It was a full house twice over for NACC’s ever-popular Native Garden workshops – recently conducted concurrently in Seabird and Geraldton.
Local residents keen on using Australian native plants to create beautiful, functional, successful and water-wise gardens soaked-up the five-hour workshops – jam-packed with useful information on how to plan a native garden.
Following a beautiful Welcome to Country by Amangu man David Ronan, the Geraldton workshop participants wandered around the venue’s impressive native gardens and collected samples of plants they were attracted to. A soil pH test here revealed the variation in Geraldton soils and highlighted the need to conduct this test before choosing suitable plants.
— Hamish Longbottom (@HamishLongbott1) April 29, 2017
Back in the “classroom”, adaptive features that helped the plants survive in our hot, dry climate were identified and discussed. This was followed by a session on identifying the plants themselves, including an introduction to NACC’s new Coastal Plant Pocket Guide app.
After lunch came the main event – a design exercise in which participants used their new-found skills to design a native garden for a problematic coastal site. NACC’s Coastal Native Garden Guide was used to select appropriate plants for different locations, such as for wind breaks or to act as a screen, and as always, the group presentations were good fun. The workshop concluded with a demonstration on water-wise reticulation.
In Seabird, Yued Elder Charlie Shaw opened proceedings with a moving Welcome to Country before the workshop nitty-gritty got underway with an in-depth identification session of common coastal native plants and their use in native gardens and revegetation projects.
Participants then enjoyed some sunshine during a short field trip to have a look at the Seabird Progress and Sports Association’s 2016 revegetation site. Revegetation site design, spacing, weed control and other things to factor into revegetation events was explained, and a tour of in situ native vegetation helped instil plant identification learning.
Next on the agenda was a crash course in native gardening – given by NACC Coastal Marine Project Manager Hamish Longbottom using examples from the Coastal Native Garden Guide.
“It was great to see so many people getting involved in the discussions and sharing their native garden experiences,” said Hamish. “The interest in designing native gardens and getting involved in Coastcare activities was excellent”.
To register your interest in future Native Garden Guide workshops, please contact Vanessa McGuiness on [email protected] or 9938 0108.