At our last meeting the group enjoyed an informative presentation by Dianne Clark, Nursery Supervisor at the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens.
Diane explained that the aim of her position is to work with the volunteers and paid staff to produce plants to be replanted into the Gardens, for sale in the retail nursery and for Council and community projects and education programs. It is also necessary to maintain a viable seed collection.
Certain guidelines are followed to maintain the integrity of the collection and to justify being called a Botanic Garden. This includes meticulous record keeping. A plant is given an identification number when it is first collected and this number stays with propagation material taken from those original wild plants.
The other key distinction is that the ERBG tries to sell from a list of 200 different genera and grows rare and threatened plants that may be difficult to propagate whereas a commercial grower would concentrate only on plants that are easy to propagate and that sell well. The ERBG Nursery only collects and sells plants that are found in the region defined by three river systems - the Deua, the Tuross and the Clyde and the Gardens’ collectors hold the necessary permits from National Parks and Forests NSW to collect rare plants under license.
Lunch followed a brief but entertaining “Show and Tell” session and Dianne then invited us to inspect the nursery production area and to walk around the Arboretum and adjacent rainforest area. So ended an informative day talking plants with plant people.
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