January 23, 2019

Caroline’s Garden Diaries : Going Native 8.2.13


Did some real gardening today, weeding and watering at the Katoomba Native Plant Nursery. Didn’t get hands dirty as cliché would demand, but did get soaked, first from the inevitable temptations of wielding hosepipe (water fight with friend Anne), then sprayer fell off hosepipe so it delivered several gallons of water onto me, just in case I’d forgotten what it’s like to live in England.

The nursery is the home of the Blue Mountains Wildplant Rescue Service, a charity started in 1993 to save indigenous plants of the Blue Mountains threatened by urban development. As well as growing these “rescued plants”, the nursery propagates thousands of native plants from locally-collected seeds and cuttings for sale to gardeners and significantly, to local authorities for planting in parks and on roadsides to preserve the local biodiversity. Friend Anne is in fact the current President of the charity, working with other volunteers to run the nursery, but also to spread the word about the significance of preserving the natural plant heritage. Since I visited last year (my job: prick out hundreds of baby tea trees), Anne has successfully led a campaign to get the support of local environmental council officers for new equipment for the nursery.
The photo shows the new tables in use; weeding is now much easier since the plants in their tubes are at waist height; before, we had to sit round an old wheelbarrow with a tray balanced on it and then lift up each rack of tubes to be weeded. The next project is to get funds for an automatic watering system, so no water fights next year?


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