Park News – August, 2015

What Wattle is What ?

myrtle wattle

  • Our current noticeboard display contains samples of all the park wattles that are flowering at the moment to help you identify them.  If you like the look of a particular wattle, say, for your garden, check the noticeboard and race off to one of our local indigenous nurseries (Bungalook or Greenlink) to grab some tube-stock.
  • Note that some older wattles in the park are non-indigenous and would therefore not be available from the nurseries.
  • Two trees that flower later in the year are not posted:  the Black Wattle (Acacia mearnsii) and Lightwood (A. implexa).

Kalang Oval – Temporary Cricket Nets

cricket pitch

  • Temporary nets will be erected during the cricket season on part of the Kalang Oval’s western boundary (on the opposite side to the pavilion) to protect the end of Doogan St and the house there.
  • We’ve also discussed with Council: formalizing the goat track leading to Doogan Street, additional plantings in the vicinity and extending the panels of the low cyclone wire fence already in the vicinity for more  protection.


  • Speaking of the pavilion, building has now progressed to the point that its size and shape are becoming quite clear.

New Committee!


  • Actually, not that new…  Eleven of our twelve existing members successfully renominated and a new nominee was successful.
  • The advisory committee is appointed by Council from interested residents who volunteer their time to provide practical assistance and advice to Council on the use, care and management of the Park including its forward planning and improvements.  Subject to completion of the induction process, Council will appoint the new committee for a three year term commencing 1st July, 2015.
  • Interested?  Visitors are always welcome at our Committee Meetings.
  • Committee thanks Andrew who has retired from Committee after 9 years service and welcomes Anne who will bring a fresh perspective to our work.  Nevertheless, Anne is not new to the Creeklands – she has been a regular working bee participant for 5 years since moving into the area about 6 years ago.

 New Seat Adjacent to 60 Main Street

  • There was only one seat east of the Waratah Wetlands on the northern side of the creek – on the hill in Furness Park towards Gardenia Street.  Given it is on a steeper part of the track, many of our regular seat users were unable to avail themselves of it.
  • Not anymore! – there is a brand new seat in the land adjacent to 60 Main Street a little west of Main Street.   Seats on the northern side of the creek are important because many park users now prefer that side because it is quieter, taking less bike commuter traffic.

Planting Bee – Sunday, 16th August 2015

  • The planting working bee was a great success with many friends attending in the very welcome milder weather.  The land adjacent to 60 Main Street a little west of Main Street is finally looking like a loved and cared for part of the park rather than a vestige of its former history as part of the neglected and weedy land next door.
  • In addition to the new seat, weeds have been removed, new plantings have been made and mulched.  Committee sincerely thanks everyone who participated on the day – and gives a special welcome to those new Friends who came along to contribute – especially including our Friend from the Cricket Club who promised further assistance.
  • With reference to the photo of the two ducks in our flyer for the event, two ducks were seen USING THE CROSSING to check things out not long after the working bee got started!  Though we don’t have photographic evidence,  several witnesses will swear it’s true. Please watch out for our Feathered Friends when driving along Main Street!
  • The next Sunday community working bees will be:
    • 13th September:  Furness Park – weeding and mulching.
    • 18th October:  Blacks Walk – planted areas adjacent to the Laburnum PS school fence to be weeded and mulched.

The Way We Were – Bob’s Story and the “Dwyer Estate”

  • Beginning late last year, we brought you some photos from Frances who was one on the 1950s pioneers on the south side of the creek.  Bob is another – he’s in his ninetieth year and enjoys an active life – we met him walking his son’s dog in Blacks Walk.
  • Following his wartime service in the Air Force, Bob and his dad built their first home in 1948 and then began building Bob’s current home a few years later.  Bob moved into his new house in Dwyer Street in 1954 – with a private water supply and no electricity for the first 10 months!   Bob bought his land from this subdivision sale:

dwyer estate full

  • Note that Billeroy Street, just south of the creek, was never built (thankfully!).
  • Bob has clear memories of the early days – including the farmers in the area:  the orchardist “Old man Sheehan” (hence Sheehans Road) and Mrs Dwyer who owned the Oaklands* Poultry Farm  (hence Dwyer Street) whose farms were gradually subdivided for housing – mainly on the south side of the creek and to eventually form parts of Kalang Park, Laburnum Primary School and the Blackburn Bowls Club.
  • Interestingly, water was piped from Blackburn Lake in those days to irrigate the Sheehans’ pear orchards**.  There was also a dam full of yabbies where the current children’s playground is adjacent to Kalang Oval and another three dams further along towards Baldwin Street.  Along Canterbury Road, there were only three houses from Middleborough Road leading up to the Blackburn plaster works where Safeway/Woolworths stands now.
  • Bob also remembers a galvanised tin dairy in Blacks Walk along the school fence between the gate and Middleborough Road.   Maybe the dairy was for Mrs Dwyer’s cow (she also had horses and a donkey).  Bob tells a story about Mrs Dwyer – one day, some boys let her know that a cow was behaving strangely out on the road.  Mrs Dwyer investigated to find that the cow was calving so promptly assisted with the delivery.  Once the job was done, she wiped her hands off on her customary dark blue bib-and-brace overalls, hand-rolled a cigarette and had a smoke to celebrate the new arrival… – one suspects very few of our current Blackburn ladies would behave so!
  • Bob’s career was in digital electronics beginning with telegraphy.  Given the railway station at Laburnum didn’t exist then, he used to ride his motorbike daily into work at the PMG in Little Bourke Street and his studies at the Working Men’s College of Melbourne (nowadays RMIT) – without any traffic or parking problems!
  • These days Bob enjoys amateur radio and is a collector of calculating devices.   If anyone has spare slide rules used by aircraft navigators, let us know please – Bob is your man!

Corridor News

Blackburn Bushland Corridor

brochure cover

Please click to view the brochure

  • The Blackburn Lake Sanctuary and the Blackburn Creeklands Advisory Committees have jointly produced a new brochure called the Blackburn Bushland Corridor.  
  • It is targeted at new residents in the vicinity of our parks – to show them what great resources we have and to encourage people to “do their bit” for the corridor.

Nature Walk in Yarran Dheran

  • A walk led by well-known local naturalist and long-time local resident, Cecily Falkingham is planned for Saturday, 26th September at 10.00am – 12 noon, free – but BOOKINGS are ESSENTIAL: e-mail by 18th September.
  • Please click here for the flyer.

Plant of the Month

  • Plant of the Month: Clematis microphylla (Small-leaved Clematis)

clematis microphylla

  • Particularly beautiful this year, this Clematis with large starry flowers, has long twining branches that tend to climb up and over other bushes and trees.  Be warned though, it can tend to smother its host climbing frame.  It can do a good job of covering wire fences – a good example can be seen at the Pakenham Street bridge on the north-eastern side.

Weed of the Month

  • Weed of the Month: Allium triquetrum (Angled Onion) – no, it’s not “native snow bells” or some such – as this author is ashamed to say he thought until having had some experience with the Monday/Thursday Maintenance Team – it’s a quite invasive weed.

angled onion

  • At this time of year (late winter and spring), it is flowering with white bell flowers and has a small bulb at its base when dug up.  On close inspection, its stems have three acute angles and has an obvious onion-like smell (hence the name).   It spreads by seed and bulb division.
  • For gardeners who use Glycosophate spray, the plant is practically immune until the flowers appear.   It’s best to simply dig it out – including the bulbs.
  • For the more adventurous, but don’t take our word for it, the plant is supposed to be edible!


There have been a few interesting bird sightings in the area:

  • Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos have been spotted routinely visiting the park.
  • The small resident birds such as the pardalotes have been very active – no doubt preparing for Spring.
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