The May meeting of the Goulburn Argyle Garden Club welcomed guest speaker artist and beekeeper Dianna Bissett from Rocklily Wombat Sanctuary near Wombeyan Caves, where she and husband Warwick rehabilitate wombats and other native animals.
Their home is on a ridge and they have spent eight years building their garden including an 80 year old rose bush from her grandmother's garden, a Wollemi pine, chestnuts, elderberry bush, native lavender, native orchids and an orchard to name a few.
Last year, fires hit their property and destroyed their garden and surrounding bushland. The house had a new corrugated roof and a sprinkler system designed by the CSIRO and survived. Most of the wildlife was lost, except some echidnas and some other animals that survived but were then taken by wild dogs, including Dianna's beloved wombats.
After the fires came 500ml rain, which caused the silt and soil to wash into the dam and the water became toxic. 74 per cent of the trees were dead. The ash also washed around the fruit trees, and they had a bumper crop of apples, apricots, lemons and now weeds.
Dianna and Warwick are slowly rebuilding their garden and habitat for wombats and other native animals and birds.
Dianna had a selection of wombat beanies, cards, fabric wombats, calendars and jewellery for sale. These and other Australian made gifts and wildlife information can be found at their online shop Rocklilywombats.com Profits from sales go to rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing Australian wildlife.
The meeting also saw three new members receive their club badges and copies of club constitution.
Jill Annable, Diane McLaughlin and Cheryl Cosgrove received these from zone co-ordinator Sue Mowle, who also discussed the Garden Clubs of Australia Convention in Townsville in September and the GCA photo competition.
Member Roz Phillipson informed members of the Australian Conservation Foundation and their bid to encourage tightening of the laws regarding protection of habitat for native flora and fauna.