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The Queensland Gardening Pages
Information & resources about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld

Toowoomba

and the Darling Downs, Stanthorpe, Granite Belt


This page is intended to cover gardening news and resources specific to this area. For more general information about gardening in Qld, check the menu at left or try the Site Search

News

Green waste bins a possibility outside Toowoomba

Toowoomba Regional Council is asking those residents outside the city who are interested in a fortnightly green waste bin to register by 28th February 2013. At this stage, Council is trying to gauge demand and plan feasible service routes. Where offered, the optional service will attract an additional charge. More information at the council's website: Regional residents urged to register interest in green waste service (December 2012)

Myall Park receives heritage listing

The Queensland Heritage Council has announced that Myall Park Botanic Garden has been entered in the Queensland Heritage Register which means it will be protected under heritage legislation. Read more: Botanic Garden sows seed of success and celebrates heritage listing (November 2012)

Older news at bottom of page

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Garden Calender

Suppliers of gardening goods & services to Darling Downs

May include online suppliers. For the most up-to-date information on plants in stock, opening hours, prices etc, be sure to visit the seller's website or contact the business directly.
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MARTIN GARDEN CENTRE

179 Stephen Street,
Toowoomba, Qld 4350
Ph: (07) 4633 1122
martingardencentre.com.au

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"The Gurus in the Garden"
Want to add style and value to your property?

A one stop solution to your garden and landscape needs. Let us start by offering our design service. Local knowledge, passion and flare from local garden lovers.

Next visit our Garden Centre. You'll be impressed and inspired by our range and quality. Pots, plants, giftware, pebbles, mulches, pond equipment and water features are all on display.

Our landscape teams can quote on the whole job or just the bits you want to leave to the experts. For more information visit our WEBSITE.
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Martin Garden Centre is accredited under the Australian Garden Centre Accreditation Scheme.

TRUE BLUE GARDEN CENTRE

113 McDougall Street,
Toowoomba, Qld 4350
Ph: (07) 4659 0311


True Blue Garden Centre Logo
Toowoomba's most extensive selection of Plants. Decorative Pots, Flowers, Gift Baskets, Gift Vouchers, Garden Furniture and Garden needs. Garden Design Service - we visit your property, discuss your needs & design your garden to suit you. Plant and Product Sourcing Service - if we don't have the item you'd like in stock, we try our best to find what you want.

True Blue Garden Centre is owned and operated by Les and Meredith Richters - self employed in Toowoomba nurseries since 1983.
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True Blue Garden Centre - State Winner for 2002 / 2003 Australian Garden Industry Awards and accredited under the Australian Garden Centre Accreditation Scheme.

A. C. & C. M. STAFFORD

"CharCol" Farm Nursery
Eskdale District, QLD
Mob: 0427 607 275
charcolio@skymesh.com.au

We hold a permit to propagate native plants for sale, and sell to the public at Esk Markets on Saturday mornings and Crows Nest Market on the first Sunday of every month. Phone or email to check availability and arrange special orders.

Propagated & rescued native orchids: Cymbidium canaliculatum; Dendrobium speciosum (King Orchid), D. gracilicaule, D. monophyllum; Dockrillia brownii, D. linguiformis, D. teretifolia; Sarcochilus

Other natives including: Tree Ferns, Birds Nest Fern, Staghorn & Elkhorn Ferns, Xanthorrhoea glauca (Grass Tree), Grevillea robusta, Toona ciliata, Clerodendrum floribundum, Hardenbergia violacea, Wahlenbergia stricta (Native Bluebell).

We also produce premium quality sifted hardwood charcoal (five grades, two bag sizes) suitable for orchids, bromeliads & general garden use. Buy direct from us.


Advertise on this page. Suitable businesses may include nurseries and garden centres, landscape supply yards, landscapers, lawnmowing and gardening services, outdoor furniture stores. Also, online stores and mail-order services selling gardening-related goods who can deliver to the Darling Downs region. Learn more: Information for advertisers

 
illustration
The sale of bunches like this one helped build the Toowoomba Mothers' Memorial after WWI

Feature Article

The Toowoomba Violet Rediscovered


In the city of Toowoomba stands the Mothers' Memorial, a tribute the sons who went to the First World War but did not return. To help fund construction of the monument, flowers of a beautiful fragrant violet widely grown in the region were gathered and sold, at threepence per bunch.

In 1932, Toowoomba declared the violet its official floral emblem, and now forms part of the city's coat-of-arms.

Toowoomba is the main service center for the Darling Downs, one of the nation's prime agricultural regions. Also known as "The Garden city", since 1949 it has staged the famous Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.

With such a proud horticultural history, it was sad that the violet which had been such an important part of that history, and which is a symbol of the city to this day, had been apparently lost.

Nobody knew for sure which (if any) of the assorted strains offered for sale as "Toowoomba Violet" over the years were the original variety. If it had survived somewhere, how could it be distinguished from the many other cultivars, not to mention sports and hybrids, now growing in the region?

Where was the true Toowoomba Violet?

In 2009, horticultural teachers at Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE, decided to bring back the violet. First, they asked locals to contribute candidate plants from their home gardens, which were then cultivated at the college. At flowering time, prominent Toowoomba gardener and flower arranger Joan Falvey was asked to identify the flower closest to the Toowoomba Violet she once knew.

 
illustration
The Toowoomba Violet

As it turned out, the Toowoomba Violet had been growing in a TAFE teacher's garden for years! Subsequently, the variety has been identified as Viola odorata 'Princess of Wales'.

Plants have been propagated at the college and sold locally through garden shows and campus plant sales, with some of the money benefiting the Toowoomba Hospice. However, numbers are still limited. Options for making the violet more widely available are currently being explored.

Thanks to the efforts of the TAFE teachers and students, Joan and other dedicated gardeners, the coat-of-arms won't be the only place to see Toowoomba Violets. The fragrant flower is certain to be gracing more gardens in Toowoomba and beyond in the years to come.

Acknowledgment: Thank-you to Mike Wells for contributing information and images used in this article. You can learn more about the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers at www.tcof.com.au

Feature Article


Native suggestions help gardeners in dry times

If creating a native garden, using species that occur naturally in your area can be beneficial environmentally as well as provide an extra interest to the garden. One of the problems, however, is finding information on what grew locally originally.

Toowoomba gardener and author Patricia Gardner has come to the aid of Darling Downs residents with her Toowoomba Plants book duo, the first volume of which (Trees and Shrubs) is available now. It contains detailed descriptions of 277 trees, shrubs and mistletoes.

The book isn't just for native enthusiasts, however, because Patricia concentrates on species suitable for residential properties. The range of drought-tolerant suggestions will help homeowners in the Toowoomba region and beyond create attractive gardens with less water.

There is a particular focus on "dry rainforest" species. Patricia says these are good for homeowners wanting a rainforest look at home, because they are not only drought tolerant, but they tend to be smaller-growing than species from high-rainfall areas.

For more information, including how to order, click here: Toowoomba Plants

Other Information Resources


Councils
Your council is a good place to start looking for information about public parks and gardens, watering restrictions, free tree programmes, environment and other local news and information.
Toowoomba Regional Council incorporating the former Crows Nest, Rosalie, Jondaryan, Millmerran, Pittsworth, Clifton and Cambooya Shires
Southern Downs Regional Council Amalgamation of former Warwick and Stanthorpe councils

Other
Myall Park Botanic Garden & Bush Retreat, Glenmorgan
My Veggie Garden Blog from Toowoomba
The Radish Blog from Hampton, (near Toowoomba)
Toowoomba Plants Blog about native plants of the region, particularly those suitable for use in gardens
Franke Scrub Blog about Franke Road remnant scrub
Conservation of the Bulloak Jewel Butterfly Factsheet at The Hut Environmental and Community Association Inc. (THECA) website
Acacia stenophylla A.Cunn. ex Benth. Eumong, River Cooba. Water for a Healthy Country
Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. River Red Gum. Water for a Healthy Country

If you have a link you think is appropriate for this page, click here.

Older News

Some older news which may still be of interest to residents of the region is retained below.

Toowoomba tree plan takes trophy

The Toowoomba Street Tree Master Plan has won the Sustainable Initiatives Category in the national Parks and Leisure Australia Awards of Excellence A bloomin' great effort bags national awards (September 2012)

Heritage listing nomination for Myall Park

Myall Park Botanic Garden has been nominated for state heritage listing. Located near Glenmorgan (west of Dalby), the garden is best known for its grevilleas. However, it displays and protects many native species over its 128 hectares, including many rare or threatened species. Submissions on the proposed heritage listing will be accepted until 7 August 2012. More information: Myall Park Botanic Garden nominated for heritage listing (July 2012)

Peacehaven expansion on the way

Toowoomba Regional Council has acquired land adjoining Peacehaven Botanic Park, which will allow continued development of the park and a better overall layout. Residents are invited to contribute their ideas for the site at a community consultation day on 30th June. Details on the council website here: Land acquisition promises big plans for Peacehaven Botanic Park (June 2012)

Warwick to remove Planes before they crash

Seven London Plane trees in Guy Street, Warwick have been assessed by an arborist as unsafe and will be removed. They are too rotten to be treated. Source: Council to Remove Dangerous Trees (May 2012)

Prisoners' skills contribute to 2012 Carnival
Old trailers are being transformed into "mini floats" for the Grand Central Floral Parade at Toowoomba's Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers in September by prisoners from the Darling Downs Correctional Centre. This is an opportunity for the prisoners to apply the skills learned through their trade courses to help the community. Refurbishment of the donated trailers included mechanical and structural repairs, plus the underlying construction for the displays. Final decoration will be done by the community groups using the floats, and can be changed each year. The Centre is calling for donations of more trailers for new courses. More at the Toowoomba Regional Council website: Prisoners' hard work to be showcased during 2012 Carnival (April 2012)

2011 Carnival a great success
Toowoomba Regional Council reports that a record number of people attended the 2011 Carnival of Flowers. In addition to the garden competition and displays, and the great spring weather, the food and wine component of the modern Carnival is credited with contributing to it's success. More information at the Coucil's website: Record visitor numbers add to 2011 Carnival lustre (October 2011)

Updated Weed ID book for S. Queensland
Published by the Weed Society of Queensland, the updated "Weeds of Southern Queensland" is available from Southern Downs Regional Council offices. More informatiion: Get your hands on free updated weed identification book (June 2011)

Coup for Queensland concrete company
Toowoomba Regional Council is trialing a new environmentally friendly concrete associated with lower carbon emissions on a new footpath in Rome Street, Newtown. "Earth Friendly Concrete" was developed by a local company, who claim that it also has superior durability. If the trial is successful, the council will continue to use the product. Source: Council trials world's first premixed 'green' concrete in Queensland first (August 2010)

Bush tucker garden for USQ
A garden to promote understanding of indigenous women and health is planned at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba. Featuring bush tucker and medicinal species, the Gumbi-Gumbi garden is named for Pittosporum augustifolium. Source: Gumbi-Gumbi Garden planned for USQ (June 2010)

New landscaping enhances quality of life at retirement village
The grounds of Drayton Villas, Toowoomba have been redesigned with input from the residents themselves. Enhancements include brightly coloured flowers and deeply textured foliage for the visually impaired, avoidance of allergy-inducing plants and removal of trip hazards. A synthetic bowling green should require less maintenance and water than the natural lawn alternative. (March 2009)

Boyce Garden water tanks out of sight
New underground water tanks at The University of Queensland Boyce Garden, Toowoomba, will help solve the problem of maintaining and developing the gardens while preserving the character of the heritage-listed property. Installation should be completed in time for the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers in September. More at the University of Queensland website here: Heritage UQ Boyce Garden drought-proofed in Toowoomba (August, 2008)
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