The Wonders of Wattle to be celebrated with Grenfell residents

For hayfever sufferers, spring can be not an enjoyable season...but for wattle lovers it is the most perfect time of the year.

As the countdown to spring nears, the town of Grenfell will soon be encased in a sea of yellow as the wattle trees and shrubs begin to bloom.

During the month of August, Grenfell will be host to two wattle themed events in the lead- up to Wattle Day on Sunday 1 September.

On Wednesday 14 August, there will be an information seminar all about our national floral emblem.

Hosted by Mikla Lewis, the seminar will commence at 7.00pm with Mikla providing a comprehensive exploration of the many varieties of wattle, and its significance for Indigenous Australians, the early settlers and for contemporary Australia.

There will be a wattle seed-based supper and free wattle plants to take home.

On Friday 23 August from 9.30am to 3.00pm, Mikla will also be hosting a 'Blooming Wattles Tour' at 'Rosemont' located on Holy Camp Road.

Guests will enjoy a wander through a diverse range of blooming wattle trees and shrubs and learn about their value in farming and native woodland environments.

Free wattle plants will be available to take home.

"Wattle has been within our natural environment for 60 million years," Mikla said.

"They are not only an integral part of the Australian landscape, but it is also grown in over 100 countries throughout the world."

Australia's national floral emblem, the golden wattle, also known as Acacia pycnantha is one species of the large genus of wattle growing across the country.

Identified as the symbol of unity, the golden wattle displays the national colours of Australia when in flower; green and gold.

When colonial settlers arrived in Australia, they cultivated the golden wattle using the bark, gum and blossom for a variety of products, including glue and honey.

In Africa and the Sahara, it is a drought hardy plant, enabling stocks to survive on its leaves and seeds, and in France, they use the seed for perfume and the wood for furniture.

"Another thing that makes wattle such an important part of our environment is its ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, utilise it, and make it available for other plants to access through their root nodules."

"A lot of native grasses will also grow freely around wattle as it is able to grow in poor soils, making it an imperative part of any farming landscape," Mikla said.

For more information please contact the Grenfell Visitor Information Centre. Ph: (02) 6342 2059 www.grenfell.org.au.

Wattle seeds have the ability to sit in the soil for more than five years, enabling new trees to grow after natural disasters such as bushfires.

Housing pollen rather than nectar within the blossom, the wattle is also a rich source of protein for insects and birds, and its nutritious seeds make for a feeding bonanza for the Superb Parrot.

"By hosting this evening seminar, I hope to encourage more lovers of wattle.

"There are over 1000 species of wattle in Australia alone, and its ability to rejuvenate land and provide shelter and food for native and farming animals makes it the most perfect plant for everyone," Mikla said.

The 'Wonder of Wattles' information seminar will be held at the Grenfell Community Hub Conference Room on Wednesday 14 August commencing at 7.00pm.

Bookings are not required however for more information visit www.visitgrenfell.org.au.

The 'Blooming Wattles' Tour will be held at 'Rosemont', 287 Holy Camp Road, Grenfell from 9.30am to 3.00pm. Bookings required. To RSVP please contact Mikla Lewis on miklalewis@bigpond.com.