Gardening and revegetation at Kusala Hermitage
Help us take care of our gardens and forest.
Kusala Hermitage sits on an 11 hectare property bordered by the Canning River and Wungong Regional Park. Over the last two years the sangha has overseen both the planting of gardens and revegetation of the land using species native to this part of the Perth hills. In addition to this we have an ongoing program to eradicate weeds. According to the monastic discipline we cannot dig holes, nor can we cut or destroy plant life (even the nasty stuff!). We rely on lay volunteers to help us in our endeavors.
By the stables we have a beautiful rose garden.
We appreciate any help we can get to weed this area and help to keep them in good shape. We’re now looking into planting native species such as scarlet runner along side the roses.
You can also see Roleystone’s finest collection of succulents.
And peppermint trees old and young.
Just after the BSWA bought the property on Stocker Rd, the Armadale Examiner newspaper advertised a federal government grant program. After some investigation we applied for the grant and were successful. Since then, with the help of Armadale Gosnells Landcare Group we’ve completed several projects and have more planned for the future.
Communities Environment Program 2020
Our first project began when we saw an advertisement in the Armadale Examiner. With the help of Landcare we applied for a CEP grant from the federal government. $5,500 was provided to the BSWA for native seedlings, fencing and digging tools. In turn we provided volunteer labor to fence off areas around our property and then mulch and plant. This has been very successful, with the gardens maturing and providing knowledge for later projects.
Due to our location and zoning, Kusala Hermitage is eligible for the Habitat Links program, run by Armadale City Council. Every year since 2020 we have received several trays of seedlings ranging from shrubs to (eventually) large trees. In addition to this, we have a great relationship with the program organizers and receive “leftovers” at the end of the season. Most recently we planted 20 flooded gums, 20 swamp paperbark and 20 western sheoak. Given the nature of kangaroos to eat everything, we made tree guards for each seedling.
Swan Alcoa Landcare Program 2022
Our ongoing relationship with Landcare led to an application for the 2022 Swan Alcoa Landcare program. Narelle at Landcare made the application on behalf of the BSWA and we received 1,390 seedlings for our “ephemeral wetland” aka the old dam. A number of teams worked hard to get these into the ground and the results were excellent. We’re most grateful to our volunteers.
As part of the grant, Matt from Darling Range Wildlife Shelter built and installed specialised bird boxes for ducks, owls, parrots, bats and possums.
Fauna in our wetland
Making recordings with the FrogID app from the Australian Museum we’ve identified 6 species of frog:
- Quacking frog
- Ticking frog
- Motorbike frog
- Slender tree frog
- Rattling froglet
- Bleating froglet
This winter (2022) there were two duck species breeding – wood ducks and pacific blacks. Once in a while we get a visit from a white faced heron.
Community Rivercare Program 2023-2025
Our most recent and ambitious project is a grant application for the WA government Community Rivercare Program. This is a $30,000 project to be delivered over 3 years and involves the removal of a Japanese Pepper Tree infestation and replanting along the Canning River.
Given the size of our block and the gardens to manage, there is a lot of weeding to do. In addition to the usual culprits – Patersons Curse, Cotton Bush, Bridle Creeper, we have already removed several Japanese Pepper Trees:
And discovered a Wandoo in the process.
Grass is also an issue in the fenced off sections. We’ve made some headway:
Join the Kusala Gardening Team
As you can see, we’ve put a lot of effort into looking after our block. Planting, weeding, mulching – there’s something to do all year round. If you’d like to receive updates on what we’re doing, or to join in on a busy bee, you can join our gardener’s mailing list. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with a note saying you’d like to join up. The latest news and events will be available on this page, so keep it bookmarked.
Many thanks from the Kusala Sangha and our wildlife.