like to see the garden protected, whether the station building is replaced with a new one or the existing historic building saved. The decision to demolish the station building this month seems very rushed.We knew that eventually further construction would have to happen at the station but hoped the props would hold the old building up for many years. We would not have continued to plant and maintain a garden under and around the station building if we had been told that demolition of the station was planned for 2014. We are still very much in the dark. Will there be enough time to save the plants that can be shifted? How much access will the demolition contractor's need? How much of the garden will be destroyed during the demolition? How long will the Stationeer's garden be inaccessible to us? Will there be a landscape plan included in the redevelopment ?
Last time anything like this happened in March 2012, the Stationeers were not given any prior notice. We held a working bee the week before and planted under the station ramp. On the following Saturday morning the ramp and station stairs were demolished. Only one original plant remained under the station and heavy machinery had driven over other parts of our recently planted garden to gain access to demolition of the ramp. We started again from scratch. Now the garden is only a year away from reaching its full potential. We hope most of it can be saved and that any works done at the station are sensitive to both the history of Flemington and the adjacent garden.
Ros Nataprawira

Smiling Stationeers after one of our monthly working bees in 2013

Friday, 16 May 2014

Ideas for landscaping the seated area

Ideas to inspire us to plan a new seating area at Newmarket Station. More photos to come. Email me any photos you would like to contribute to the discussion and I will post them on the blog.

Warrandyte Uniting Church Peace Garden birdbath. Designer: Bev Hansen

Recycled timber table and seats. Hansen garden, Warrandyte.
 Basalt boulder birdbath

Californian conversation pit

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Working Bee April 28th, 2014

Despite short notice, seven volunteers turned up at the April working bee. We had a very productive morning, mainly planting salt bushes under the peppercorn, clearing masses of litter, plus watering- then it rained for the next 24 hours; perfect timing. The Poa grasses pruned seven weeks ago have all grown back, rejuvenated and green; we obviously chose the right time of year to prune them.   
There is scope to inter-plant the lower embankment with summer-flowering indigenous perennials. Ordering plants: native bluebells and yellow and white daisies this week for a late winter/spring planting

Correa "Granny's Grave"

Saturday, 26 April 2014

working bee invitation

Area needing landscaping

There will be a working bee on Monday, April 28th at 9:30 am. April has been a disrupted month, with the East West Link Public Hearings & Easter. This will be the first working bee for nearly seven weeks. We are focusing our planting at the Peppercorn tree end. Meet at the seats pictured. Bring gloves, hand tool and a bucket. It's hard to establish plants in this area because it is both shady and very dry. The peppercorn leaves also seem to contain a chemical that suppresses other plants however experiments with several plants are showing promising results and I have struck some cuttings of those that have worked best. 
There is construction work that needs to be done around the seating area for which we will need to employ a professional. Does anyone know a local builder or landscaper? The plan is to renovate the existing seats rather than demolish and replace them and possibly incorporate the collapsed timber into a retaining edge of a planter box for which we will import some good quality composted soil to plant up with attractive shade-loving foliage plants.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Attention to the area around the broken seating.

the first flowers have appeared on one of the Euky Dwarf trees Ian planted in 2011.
At last some good overnight rain has fallen on the Newmarket Station garden. Our next working bee will be concentrated on the area around and above the old seating where it is very difficult to establish plants in dry shade.We examined the seating carefully last working bee and came to the conclusion that we could keep the two intact seats and use the central portion to form part of a planter retaining wall. Metro Trains may be able to help us improve this area.In the following weeks I will post some ideas for you to think about regarding how to achieve something beautiful in this area incorporating suggestions made on how to best utilize our Grant. Please post your comments and suggestions.
Retain seas at either end and build planter behind.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Tuesday March 11th Working Bee Report

Seven Stationeers attended along with a thousand stranded commuters after a signal failure down the line. We were lucky with the weather and achieved what we set out to do, namely prune the Tussock Grasses and Creeping Boobialla, plant 14 new tough ground covers, water and clean away the extensive litter- all over by 11:00 am. Well done all!
Tussock Grass given short back and sides by Jennie
Newest Stationeer, Margaret
Thomas, multitasking
Study in Orange
Stranded rail passenger about to meet a Good Samaritan called Ginny

Monday, 10 March 2014

reminder: working bee tomorrow

Working Bee tomorrow, Tuesday March 11th.

Meet at the tap in Pin Oak Crescent. at 9:30 am.

Bring gardening gloves, water bottle, hat and trowel as well as secateurs if you have them. All welcome. Just turn up and sign on to join.

Ros Nataprawira

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Latest News

 February 19th, 2014 Ground cover plants under the station landing were dug up by two" young sparkies" to lay cable for the rewiring of the station currently taking place. They apologized for destroying some of our plants and said this should be the only part of the garden that would need to be dug up.