As you know, I've been supporting the museum, Nutctote (Neutral Bay, NSW Australia - go online) since 1992. The last time I visited in 2000 the Nutcote staff and administration honored me with a tree-planting ceremony. As banksias (Proteaceae) figure so heavily in the illustrations of May Gibbs (the former owner of Nutcote) they asked me to plant a banksia at the bottom of the garden overlooking Neutral Bay. This was such a generous gesture I took extra time to break up the clods and add some organic matter before they put in the tree. It was a cultivar of one of theWestern Australian hair pin species (not native to eastern Australia at all) and I didn't think it would survive long as I thought the soil would stay too wet for much of the year.
In fact, it has done remarkably well over the years and an Australian friend sent this recent photo. Please note that Bernhardt's banksia is fructifying. Was I pollinated by pygmy possums or red wattlebirds? If you look closely at the "cobs" you will note that a few have large, hairy warts. These are the mature follicles that usually pop open to release seeds after a bush fire. It's easy to see how May Gibbs thought up her big, bad, banksia men. Please go online and look up May Gibbs and Nutcote. We can always use new members.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Peter Kingston <peteking@...>
Date: Sat, Jan 24, 2009 at 10:32 PM
Subject: BERNHARDTS BANKSIA
To: Peter Bernhart <bernhap2@...
tomorrow is Australia Day
a year from now lets hope its Dame Yvonnes turn to be awarded her AO
IM WATCHING THE MAILBOX FOR YOUR LETTER
THEN ILL SEND OFF OUR SUBMISSION
SO FAR A GROUP OF 30 WANT TO SUPPORT YVONNE
THERES A LOT OF BANKSIA MEN ON BERNHARDTS BANKSIA AT NUTCOTE