The Plant Nursery
An on-site Plant Nursery has always been at the very heart of Shoalhaven Heads Native Botanic Garden.
The Nursery is where our volunteers carefully germinate, propagate and nurture plants to produce a wide range of native flora. This provides a considerable amount of the new plants for our Botanic Garden. It enables us to be supportive to other community projects. And it produces valuable stock for our plant sales, which contribute very significantly to our fundraising efforts.
The first plant nursery was a humble effort developed when financial resources were very tight. Yet it served a valuable purpose and for 10 years produced remarkable quantities of excellent quality plants. But eventually a major upgrade became necessary: its area became too small; the site was being overshadowed; the old timber benches were failing; and the possums were often winning with their night time raids!
Consequently in 2020 it was decided to relocate and rebuild. A new vastly improved plant nursery was developed, incorporating: sturdy steel storage benches; an automated efficient watering system; a hot house with an automatic misting arrangement; a secure garden storage shed; ergonomic potting benches; shading where required; and a security fence with lockable gate. But the possums are still trying!
The New Plant Nursery was developed in 2020
Burning of Banksia
Fire has played an important role in shaping the evolution of Australian vegetation, and many plants are well-adapted to surviving fierce bush fires. Some plants, such as this banksia, have woody fruits which open as a result of fire, dispersing thier seeds into the nutrient rich environment which results from the fire's passage.
We use this technique and safety burn Banksia cones to release their seeds for propagation in the Plant Nursery.
The Old Plant Nursery served a valuable purpose for many years
Our very first propagation efforts just used polystyrene boxes
Scavenged materials then enabled the Old Plant Nursery