Event Highlight: Visit to Flora Victoria

On Monday 11 November 2019, Flora Victoria opened its doors to Encouraging Women in Horticulture and the Horticultural Media Association with 29 enthusiastic attendees including Jane Edmanson from Gardening Australia, Penny Woodward from Organic Gardener magazine, Pam Vardy from 3CR and Karen Sutherland from Edible Eden Design.

During the visit Chris Findlay spoke about the range of native grasses some of which are critically endangered that they grow and trial. Flora Victoria has managed a range of complex native grass planting projects ranging from roadside pipe plantings to Council landscaping.

These large scale projects involve careful site planning, site preparation and weed control which can take up to 12 months of work. They sow directly into the soil and then maintain the native grasses. Once established the native grasses sustain wildlife and soften hard landscaping such as roads or walls.

One of the striking mass grass planting on view was Elegant spear-grass (Austrostipa elegantissima) which with its cloud like appearance was proving popular in in domestic landscaping when paired with taller purple plants such Irises.

Due to the difficulty of sourcing the grasses in large quantities, a part of their production is collecting seed from specialised harvesters which can be kept for up to three years for use in their projects.

Flora Victoria is also trailing a range of beautiful native wild meadow flowers and Chris spoke about the benefits of weed matting in maintaining soil moisture and ease of seed collection as well as their use of netting as the cockatoos love the flowers too!

All in all it was a great day out and a big thanks to Flora Victoria and HMA for having EWHA and the wonderful morning tea.

Chris Findlay talking to the group

Harvest seeds

Chris in front of Austrostipa elegantissima

Plenty of interest in the wildflower trials

Wildflower trial

Wildflower Trial

Wildflower meadow trial

Elegant spear-grass

Seed storage room

The Flora Vic Team: Kate Hill, Chris Findlay and Helenmary Burnside

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