Muchea tour explores plants from pot to paddock

Article by Moore Catchment Council

There was much to admire around Muchea on the recent ‘pot to paddock’ community trip.

A group of landcarers including gardeners and native plant enthusiasts met on Friday 21st April at the Muchea Tree Nursery for an interpretative tour of the inner workings of the nursery.

Rachel Walmsley, MCC’s CLC said: “Natalie Vallance (along with her late husband Steve) has been running the nursery for over 30 years and been passionate about providing local proteaceous species. MCC have been using the nursery for Carnaby’s forage habitat species for quite a few years now and Nat has always been so helpful with species advice.”

Some of the group gather around the nursery. Picture: Moore Catchment Council
Some of the group gather around the nursery. Picture: Moore Catchment Council

The tour group split into two and spent an hour looking around the nursery including the propagating tunnels with misting units and heat mats, the seed raising shed, pot cleaning station and potting shed.

Rachel said: “Nat explained about the different ways in which plants are grown including from seed, propagated from cuttings
and also grafted. There has been a demand for Corymbia ficifolia which is a pretty red flowering gum but can have variants. Grafting insures the councils get the colour which they want.”

Not all native species you see are propagated successfully. Species including some Hakeas and Grevilleas are difficult or impossible.

Rachel said: “The nursery has been experimenting with propagation techniques on a number of species including Verticordia grandis which is a beautiful long flowering red bush. Nat explained that they had managed to get a few to grow and were now on sale at an unusually elevated price. The level of price normally dictates how difficult the plant was to grow.”

The tour concluded at the nursery shop which allowed for the participants to pick up a few native plants. Lunch was hosted by the Chittering Landcare Centre (CLC) north of Muchea. The group put on a fabulous two course lunch and Roseanna Hindmarsh CLC’s Executive Officer, gave an informative presentation about the landcare centre’s work over the years.

Rachel said: “The CLC have done so much good landcare work over the years including working with school groups and coordinating large rehabilitation projects. They do such important work.”

Afterwards the group visited one of the large rehabilitation sites and marvelled at the changes from a degraded bare site to a woodland paradise full of life. Rachel said “Many thanks to the Muchea Tree Nursery and the Chittering Landcare Centre for such an interesting day, and to the State Natural Resource Management Programme and Royalties for Regions for their funding to run the event.”

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