Coastal Habitats – The Occupants

A habitat is the environment where a population of plants or animals lives and grows. Sometimes it is difficult to say where one habitat ends and another begins, so we have chosen the major coastal habitats found around Australia.

 

Mangroves

seagrass_underwater_2What are they?
A mangrove is a type of tree that lives between the sea and the land, in areas that are flooded and drained by tidal waters. There are over 30 species of mangroves in Australia. While most trees would drown in such a salty water-logged environment, the mangrove has adapted to this environment in amazing ways, such as developing pneumatophores (breathing roots).

What lives there?
Mangroves provide a sheltered area for a large variety of marine animals. The floor of the mangrove forest is home to many marine worms, crabs, crustaceans and snails. The juveniles of fish, such as garfish, find shelter and food among the mangrove roots. At low tide, fish concentrate in the deeper tidal creeks that drain the mangrove forest. At high tide, larger fish and dolphins are able to move along these creeks, and into the forest itself, to feed.

Where are these habitats?
There is only one type of mangrove, the grey mangrove (Avicennia marina) found in South Australia . Near Adelaide , mangroves can be found along parts of the Port River and Barker Inlet. One of the most visited mangrove forests found along the Adelaide coastline is north of the city at St Kilda, where you can take a guided tour along the boardwalk trail through the mangrove forest.

 

Seagrass Meadows

What are they?
Seagrasses are flowering plants with roots that grow on the sandy floor of marine environments. They are quite different to seaweeds, which are a type of algae. To grow, they need sunlight and a small amount of nutrients. Seagrasses are very important in the coastal environment because they are a source of food and shelter, they oxygenate the water, trap sand and recycle nutrients.

What lives there?
Seagrass meadows are full of marine life such as seed shrimps, bristle worms, sea snails, sea stars, sea urchins, sponges, anemones, sea cucumbers and oysters. Larger animals, such as fish, squid, octopus, crabs, sharks, stingrays, dolphins and sea birds also visit the meadows. In non-tropical meadows, leatherjackets, garfish and swans eat large quantities of seagrass, but most animals can only digest seagrass leaves when they have broken down. Seagrass meadows are often called nurseries because so many types of animal, including snapper, garfish and shrimp, grow up there.

Where are these habitats?
Some of the most extensive seagrass meadows in South Australia are found in Gulf St Vincent, the body of water off the Adelaide coast. The meadows, which are usually no more than 50m offshore, are well known to snorkellers, but most people are more familiar with the dead seagrass that has washed up on the beach. Eleven species of seagrass are known to occur in South Australia , covering an area of approximately 9620km².

 

Open Ocean

What is it?
Most of us have seen the ocean as we’ve walked along a beach or gazed out over the waves towards the horizon. But where does the beach end and the ocean begin? If you were to swim out into the water, you would know you’ve reached the open ocean when light penetration, temperature and salinity stays almost exactly the same all year round. The open ocean is one of the most uniform environments on earth.

What lives there?
Residents of the open ocean include whales, dolphins, fish, squid, jellyfish, small crustaceans and microscopic plankton, which include the juveniles of many larger species including sea stars and lobsters.

There are many web sites dedicated to the creatures of the open ocean and their conservation.
Where are these habitats?
Gulf St Vincent , the water out from Adelaide ’s coastline, is too sheltered to be open ocean. Between summer and winter in one year, the temperature can change as much as 15°C and the salinity also varies widely. However, other less sheltered parts of South Australia ’s coast line are met by the Southern Ocean and the open ocean is no more than 500m out to sea.

 

Rocky Intertidal Shores

What are they?
Rocky shores may be a rock platform, rocks on a sandy beach, or areas completely covered in individual rocks ranging from boulders right down to pebbles. Sometimes they have rock pools that form in or among the rocks at low tide. The intertidal zone is the area of the shore covered by the normal high tide and exposed by the normal low tide. Therefore, it is an area that includes almost fully marine to fully terrestrial environments. The intertidal area can be divided into smaller zones according to how long they are under water during a tidal cycle. Exposure time is one factor that affects where animals are able to live.

What lives there?
Rocky shores have many different types of snails as well as barnacles, mussels, tube worms, isopods, chitons and sea squirts. When you visit a rocky beach you may be lucky enough to spot a small fish, sea urchin, sea star, snail or crab in a rock pool.

Where are these habitats?
Marino Rocks is the only rocky intertidal shore in the Patawalonga, Torrens and Port catchments.

 

Temperate Reefs

What are they?
Temperate reefs are usually formed from rock, although jetty pylons and other hard structures often support the same animals and could be called mini-reefs. Many of the rocks that form our reefs are made from the limestone remains of ancient marine organisms and sediments. There are also barr iers along our coastline that are designed to protect the beach from wave action but, over time, marine animals attach themselves to these hard surfaces and create a colourful artificial reef environment.

What lives there?
Reefs are home to a wide range of animals, from colonies of sponges, sea squirts, bryozoans and corals to anemones, crabs, abalone, snails, lobsters and cave fish.
Where are these habitats?
One of the northern-most temperate reefs in South Australia is at Semaphore. This reef is a series of flat rock platforms broken into strips by patches of sand. In contrast, a series of huge cement blocks were placed offshore in line with the Glenelg jetty to form a breakwater, which is now a popular snorkelling spot. Further south are two natural reefs at Hallet Cove and Port Noarlunga. The Hallet Cove reef is about 50m offshore, rising 1-2m above the surrounding sand while Port Noarlunga, Adelaide ’s most popular diving reef, is about 5m from the end of the jetty and is mostly exposed at low tide. It is located within a marine reserve and has an underwater interpretive trail.

 

Beaches And Dunes

What are they?
A beach is an area along the coastline that has a build-up of sand. Most of the Adelaide coastline is made up of beaches, which are shaped by a wave action called longshore drift. This process moves sand northwards along the coast. At the northern end of Adelaide ‘s coastline, beaches are generally wide and sandy, while at the southern end they are generally narrow and rocky.

Sand dunes are areas where sand has accumulated to form a series of ridges. A healthy sand dune system has at least three dunes and swales, and a range of dune plants. A swale is the lowest point in the dune.

Sand dunes are important because they:
Protect areas behind the dunes from storms and large waves.
Store sand for beaches that have had sand stripped away by waves.
Provide shelter, food and breeding sites for many birds, reptiles and insects.
Did you know?
Beach sand comes from many sources, including creeks and rivers, cliff faces, sand bars, seagrass and shells. Sand is also supplied to our beaches artificially. We move sand between beaches or pump it from the sea onto the beach because the changes we’ve made to the coast mean there is not enough sand available to maintain them naturally. Much of the sand in the coastal system is trapped under roads and houses or held back by walls.
What lives there?
Sandy beaches are home to a surprising number of animals that visitors usually don’t see because they are microscopic or hiding. Creatures that burrow into the sand include crabs, marine worms, copepods, amphipods, nematodes and molluscs (see photo). Washed up seagrass and seaweed is also a habitat for beach creatures and a temporary shelter for animals, such as sea stars, starfish and urchins, that have been washed ashore.

Sand dunes, and the plants which grow on them, provide food, shelter and shade for a range of insects, reptiles, birds and mammals.
Where are these habitats?
Beaches are easy to find along Adelaide ’s coastline, as you may know from swimming in the warmer months. Some of the most popular swimming beaches are Brighton , West Beach and Glenelg. Sand dunes are harder to find. There are remnant sand dunes at Tennyson, West Beach and Osborne. Many councils, such as Holdfast Bay , are now actively re-establishing sand dunes at beaches such as Brighton .

 

Estuaries

What are they?
An estuary is where a river or creek meets the sea, where the fresh water and salt water mix. They are always changing- from salt water to fresh water, from tidal to non tidal, and from wet to dry. Estuaries can vary in size, salinity and flow.

An estuary is an enclosed coastal body of water that is part land…. part waterway…. part sea…..

What lives there?
Many crustacean and fish species spend their early life stages in the protected nutrient-rich waters of estuaries, before moving offshore into deeper water or upstream into rivers. Estuaries are essential feeding, breeding and nursing areas for many commercially important fish and crustaceans. Some of the species found in the Barker Inlet and Port River Estuary include the western king prawn, black bream, blue swimmer crab and yellow-eye mullet. For bird lovers, white bellied sea eagles, pelicans and silver gulls can be seen resting and feeding around the estuary. The estuary is also home to a population of bottlenosed dolphins. The presence of these dolphins living so close to urban/industrial development is thought to be internationally unique.
Where are these habitats?
The Barker Inlet and Port River Estuary are part of an interconnected system of tidal creeks and channels that open up into the Gulf St Vincent. The shoreline consists of wide tidal mudflats that are framed by salt-marsh, grey mangrove forests, wetlands and low-lying sand dunes. All these habitats play an important role in this unique ecosystem.

Visit the Port River mouth at Outer Harbor to see where the river meets the sea, or go for a tour through the Barker Inlet Wetlands located 12kms north west of the Adelaide Mangrove forests can be visited from Garden Island and Torrens Island , North Arm Creek and St Kilda.
Port Adelaide River system

The Barker Inlet and Port River estuary system is unique in that it is also home to a number of large industries, including coal handling facilities, cement works, electricity generating plants, salt harvesting, boat building facilities, sewage treatment plants, chemical plants and rubbish dumps.

 

Keep Your Yard Beautiful

Trees are a beautiful, they provide shade in the summer, display stunning coloured leaves in the fall, and hold frost filled branches in winter. However, sometimes having a tree in your yard becomes a nuisance or even a potential hazard. It is important to know when to think about tree removal and why, so that your yard stays pristine no matter the season.

What are the factors you should consider when you are thinking about removing a tree? One of the most widely recognized reasons to remove a tree is because it could interfere with power lines. If you have a tree growing into power lines, it may be necessary to remove it, or at the very least remove the limbs that are coming close to the line. This type of tree maintenance and removal should always be done by a professional, as anyone who comes near power lines is in danger of electrocution.

tree removal

Another important factor to consider is the overall health of the tree you are thinking about having removed. If the tree is hollow or rotting, it is a good idea to have it removed. Otherwise, you may be at risk for it to fall over and cause damage to the people or property in the surrounding area. If the tree is healthy, but you simply do not like the way it looks, that can be another reason you might want to have it removed from your yard.

If a tree has fallen and you are left with an unsightly stump, you may consider calling an expert to come help you with stump removal. Stumps can break up your yard and make it difficult to cut your grass or play sports. It can be a huge boost to your enjoyment of your yard to have a stump removed. The expense associated with stump removal typically is tied to how healthy the stump is. While a dead and crumbling tree stump may be simple for an expert to remove, a healthy stump with strong roots will require a lot more work.

When planning to have a tree or stump removed, it is best to get a price estimate from a tree removal professional before proceeding. As these are often delicate and sometimes dangerous tasks, always consult an expert to help you will your tree and stump removal needs and always be careful when handling any removal tasks on your own.

Garden Landscaping Rocks And Stones

Garden landscaping rocks and stones are used in a many number of ways to improve the view of gardens, yards and so on. You will find a variety of rocks and stones of diverse shapes, hues and shapes that you can use to spice up your garden, starting from boulders and rocks to artificial landscaping stones.

Landscaping Stone Pavers

No matter if you want to use artificial stones or real stones, introducing landscaping rocks and stones to your yard can really improve its appearance. You can even make monuments from rocks and generate replicas of colosseums or other well known locations.

If you are looking to buy landscaping rocks, a good place to start would be to search eBay, Amazon and sites like that – they have readily available artificial landscaping stones for sale. However if using artificial rocks is not your thing, you can always look around your house and see if there’s anything that might match your garden design and style. You could in addition ask your friends and neighbors if they have anything you might be capable to use.

Utilising Garden Landscaping Stones In Your Garden

Garden Landscaping PathUsing garden landscaping rocks can be a great source to add variety and originality to your garden and make it really shine. Regardless of whether you decide to use artificial landscaping stones and rocks or boulders or merely real rocks, adding landscaping stones can really spice up your garden for many years in to the future. You can create gorgeous rose beds, place rocks at the sides of rivers running all over your garden or even create enchanting resting places for your family.

Every single good design begins with an idea and designing your garden is no different, of course. So grab a pencil and a paper and just start illustrating some concepts that pop in your mind. If you can’t think of ideas, or even if you just like to, you can always check the internet for pictures of gardens that have been decorated by using landscaping rocks.

Ultimately you want a design that’s been properly designed, one that does not leave anything up to chance, and in addition to everything else, is easy to read. So do not scribble every little thing into a small paper, and then invest ages attempting to figure out what it really is you were trying to convey. As an alternative use your initial scribblings as a resource to create a clear looking ultimate plan. It should include your drawing, the kind of rocks you want to use, their colors and so on.

Once you’ve completed setting up, you should start searching for places to buy landscaping rocks from. If you’re a person that doesn’t want to get dirt on their hands, the internet is full of places that sell many kinds of landscape gardening rocks starting from artificial landscaping stones to real landscaping stones or even artificial landscaping boulders.

If you don’t want to spend virtually any money looking for things which are, in the end, readily available nearly at any place, just take a walk around your residence and see if there are any stones that could be used in your design. The colours don’t even have to match, you can always colour them for the perfect match.

Once you have your stones it’s time to start the business of of decorating your garden, and to the path of making it stand out. You can really create some incredible looking views if you put your mind into it. Don’t forget that garden landscaping with rocks can be pretty hard work, particularly if you use real rocks, so prepare to sweat a great deal — it’s gonna take some work to decorate your garden, and make it look good. But in the end, it will definitely be worthwhile. A good looking garden will bring happiness for you and for your loved ones for a long time.

How To Find Your Landscaping Rocks

It’s not really all that difficult, honestly

You’d probably think that finding rocks isn’t exactly difficult, and you would be right! After all, all you have to do is just have a stroll about and pick up the one’s you think will be suitable for use on your garden. But what if the kinds of rocks you need aren’t the kind of rocks that are readily available in your area, what then? Well, luckily for us, there is an alternative — namely, the Internet.

The Internet is full of places that sell all kinds of items starting from just simple household appliances to motorcycles and cars. At one point there was even an auction selling a real fighter jet, although it was a fake one, but it would not surprise me if one day there really was an auction for an item as silly as that one. Considering this, it should not come as a surprise that you can buy rocks online.

Usually the place to start searching is with a search engine, but before jumping in and doing just that, it’s best to start with some of the more known online shops and see if they have anything to offer. After that it’s time for some search engine action.

Doing a quick search on eBay reveals that there actually are a few rocks that people are selling, not a whole lot, but it’s a start. The next place to search would naturally be Amazon, after all, they sell pretty much anything you can think of, and some more. By searching there you’ll find that there are no real rocks available, and that is not a surprise — searching for real rocks and then shipping them to people can be quite hard work. I doubt you’ll find many genuine rocks available for sale online but knock yourself out, you’ll never know: maybe you happen to come across some rocks that will perfectly fit to your garden design. Never say never, right?

If you want to save yourself the trouble of actually finding genuine landscaping stones, whether it’s because you don’t want to waste time searching for them online or because there simply any available in your area, your best bet would be to buy artificial landscaping stones instead. These are available on some hardware stores, but their stock is usually limited, so I would advice buying them online. The best place to find these fake stones are previously mentioned eBay and Amazon. Other places are of course plentiful too, and you can easily find these through search engines.

Whatever your ultimate choice is, be it artificial or genuine, remember that you have the power of the Internet at your fingertips: keep looking and searching and you’ll definitely come across some gems that will not only save your nerves, but your money as well.

Design your own Concrete or Stones Pavers & Save Money

If you want to design your own concrete stones pavers and save some money, you can buy a bag of concrete mix, buy or make concrete step stone moulds and collect shells, pottery shards, interesting stones, and stained glass mosaic pieces to decorate the surface of your custom garden stone pavers.

Screenshot 2016-06-18 11.59.33

This Article Covers the Following:
1. Recycled Pottery Mosaics Pre-cut Stained Glass Tiles.
2. Materials to Make a paver…
3. Setting Up Your Own pavers Mold
4. Preparing the paver
5. Recycled Pottery Mosaics
6. Recycle old bits of pottery, dishes and other fired pieces into decorative mosaic chips.

Materials to Make a Garden Pavers

Garden craft pavers concrete mix
1 pkg. ready-to-mix vinyl concrete patch mix

Plastic flower pot drain saucer or storage container base, old round cake pen, wooden strips nailed together, disposable aluminum pans, or other container in the size and shape you want for your stepping stone. The depth should be 1-3/4 to 2-inches.

Clean Water
Mixing Container
Garden Trowel or Hand Shovel
Plastic Trash Bags or Drop Cloths, or an old plastic shower curtain
Decorative stones, shells, pottery shards, beach glass or marbles

Safety Equipment
Sturdy Rubber Gloves
Shatterproof Safety Goggles
Dust Mask or Respirator
Setting Up Your Own Stepping Stone Mold
Cover work area with plastic sheeting to protect surface.

Your concrete will need to dry in place in its mold for about two days, so choose a location where you can leave your concrete step stone protected from the weather and undisturbed for 2-3 days.

If using a purchased concrete casting mold, prepare it for casting according to manufacturer’s instructions. To make a wooden frame mold, cut 2″ strips of thin wood to lengths required to make a shape approximately 12-inches to 16-inches square and 2 inches deep. Nail the wood strips together, then place the open mold frame on strong surface or on the ground on a bed of smooth sand. Line the wooden mold with a plastic bag, carefully smoothing our any wrinkles.

Preparing the Mosaic Paver Stone Pattern

Decide on a design ahead of time, or just go for a free form layout. You can make your mosaic first, then add concrete on top, or you can prepare the concrete slab, then press in your decorative objects.

To mold concrete on top of mosaic, follow this process:

Place your decorative glass, shells and other items face down in a pleasing arrangement within the bounds of your mold frame. Leave about 1/2 inch at the edges to allow concrete to fill in and prevent chipping or loss of stones.

Wear a safety mask and goggles when working with concrete mix

Follow Instructions When Mixing Concrete Mix.
Concrete mix and cement dust are caustic substances. Be sure to wear a protective dust mask plus eye protection and rubber gloves when working with concrete powder and mixed concrete.

Prepare concrete mix according to package directions. Add coloring powder if desired. Do not add more water than recommended. Your mix should have the consistency of stiff cookie dough; it should not be watery or “pourable”.

A how to book on creating beautiful concrete and stained glass pavers for your garden. With easy to follow instructions and lots of detailed photos anyone can learn to make pavers with this book.

Makes a durable, weather resistant concrete mosaic stone.

This kit contains: 7 lbs. of stepping stone mix, 12″ reusable plastic mold, 1 lb. stained glass, 1 wooden paddle,writing tool and instructions and design ideas. Warning: choking hazard. Small parts, not for children under 3 years; MIX contains silica sand known to the state of California to cause cancer. Parental supervision is required.

 

Casting Your Stepping Stone

How to form and pack the stepping stone mold
After you’ve arranged your mosaic pattern the way you want it, you can begin to pack concrete mix into the mold on top of the pattern. Take care not to disturb stones, and pack concrete tightly along mold edges. Press down and pat to blend concrete together.
Pebble Mosaics for the Garden

Original step-by-step projects and inspirational examples show how to create mosaics using pebbles and other natural materials.

Although the results may look complicated, the basic technique is easy to master, allowing even beginners to create original decorative pieces for the home. Talented designer Ann Frith has drawn on the ancient tradition of pebble mosaic to devise 12 contemporary projects using pebbles and other natural materials such as broken slate, flint and glass.

If you prefer to make thinner, free form pavers, you don’t need to use a mold. Instead, you can simply pat out your concrete on the ground on top of a layer of fine sand over which you’ve placed a sturdy plastic bag. Create a shape that measures from 8 to 12 inches in diameter, with about a 1.5- to 3-inch thickness. Using this method, you will arrange and press your mosaic pieces into the surface of the prepared concrete after you form the stone shape.

 

Garden Mosaic Project

Learn to make garden craft pavers, benches, planters and more
25 fabulous projects that show you just how easy it is to enhance the natural beauty of your home and garden with simple and elegant mosaics. Using stone, tile, china and broken and shaped glass, you can create gorgeous garden art.

Garden Mosaics Made Easy offers you all the information you need to begin creating your own gorgeous mosaics.

Find Inspiration and Materials to Make Garden Pavers

I sometimes help out tending the plants in the garden center at my favorite shop in Melbourne, Deck n Pave is a wonderful melange of gardening supplies, bird houses and feeders, statuary, planters, plants, gifts, fashions and now there’s even a cupcake shop in the tea room.

I was pruning and fertilising some over-wintered perennials last spring in the back garden and this little chickadee decided to check the blue birdhouse for vacancy. We spent about 15 minutes watching one another as he posed for many photos and talked to me.

Deck n Pave  at the fence is a garden and gift emporium featuring a unique shop and complete service offerings from one location! You’ll find everything from gourmet goodies, bird feeders and feeding supplies, garden gifts, wonderful annual and perennial plants, garden decor and expert planting advice. Plus, there’s a decorative paver studio.

Plants, fresh vegetables, garden decor, baked goods, cider and of course APPLES. 

Hedge and Stone is a family owned business started in the 90’s. Specialising in new and unusual landscaping, as well as tree pruning and removal services. Herbs gardening and landscape design are also a specialty with us from large commercial projects through to garden advice for residence of Melbourne, Australia.

Offering a wonderful selection of flowering trees, shrubs, blueberry bushes, roses, planting containers, trellises and garden art for your landscape.