Viewing entries tagged
plant

Lomandra island

Lomandra island

Hi everyone,

Does removing a (literal and physical) truckload of sediment from a bioretention system mean that ALL the plants need to go too?

Cheers

Jack

It's canopy and understorey

It's canopy and understorey

Hi everyone,

On Ideanthro we tend to prattle on about how important it is to include trees in bioretention systems. Here’s the thing thought. Just saying “put trees in bioretention” doesn’t quite cut it because it implies that trees are the whole solution. They aren’t. Trees are a part of the vegetation in a well functioning bioretention system. They need to be used alongside understorey plants. In this episode we demonstrate one reason why.

Cheers

Jack

Ecological niches in bioretention

Ecological niches in bioretention

Hi everyone,

It’s been a little while since we released an Ideanthro episode. We have more than a few interesting things going on and they’ve been consuming our time.

BUT!

Today one of those things provided us with a golden opportunity to film. So film we did.

We have recently been conducting condition inspections on Gold Coast City Council’s stormwater treatment assets. Some 376 of them in fact. In this episode we take a look at a very large bioretention system and discuss the ecological niches developing in it.

Find this asset as B01534 on The WSUD Map.

Cheers

Jack

That's not a bioretention plant and that's ok

That's not a bioretention plant and that's ok

Hi there,

On today's episode Steph Brown shows us a bioretention system where the plants don't fit the typical mould. We're talking about a well integrated system in a mixed use development with ornamental species.

Cheers

Jack

Why did that grow there?

Why did that grow there?

Hi there,

The way stormwater treatment systems develop as ecosystems over time is a constant fascination to us (and hence a regular topic on Ideanthro!). In today's episode we visit the Wakerley bioretention system (asset ID #B00028 on The WSUD Map). It is large. It has three cells. New species are popping up in all of them; but more so in one of the cells than the others. We wondered why?

Cheers

Jack

A horticulture perspective on bioretention

A horticulture perspective on bioretention

Hi there!

In today's episode I sit down to chat with Dan Robson, to bring a horticulturalists perspective to bioretention.

What could we plant and what it would need to grow? 

Dan brings a really unique perspective to this. I first met him when he was studying Environmental Management at Griffith University. On top of that he has bucket loads of horticultural experience from working in the nursery industry. And if that isn't enough, he is one of the few people to have actually done on ground, real world testing of bioretention performance.

You can see how this chat might get interesting.

I hope you enjoy my chat with Dan Robson.

Cheers

Jack

Fine balance part 2

Fine balance part 2

Hi everyone,

Today we are joined by Robyn Simcock and continue our look at how to create a bioretention filter media mix that balances pollutant removal, hydraulic conductivity, plant health and all the many things that filter media needs to do. Robyn shares her vast experience as filter media in New Zealand has evolved over the past decade. In many respect this episode carries on from episode 143.

Cheers

Jack

Why the plants died at...

Why the plants died at...

We see this time and time again. Bioretention systems with no plants in them. We don't mean bioretention full of weeds, we mean bioretention systems that are completely bare. In this episode we look at one very high profile example and dig into what is going on.

Cheers

Jack

Trees in bioretention - selecting understorey plants

Trees in bioretention - selecting understorey plants

Part 2 in our not-so-mini series looking at trees in bioretention. Today, a viewer question.

Peter asks "I like you're approach to trees in bioretention systems. Is there purpose really to shade out weeds though? Wouldn't we need to change the understorey planting once the trees are established and the light regime changes for the smaller plant?"

Very good question. Let's take a look!

In case you missed it, here is Part 1 in the series - Why we're obsessed with trees in bioretention.

Cheers

Jack

Flowers are a sign of healthy wetland plants

Flowers are a sign of healthy wetland plants

Hi there!

A few years ago Jason Sonneman from DesignFlow gave me a really good piece of advice. He told me that if you have a wetland and all the plants are in flower then it is a really good sign that those plants are happy and healthy. In this episode we take a look at exactly that in a wetland I stumbled across early one morning.

Cheers

Jack Mullaly

Bioretention inlets and weeds

Bioretention inlets and weeds

Hi there,

Today we’re taking a look at how weeds get into bioretention systems. I know that you’ve seen a bioretention system full of weeds but have you ever wondered how they got there. Well there are a few ways and today we’re going to take a look at one of them. Stormwater. Yep a major source of weeds in bioretention systems is the stormwater that we treat. This system is a prime example. It hasn’t been overrun by weeds, but they are in there and there are lots more of them around the inlets.

I hope that you enjoy.

Cheers

 

Jack Mullaly

Imperata cylindrica in nature

Imperata cylindrica in nature

Hi there,

If you saw the video about Imperata cylindrica in bioretention you’ll probably have figured out that I’m quite the fan. Today we look at some that I found growing in nature at Tallebudgera Creek on the Gold Coast in South East Queensland. Ever wondered about holidaying on the Gold Coast. I have good news, you can value add to your holiday with bioretention plant spotting…

Cheers

Jack

Casuarinas in bioretention

Casuarinas in bioretention

Hi there,

Trees are growing in popularity for use in bioretention systems in Australia. While melaleucas have been used commonly, casuarinas have been used less. They have heaps of potential though. In this episode we look at some casuarinas in a bioretention system and talk about their strengths and weaknesses and how to identify them.

Cheers

Jack Mullaly

Acacia in bioretention

Acacia in bioretention

Hi there,

The subject of today’s episode has been working around in my mind for a while now, so when I got the opportunity to share it with you I couldn’t pass it up. As we get more and more bioretention systems in South East Queensland I have seen more and more acacia trees popping up in them. In fact in some in cases they pop up really quickly.

Acacia’s are a pioneer species. In nature this means when an old tree dies, acacias grow quickly where the tree once stood. They take advantage of the new space. They grow rapidly and die relatively young (for a tree). These properties make me think that there is a real place for them in bioretention systems, and with them popping up of their own accord all over the place I think that they are worth considering.

Cheers

Jack

Carex appressa in bioretention

Carex appressa in bioretention

Howdy!

Carex appressa is a plant that gets talked about a lot in Australia with respect to bioretention systems so it’s definitely worth knowing a bit about it. The reason it gets talked about a lot is that it has been researched a lot and it performs really well at keeping the filter media nice and porous and it enhances the ability of systems it is planted in to remove nitrogen.

Now that doesn’t mean that it’s the best plant for either of these tasks. There are many other plants that haven’t been tested at all. Some of them might perform better. We just don’t know.

What you should know though is that Carex appressa can be a little fickle compared to something like Lomandra. In this episode we explore all of this.

I hope that you enjoy.

Cheers

Jack Mullaly

An unexpected bioretention lesson

An unexpected bioretention lesson

Hi there,

Sometimes I think the most important lessons sneak up on us. When I filmed this episode I thought that I was simply filming a quick episode about Gahnia in bioretention to follow up my earlier episode about it, but it was the conversation I had a minute later that taught me a good lesson about not assuming things…

Cheers

Jack Mullaly

Gahnia in bioretention

Gahnia in bioretention

Hi everyone,

Honestly I felt a bit bad making this episode because I thought I was being mean to the species as a whole. Gahnia used to be promoted as a useful bioretention plant but it’s not in favour as much anymore in South East Queensland. In my experience (from when I worked at Logan City Council) I saw it planted my times, but rarely survive. Having said that, I have seen it grow quite well in other parts of SEQ in nature so the lesson here is probably to use the right plant in the right location. Perhaps Gahnia just wasn’t right for bioretention in Logan. Nevermind, it’s still worth knowing how to identify it.

Cheers

Jack Mullaly

Imperata cylindrica in bioretention

Imperata cylindrica in bioretention

Hello hello,

Today we’re taking a look at a plant that gets used a bit in bioretention systems but nowhere near as much as a think it could be. That species is Imperata Cylindrica. Take a look as I show you how it transformed a streetscape biopod from average to great.

Cheers

Jack Mullaly