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"I had the good fortune and pleasure of being asked to come down to Wollongong and help Colin (FM Palmtreesforpleasure) catalogue the palm collection at the Wollongong Botanical Gardens (still here actually)."

"Wollongong is about a 90 minute drive south of Sydney and 30 minutes north of Kiama, where Colin lives."

"The gardens cover an area of approximately 50 hectares (I think that is what I was told)..and has some existing palms that were planted around 35 years ago."

"Eighteen months ago Colin got involved; and along with the curator (Paul Tracey) obtaining some funding, a new palm garden was created in a little used area of the grounds. The original works took place just over a year ago, and since then garden beds, footpaths and many palms have been installed. These have been purchased and also donated by some of our palm growers who see the value in this exercise."

"Colin and I have had a busy week trudging around in the rain and mud (Wollongong received 300 mm [12 inches] of rain the week prior, so everything is very soggy). We had to identify and confirm 750 palms and tag them all...quite a job! There is an International Botanical conference being held at the gardens in October so there is a massive tagging and signage exercise to be completed prior to then."

"We were lucky with the weather on the first day with beautiful sunny skies and mild temperatures...for the rest of the week it was intermittent rain and showers. The ground is totally saturated and the water table is basically at the surface will be interesting to see how the palms cope with this in the forthcoming winter....hopefully the effects will not be too bad."

"For those that don't know, Colin has been involved with the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens for several years, and more recently with Wollongong Botanical Gardens, and has been instrumental in reviving the Sydney Garden's palm collection which is now turning into a very impressive collection of rare and desirable palms that are adapted to the warm temperate climate of the area. The same is being applied to Wollongong, and with a few years growth both gardens will be spectacular." (Daryl O'Connor)

"Originally all palms had tags and some arrived mislabeled, the records needed to be redone and stories for the signs needed to be written. So the garden got some funds to do this and who else better than Daryl to fly down and to do this, with me as his volunteer helper.(he said i was a good choice for the job seeing i new where the palms were:-) )"

"2 Years ago I was contacted by Wollongong botanic gardens to see if i could donate some palms and help create a palmetum at the gardens. This project for me is a lot closer to home, only 30 minutes away. whereas the Royal botanic garden Sydney project is about 2 hours away. First we had to buy some soil,then prepare some garden beds, then organised a large truck load of palms and had our first plant out about, upon reflection, about 24 months ago."

"This was an old junk site that had never been a garden, old building , blue metal base everywhere , old pipes, etc What started out to be a few garden beds has grown into about 8000 sqm site. About 800 ascensions have been made so far with many more to come."

After the palms where planted, the gardens got some funding for drainage , walkways, old building removal etc. The palmetum will be officially opened in October this year at an International Botanic Garden conference being held in Wollongong NSW at that time."

"Yesterday Benjamin (palms for brisbane) has told me the mature palm rescue we have been working on has been done and those palms will arrive in Wollongong in the next 2 weeks for next spring planting. I would like to thank Ben for volunteering his personal time organising the digger, transport truck, watering and drenching of these palms that are 1000 klms from me. Funding is only one part of the job, so thank you Ben all your help and support" regards (Colin)

"My You tube attempt at showing you a high flying palm. 2014 High flying palm at Wollongong Botanic garden's new palmetum under construction"

"It is raw footage and you will hear my anguish when the crane pulley hit the spear. It had already been damaged on the way down and we were worried it might break off. This proves there is no such think as can't (with a little help from a 50 tonne crane). Total length was 14 m including root ball. The flying Latania (along with its mate and 2 Green Bizzies were donated by Stan and Jane Walkley from Plantation 2000 in Queensland. (with lots of effort by Wes, the Cycad master there) Friends of the gardens paid for the other one as well as some of the other palm rescues."

All palms seen survived, 3 semi trailers brought the palms from Queensland 1000 klms overnight, managed to entice firms to provide 2 of the trucks at no cost.

For some reason Stan shakes his head when i come to visit :-). Good man is Stan.

"This was done year ago and the building no longer exist. (made way for more palms plantings), A bit windy that day, we had up to 30 knots of breeze. Mike (newcal) came down from Queensland to watch the show. He organised the other big palms rescued out of a cane field for WBG that was part of the palms on the trucks. Good family, the palm family." Please enjoy (Colin)

Resently rescued palms from Queensland arrived today at Wollongong BG 06/03/2015

"Here are some photo's of the palms rescued before the developer bull dozed them in his land clearing. Ben (palmsforbrisbane) organised to get them out of the ground for me, drenched them for fire ants, handled the govt inspectors and for 2 weeks drenched them with seaweed extract."

"Ben also organised the the excavation and transport to Wollongong BG for me. Thanks Ben for giving freely of your time and expertise. Good man is Ben! and thanks Andy, Mike and Daryl for finding them and Margaret Kraa for asking the former owner for them. The Pacsoa team strikes again. The excavation and freight cost were donated to the gardens by another. Planting will be in Spring and they have been put in a Sunny area on top of a black tar surface. Concrete blocks are going to be put around them to create a bit of a heat bank, still have to work on some more wind protection as the humidity (and heat) are a lot lower in Wollongong. We are 1000 klm's (600 miles) south of the site they came from." (Colin)

"Palms rescued are:

2 Dypsis decipiens 1 Zombia antillarium 1 Coccothrinax crinita 1 Coccothrinax barbadensis (planted as dussiana) 1 Coccothrinax miriguama

Hopefully we will get another 40 palms planted before the official opening mid October. Good find, good palms, good palm friends regards" (Colin)

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