The native garden that I’ve now added to the Ragged Garden acknowledges the muwinina people, who lived in nipaluna/Hobart for thousands of years before colonisation.

On the landscape they knew there were towering eucalypt trees, felled by the British to build Hobart Town. Huge flocks of parrots were displaced when their nesting places were disturbed. Feathers from the many black swans on the river were used to stuff pillows and whales who calved in the river were killed to provide oil to light the town. The free-running rivulet that wound its was through Wapping was soon polluted with waste from small industries along its banks.

Now only a few swans are seen on the upper reaches of the Derwent and only an occasional whale is sighted in the harbour. Insects that once thrived here are sprayed with ‘pesticides’ and remain only in small numbers for blackbirds to eat.

However, I discovered that the muwinina people wove baskets from the shoots of the manna gums on the Domain, that still stood a short distance from the garden, and they  feasted on the gum the trees produced produced after injuries by insects. This manna or gum was reported to taste like the sweetest sugar and have the consistency of ice cream.

The native garden I’ve planted includes a Tasmanian correa, Mountain raspwort, Mother shield fern, Round-leaf mint bush, Fringe myrtle, Running postman, Alpine tussock grass, Indigofera Australis and two Cushion plants. There is also a big planter there with a Tasmanian Pepperberry, surrounded by Warrigal greens and Tasmanian violets.

I can’t wait to see this garden grow . . . .