The Friends of Brisbane Botanic Gardens & 
Sherwood Arboretum 
Autumn 2021 Newsletter 
‘Connect – Promote – Protect’

Contact Us:  Website :  Email:
FBBGSA PO Box 39 Sherwood QLD 4075  ACN:  607 589 873  ABN:  20 607 589 873
Friends Brisbane Botanic Gardens Facebook Website Friends Brisbane Botanic Gardens Instagram Welcome back to The Friends’ Lilygram newsletter,
the first for 2021. 

Produced 4 times a year the Lilygram will contain all our news plus other articles and events of interest together in an easy to read format.
Members are welcome to submit pictures and stories you may wish to share. 
Each month a shorter e-news will be sent with ‘What’s on’ for the month.
You will notice our new bright colour ways. Our thanks go to Jim Dobbin, FBBGSA webmaster and graphic artist for his work with the board in producing a new suite of promotional material.
Members are also encouraged to help with compilation of the newsletter, contact Annette Irish via

Wednesday Speaker’s Series May 12th 6:30pm start

Hardy Orchids for the Sunny Garden
Speaker: Hendricka Kwan 

Orchids in the Garden 

Orchids are an underused species in gardens in Brisbane and surrounds. In particular the Vandaceous group, Dendrobium/Dockrillea species and others such as Spathoglottis make spectacular additions to any Brisbane garden.

Where:  Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha Auditorium
When: 6:30 pm start May 12th 
Bookings on-line only: 
Limited to 50 in the auditorium dependent upon COVID19 restrictions at the time. 
Bookings are open to the public so FBBGSA members get in quick before you miss out
Members : $10  Non-members $15
Please ensure if you are booking on behalf of another guest the booking  must be in their name with their contact details,  not yours …. necessary for COVID tracing. 

Read more

PLANT SALES on the night from  The Tropic Gardener

The fabulous orchid growers from Tropic Gardener nursery at Kenmore will be bringing along Vanda, Dendrobium/ Dockrillea and other tempting orchids for you to purchase on the night. The orchid featured is one of their progeny. 

Enrol Now –
The Friends Photo Club

Program Commencing May 27th – dependent on numbers 

‘It’s all about Photograph-ing …. Not Camera-ing’

For the beginner through to intermediate skilled photographers, this program isn’t about how your camera captures the image. This program is called ‘photographing’, not ‘camera-ing’. These skills, along with some creative habits to develop, will set you up for a lifetime of learning whilst bringing joy from lesson one. Too many photo programs start with all the technical stuff, which in reality can’t be utilised until you understand what makes good photos. Importantly, a good camera does not guarantee a good photo, just like a commercial kitchen does not guarantee a perfect meal. 
About your host ….. Jim Dobbin:
Jim is a national award-winning photographer with extensive experience covering various types of photography, from commercial studio, architecture, portraits, aerial, reportage, stock, magazine and now drone photography. He is also developing more advanced programs, specialised guides and videos.
Program structure
Will be delivered with a mixture of onsite classes with walk and talk at the gardens, notes and tasks via email with homework if you wish.

  • Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha Auditorium.
  • Some onsite sessions may include the City Botanic Gardens and Sherwood Arboretum.
  • Gather at the Gardens: Fourth Thursday morning of each month meeting at the auditorium
  • Monthly Photo Emails: Each email will include themed homework; include images submitted by members, examples shot by Jim to illustrate the lesson – and time, date and place of next meeting.
READ More  …….
Cost for 6 month program by 
Enrolling on-line. 
Members fBBGSA – $225.00 
Non-members fBBGSA – $275.00 includes 1 year membership of $30.00
At half the standard price of equivalent programs.

THE FRIENDS’ Program of Activities for 2021 – 2022 
A new initiative in 2021 to enhance the activities of the Friends will be our monthly ‘Let’s Learn’n’Share Together Thursdays’ – mostly the fourth Thursday of every month. 
From our planning sessions held February and March we received many suggestions and lists of interests from the 33 members involved. Thank you so much to all those who took the time to share your ideas. 
It was agreed that whilst trying to do and be everything for everyone it is more prudent and within our capacity to concentrate on 3 main focussed areas until end 2022.

  Arts and Crafts – Artistic Activities in the gardens
 History and Development – Brisbane Botanic Treasures – the history, shared memories, new ‘botanical’ experiences
 Plant Life – MasterGardener program series
We are looking to new programmes to enhance our members’ and the community’s experiences. 
The Thursday ‘Let’s Learn and Share together’ sessions will have a number of programs happening in the auditorium or gardens during the day and up until 8:30pm if the call for night time programs are received. The Friends have the auditorium and adjoining courtyard all to ourselves 9:00am to 9:00pm. All groups will be limited in size so as to provide great learning and sharing opportunities.
The first programs will be starting May 27th 
  • Join the ‘The Friends’ Photo Club’ with Jim Dobbin and runs for 6 months – 9:30 to 11:30 am – May 27th – see detail in Lilygram bookings on line
  • ‘Nature Journaling – with the Friends workshop’ at our gardens – May 27th 10am – 12 noon with Bethan Burton – invite to book coming soon
  • Seasonal care of your plants and soil after the rains- Annette Irish, Horticulturist – May 27th Lunch time talk 12:45 – 1:30 – invite to book coming soon
  • Native flowers and foliage floral display with Elizabeth Teeland – June 17th 9:30 to 11:00 – invite to book coming soon

Others being planned:
– Weaving with Garden Materials 
‘- Mosaic workshop – making mosaic stepping stone’ with Kate Wall – invite to book coming soon
– ‘Making paper from weeds’ with Kate Wall 
– Dyeing with plant extracts
– The Orchid workshop
– The Friends’ Art in the Gardens activities 
– Mastergardener program series 
– Gardens’ History talks 
– Walks and talks in the garden
– Please don’t hesitate to contact us with ideas to
Presenters and team coordinator opportunities
You may wish to share your skill with us…… let us know by contacting Annette Irish on 
April 28th
Rambling On the Day 

89 members and guests passed through the gates during the morning … and all were ecstatic that it was a beautiful day that nature had provided for their ramble. The weather was perfect with beautiful bright blue skies setting off the colours and textures of the plants, flowers and leaves sparkling in the last of a little overnight dew. Rescheduling the day was certainly a positive in the end as the gardens were even more spectacular after the earlier week of rains. 
Robin and Scott happily shared some stories of their garden with the eager listeners. 
Thank you to the Friends members who volunteered as guides on the day – Patty Munro, Elizabeth Teeland, Peter Starkey and Thulasi Rajah and our special thanks to Roger Jackman for the extra assistance when setting up and doing those extra fiddly tasks that help so much on the day. 
Our COVID plan worked well, so that was a bonus.
fBBGSA we re privileged to be invited by bRobin and Scott to visit the garden, our sincere gratitude to support us…..
Now we seek other fabulous gardens to explore. Please ‘dob’ in any fabulous gardens, big or small, by sending a message to

FBBGSA Volunteer Teams – New Projects in the gardens 

Brisbane Botanic Treasures gardens history team
Wish to research, collate and publish the history of the Mt Coot-tha botanic gardens? This team will be carrying on the work of revered member, Dr Jean Sim, in expanding the information on the FBBGSA Brisbane Botanic Treasures website.   Read more….. 
‘What’s Flowering’ project team
Do you have a keen interest in plant names, origins and cultural requirements? This team will be researching plant growing conditions in Brisbane, updating & enhancing the information on the plants featured on the FBBGSA website page ‘What’s flowering this Month’ and adding new plants not yet included. A background in plant identification, photography, research skills, plant nomenclature, or knowing and growing plants in Brisbane will be helpful.
Read more……
‘Let’s Learn n Share Together’  – Artistic activities support team
Meeting every 4th Thursday of the month the team will support the activities in the auditorium with the opportunity to run workshops. A background in arts, drawing, painting, weaving, floral displays and floral art, sewing, crafts, displays, dyeing, working with garden materials would be handy but not obligatory.  Read more……

More projects to read about here 

REGISTER for these new projects by e-mailing or complete the form on
The FBBGSA and members wish to welcome
all NEW MEMBERS over the last 15 months

Thank you for your support by joining as FBBGSA members.
We look forward to introducing our new programs
and learning and sharing together
for the benefit of our members, our community and,
importantly, the botanic gardens.
Welcome to Members Joining January 2020 to October 2020
Anne Elliott
Lyndal Carstenson
Helen Kearney
Anne Clair 
Maria Bosaans
Jasmine Ross
Victoria Henry
Roebynne Birtles
Beverley Rosenberg
Sam Kelly
Katherine Nickolich
Tony Billett
Welcome to Members Joining
October 2020 – April 2021

Jacqueline Belisle
Mathew Jeremy
Penelope Morris
Roger Jackman
Kristina Row
Sheree Clancy
Nichole Stephenson
Carol Watters
Meg Moller
Linda Guerin
Sue Parry
Elizabeth Friend
Susan Poole

Congratulations  to our two

Lucky Winners of

Joseph Banks’ Florilegium 

Patty Munro
Thulasi Rajah  

‘Become a Friend’ – FBBGSA Booth

Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha 
Sunday May 30th 9:00am – 2:30pm. 

Time to volunteer: 1, 2. 3 or 4.5 hours. 
Botanic gardens across Australia and New Zealand are celebrating our passion for people and plants.
The team at the gardens will be conducting all sorts of activities. 
Come along and enjoy a variety of activities including:

  • The BCC hugely popular pollinator workshops with our Education team
  • Take a free guided walk with the Volunteer Guides.
  • Meet and learn about the Friends of Brisbane Botanic GardensLearn
  • or enjoy a free concert on the Bandstand Lawn from 1-4pm. 
Register here 

Brisbane Botanic  Gardens  


The Brisbane City Botanic Gardens volunteer guides are a group of volunteers from varied backgrounds with interests in Brisbane’s botany, horticulture and history. A formal qualification in horticulture or botany is not needed to become a volunteer guide, but good social and communication skills are important. Our programme has been running some 32 years!
The training programme is one day per week over ten weeks, with Staff and Guides facilitating sessions to provide prospective guides with the knowledge and skills needed to help make the visitor experience to the gardens enjoyable.
Becoming a volunteer
The next intake for Volunteer Guides will occur during May 2021. Expressions of interest required by the Volunteer Guide Officer 
 More information
For more information about becoming a Volunteer Guide and the training programme and selection process please telephone the Volunteer Officer – 3403 2535
or email
Congratulations to our First Winners of the
‘Gardens Story’ Photo competition 

Mary Peden and Karl  Granzien Mary’s Garden Story 
The Images of the Pink Trumpet Tree (Handroanthus impetiginous formerly Tabebuia) and flowering shrubs mirrored on the surface of the pond, are a Reflection of the passion and enthusiasm, I have shared for more than thirty years with hundreds of visitors to the Japanese Garden

Mary Peden OAM Karl’s Garden Story
“The Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens holds many great memories for me, both family joy and in the love of nature, it’s always bursting with new and diverse life. The abundance of frogs and arthropods of so many forms is a testament to it’s diligent keepers. This photo, to me, represents joy and wonder at the magic of nature.
Karl Granzien
To view more fabulous ‘Garden Story’ photographic entries go to

Enter for a chance to win a great Seasol starter pack

Brisbane City Council Events in the City Gardens

Discover a stunning open-air art exhibition in the heart of Brisbane City at 

Botanica   Contemporary Art Outside.  

May 7th – 16th leading contemporary Australian artists and designers will transform Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens City with large-scale projections, surprising installations and interactive artworks.
Linger longer on Friday and Saturday nights to discover a range of unique experiences for all ages. Enjoy guided twilight walks, thought-provoking talks, children’s art trails, delicious food trucks, an outdoor bar and live music.  
View the full Botanica events program .
starting Fri 7 to Sun 16 May 2021 Sun-Thu: 5-10pm Botanica Live Nights: Fri & Sat nights, 5-10pm

Find out more on our  Botanica- Contemporary Art Outside  event page.

 Bookings may be required for some events.
FBBGSA – Supporting local Not -for – profit organisation events 
Our special thanks to all our volunteers.
We are blessed to have your enthusiastic support and dedication to ensure our activities continue to advance the Friends’ standing in the gardens community.
To the Kitchen Garden, Growing Friends, Plant Label Audit and Seedy Friends team members –
Thank you for the vital roles you have played over the last 5 years.
To the team coordinators – Patty Munro, Julie Lumsdale, Marie Hollingworth and Annette Irish – your commitment to FBBGSA is greatly appreciated. 
The board and members of FBBGSA. The FBBGSA webpages of What’s flowering this month. Click on the pic to go to the site.

The Friends’ ‘Views from Above’ project is now in production .

Mary Jo Katter , founding Chair of FBBGSA and Jim Dobbin, our webmaster, graphics designer and photographer have embarked upon an exciting project on behalf of The Friends. marked. The team are supported and assisted by Dale Arvidsson, curator of Brisbane Botanic Gardens and Sherwood Arboretum and he gardens staff.
The brief for the project is to produce a combination of drone overhead visuals produced by Jim and a series of videos of the climatic zones and plant collections within the garden produced by Mary Jo. Mary Jo is recording the voice overs.
If the rushes are anything to go by the videos will be fabulous and we will be for many treats! 
Stay tuned for the first in a series over the next 12 months. 

Tasmanian Garden Tour 

Another fabulous Jon Baines Tour : Join other members of Friends groups from around Australia on this boutique tour to Tasmania. It explores the many and varied botanical, historical, culinary and scenic offerings of this small but richly endowed island state. This bespoke tour examines the diverse botany of Tasmania, with a wide range of specialist visits and fascinating talks by botanical experts…. plus all those gorgeous cold climate plants we love to grow in QLD. Read more 
Led by our very own FBBGSA member, Kate Heffernan. 
Bookings Email:
Visit the Brisbane Botanic Treasures website developed by Dr Jean Sim with support of Marcus Richardson and webmaster Jim Dobbin 

OUR PATRON Paul De Jersey and wife Kate

The Patron of the Friends of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and Sherwood Arboretum is His Excellencey the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland. For More information about the Governor of Queensland please visit the Government House Queensland website  here

The Board of the Friends of Brisbane Botanic Gardens 2020 – 2021
At the Board meeting of December 2020 the Directors took up the following portfolios:
Dr Jean Sim – Director Senior Advisor
Arno King – Gardens Volunteer Program Manager 
Annette Irish –
Director Secretary & Membership coordinator 
Hendricka Kwan – Events planning with Social Media added February 2021 
Phillip Jack – Director Support
Thulasi Rajah – Director support
Dale Arvidsson – Ex-Officio – BCC rep Curator Brisbane Botanic Gardens
Board Meeting March 2021 – welcomed a new casual director 
Nichole Stephenson Director Finances holding this position until the 2021 AGM at which time Nichole may again nominate for the position. 
Board Structure:
In 2018 the Board implemented a rotating Chair of Meetings. Each Director manages their portfolio with reference to the board for advice and ratification. All financial matters are approved by the board members before being expended. 
The Secretary provides a central point of communication for all FBBGSA matters including press releases, external marketing and promotion and BCC communications.
Secretariat –  Business , planning, correspondence and BCC comms:  
Membership including annual volunteer registration enquiries:
Events planning :
Gardens Volunteer program management (not annual volunteer registrations):
COVID Statement of Compliance for all its activities and the support of its members and the community and those who use the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. 

The fBBGSA operates within the guidelines of our COVID19 Management Plan.
The current plan can be found at
ALL of our events are managed to comply with our plan’s COVID Safe Event Checklist
– Be prepared to leave your contact details for tracing purposes
– Follow the rules and keep us all safe
– Practice social distancing
– Wash your hands regularly
Please refrain from attending if you have been in contact with COVID 19 in the last 14 days, or exhibiting any symptoms. You may be refused access if on the day you have any symptoms. 
Copyright © 2021 Friends of Brisbane Botanic Gardens and Sherwood Arboretum, All rights reserved.

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