Local experience where it counts: in Bayside
Propagating Indigenous Flora
Our Bayside horticulturalists are experts in propagation of indigenous plants from local provenance, which offers a number of advantages.
- Flora and habitat conservation: maintaining the complex interactions between indigenous plants and animals.
- Genetic conservation and integrity: prevent hybridisation between similar species that would not have naturally occurred in different geographical ranges. This can lead to degradation of the local gene pool and may cause eventual extinction of some species
- Economic benefits: as indigenous plants have adapted to suit local conditions the use of plants grown from locally collected seed generally results in higher survival rates.
- Education: the use of locally occurring species provides an excellent education tool for citizens young and old.
Our propagation provides Citywide and Bayside Council access to seed and seedling stock which is hard to source from nurseries due to the increased popularity of native plants in domestic gardens. Citywide’s staff and apprentice education programs are also conducted at the nurseries we manage. Horticulture and Bushland employees assist in propagation, expanding their skills and plant knowledge.
Sharing horticulture expertise with customers
Under Citywide’s management, the nursery team initiated and successfully completed the requirements of the Sustainable Garden Centre environmental certification program. The nursery is now recognised as an SGA accredited Sustainable Garden Centre (2006)
All plants used in the Bayside Bushland contract are propagated by Citywide staff at the Bayside Community Nursery.
Sharing horticulture expertise with the community
The Bayside Community Nursery offers on-site visits to various local golf courses to provide info and advice about vegetation assessment, revegetation opportunities, planting programs and appropriate species selection. Our team also offers landscape plans where necessary. Citywide would like to discuss and develop the possibility of a community nursery.
Our experts provide indigenous plant information and advice to a range of local schools, helping councils build awareness of the benefits offered by sustainable development. Our nursery team provide information and advice about indigenous plants and planting opportunities to various local schools.
They provide guidance/ideas regarding educational opportunities around using indigo plants, and provide landscape plans where needed. They also organise plant deliveries to most schools.
Schools assisted in this way have included Beaumaris Primary School, Beaumaris North Primary School, Bentleigh West Primary School, Sandringham East Primary School, Caulfield Primary School, Brighton Primary School, Mordialloc College, Bentleigh Secondary College and Brighton Secondary College
Citywide has been involved with the Family Life Open Garden Day for the past four years. Our nursery team sets up a display board illustrating indigenous landscape possibilities, makes presentations on garden design, provides plants for sale and gives many away on the day.
Citywide actively establish network links with various other groups and bodies broadly involved with environment/conservation. This promotes the nursery throughout Melbourne, encourages info sharing amongst groups and gives volunteers and staff a broader experience of the indigenous context. Groups we have fostered a relationship with include the Port Phillip Eco Centre, St Kilda Indigenous Nursery Co-Op, Frankston Indigenous Nursery, Friends of Westgate Park, Western Plains Flora Nursery and Braeside Park.
Beyond the contract - Protecting nature at its most delicate
- Citywide has installed shade cloth at the nursery to reduce wind effect on stock. This delivers more efficient water use due to more accurate sprinkler application and reduced wind drift, less plant transpiration losses and less plant stress.
- Hand watering to plants specific requirements is the preferred method of irrigation. Citywide also funded the set up of new seed storage areas at Bayside - shelves and storage boxes.
- In 2007 the nursery donated and delivered plants to the SGA display at MIFGS due to connections formed during the accreditation process.
- Citywide staff designed the two interpretation boards installed in the nursery.
- Citywide funded the set up of a new seed storage area in the House including installation of shelving and purchase of storage boxes – est. $1,000 value.
- Citywide have organised and funded training sessions that probably exceed the specification expectations over the years.
- Citywide have taken volunteers on excursions/bus tours to places like Frankston Indigenous Nursery, Mansfield’s Propagation Nursery and the McClelland Sculpture Park: several tours of the Australian Garden at RBG Cranbourne; RM Zoo looking at habitat creation; Ecolinc Science and Technology Innovation Centre at Bacchus Marsh to do a micro-propagation class; several tours of local indigenous gardens (pictured right); landscape design tours to gardens designed by well known designers at Mornington Peninsula and Bellarine Peninsula; and a Nocturnal tour of Melbourne Wildlife Sanctuary at La Trobe University and a talk and tour by well know author, Leon Costermans, at Langwarrin Flora & Fauna Reserve.
These are just some of the training sessions done to inspire, encourage, motivate and thank volunteers for their efforts during the year.
- The Nursery Team have established a relationship with LeQuillan Plastics where we can reduce plastic tube/pot waste by them picking up our broken used plastic pots/tubes and recycling them into new pots/tubes for us to purchase and reuse.
Moving Forward – Proposed Improvement projects for Nursery
Citywide propose a number of improvement opportunities, leveraging from the extensive works initiated and completed over the past years, for further upgrade of the nursery relating to both Infrastructure and service delivery. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss each of these initiatives in more detail during interview.
- Shade cloth around the entire nursery fence perimeter to reduce wind affect on stock. This will allow for more efficient water use due to more accurate sprinkler application with reduced wind drift; less plant transpiration losses and less plant stress
- Raised metal benches to improve stock display area with the aim of eventually having all stock off ground. The sprinkler system (risers and heads) would also need to be changed to accommodate the bench height.
- Improved and expanded Volunteer Work Area – extra bench space – more comfortable work conditions- purpose built potting bench/areas
- Improved hard landscaping around the nursery with enhanced display/design possibilities: seating, landscaped garden interpretation beds, and rain garden construction.
- Install GREEN initiatives to Nursery House and surrounds – toilet (tank, compost, recycle); solar panels; rain garden to capture and channel on site water; and permeable paving.
- ENVIRO – address site run-off: Possibilities to capture and treat water.
- Expand the education component of the nursery – Establish classes to general public; more interpretation information on site; and garden consultancy/design service is also a possible consideration.
- Establish the nursery as a ‘Local Environment Centre’ – promoting community involvement and enviro awareness.
Speak to us today about horticulture services, or find out more about our Open Space services.