Visit to Flora Victoria, Monday 11th November, 2019

On Monday 11 November 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