Tag Archives: natives

Native Propagation Workshop

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Last Saturday Tony Scalzo from Kings Park guided us through the process of growing natives from seeds and cuttings. He demonstrated with a variety of plants, so that we now have a myriad of containers that we are eagerly tending in the hope of developing healthy offspring.

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He explained the differing requirements of various seeds; some require smoking, others hot water and abrasive techniques. Cuttings  seemed a little more demanding with a choice of hormone treatments. He also demonstrated the process of division.

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Much discussion took place over a cuppa followed by a walk around the garden to take a variety of cuttings which we then prepared ourselves. We now await the results of our labours!

If you would like to be involved in our verge gardening group, contact Pam on pamela.riordan@gmail.com

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Everlasting Bomb Making Workshop

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Yesterday we amused ourselves making everlasting “bombs”. Our recipe was 3 parts bentonite clay, 1 part sifted compost, a handful of organic fertiliser, a couple of handfuls of everlasting seeds (not just the seeds, these were spent flowerheads) and then water to taste! Just enough to make the mixture stick so that you could fashion balls out of the mixture. We made then about the size you would make rum balls! They are now left to dry  and come May we will throw them into the mulch in our garden and wait for them to sprout. Here’s hoping!

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Our verge group meets about every 3 weeks on the weekend and usually takes the form of some work on someone’s verge. The next session is on Sunday March 13th from 8-10am. We will be mulching a small verge in Bassendean. If you would like to attend please contact Pam  on pamela.riordan@gmail.com.

The Verge Gardeners Strike Again!

On Saturday we met on Ushii’s verge in South Guildford.  A few weeks ago our group had removed her roses and since then Ushii and her two visitors from France, young Fabien and Aurelie, had moved a limestone border to provide an edge between the verge and the front garden. Now the verge was ready for mulching.

With an endless supply of newspaper (thanks Cristina) and a free supply of mulch (thanks Mulchnet) we got started. Firstly we covered the couch grass with a layer of manure and then we piled on thick layers of wet newspaper. The manure stimulates growth of the couch grass and weeds briefly, only for them to die under the complete block out of sunlight by thick, well-layered and well over-lapped newsprint, cardboard or used carpet. This is a very effective and non-toxic method of weed suppression under the mulch layer.

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Spreading manure and newspaper

With seven of us helping out together, and Peter’s massive fork, the mulch moved quickly; the whole process only took one and a half hours.  Then it was time to down tools and adjourn to Bolt Coffee at Men of the Trees for a great cuppa. There’s nothing better than getting a job like this done quickly with a few helping hands.

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An endless supply of newspaper is very useful

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Fabien was a great worker

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as was Aurelie, though I think they were a little bewildered by the whole process!

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Whereas the regulars have seen it all before…..

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The finished product

This is a great time of year to prepare a verge, as there are months for the mulch to break down and start enriching the soil. Any grass that comes through can be covered and the verge should be ready for autumn planting.

In September Lisa Passmore from Inspired By Nature gave us a talk on growing natives. She brought along various plants which are suitable for verges and gave us tips for growing in our local conditions. We plan to follow up with a workshop on propagating native plants.

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Not all the verges we work on are natives; several in our group are growing veges and fruit trees. Our next busy bee is Sunday November 1st, more mulching, with of course plenty of socialising and always ending with a cuppa! If you would like to join us, then please contact Pam at pamela.riordan@gmail.com.