If you’re ever up in Ipswich and want to know about the plants in your garden, Bruce Tinworth of Carinity’s Elim Estate retirement village is your man.

Bruce (pictured right with Costa Georgiadis, host of ABC’s Gardening Australia) is Carinity Elim Estate’s resident native flora expert, and has written several books on invasive weeds, such as Garden Escapees Become Environmental Weeds and 100+ Invasive Weeds of Ipswich.

“Whilst people were spending their weekends trying to enrich areas of bushland, no one was really doing anything on introduced species that are environmental weeds.

“I wrote about the worst environmental weeds in the Ipswich area and offered three alternatives, so the house and garden people had some reference material they could work from,” said Bruce.

Bruce has worked hard to reintroduce native plants into urban environments to encourage wildlife habitats, and says around 80 new exotic plant species are introduced into Queensland every year – 10% of which become invasive.

“There is a huge amount of people who think that the jacaranda is native because it’s everywhere. Most of our environmental weeds are either originally from South America, central or southern Africa, or a little bit from Indonesia.

“Invariably, a plant that is an environmental weed propagates really easily, almost every seed germinates, it will grow in a crack in concrete path, rarely needs to be watered, and escapes into other gardens and native bushland with little competition. Whereas all of our native plant species are in balance with nature,” he said.