Garden inspiration: plant-based activities for the weekend

COVID-19 may still be abroad, but there are plenty of safe activities to do in Illawarra this region if you want to get out and about. Here are a couple of ideas to consider. 

The Illawarra Grevillea Park has its last open days of the year coming up on 12 and 13 September, 10am-4pm. There's always plenty in flower, particularly at this time of year, and the team of volunteers at the Park work hard to make it look simply amazing for the open days. The chapel hosts a sale of second-hand plant books and sells tea or coffee and bikkies for when you need a break. 

The Illawarra Grevillea Park is a place to enjoy a wander and a picnic, as well as browsing the plants and books for sale. Image shows a picnic area in the park.
The Illawarra Grevillea Park is a good place to enjoy a wander and a picnic, as well as browsing the plants and books for sale. Image by Tracee Lea ©.
If you'd like to get your hands dirty and help look after one of the region's many local reserves, Wollongong Council has several Bushcare groups that meet this Saturday or Sunday. These include groups working in Woonona, Coledale, Sandon Point, Puckey's Estate, Port Kembla, and Windang dunes. Check the Wollongong Council website for more details of all the groups: https://wollongong.nsw.gov.au/my-community/get-involved/volunteering/bushcare/bushcare-groups.

Further south, there are Shellharbour bushcare groups (not currently meeting), and Illawarra Landcare groups. Have a look at: https://www.landcareillawarra.org.au/volunteer-2/
Social distancing is easier in the great outdoors, and a tough morning planting the next generation of trees earns you a pretty good brunch! Image by Emma Rooksby.
The Illawarra branch of the Australian Native Orchids Society has a show day on Saturday 12th, but it is only open to members, so if you would like to attend you'd better join today! Contact details are available from the ANOS website: https://anos.org.au/groups/ 
Sydney Rock Orchid (Dendrobium speciosum), one of many local orchids that flowers around this time of year. Image by Penny Sadubin, reproduced under CC BY-NC 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/).
Have a great weekend and stay safe. 

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