Growing new skills

Matilda Connolly and Cicily Lawrence at the Plant Propagation Workshop on Wednesday.

Tumut kids dusted off their green thumbs at the Riverina Highlands Landcare Nursery’s Plant Propagation Workshop on Wednesday.

They took a nursery tour, learned about local native species, and did some cuttings, before getting to the best part – digging into the dirt.

“They really want to get their hands dirty, they don’t want to listen to me talk,” laughed Landcare Nursery Coordinator Steve Hamill.

“They don’t mind a quick tour, but they just really want to touch stuff and do things with plants. Which is good! Eight to ten is a good size [of attendees], so I can get around and do a bit of hands-on with everyone.”

The kids left the workshop with their own freshly planted cuttings of Kangaroo Paw, as well as some native grasses if they chose. Despite being a kids workshop, though, Steve isn’t going too easy on them with the choice of plant.

“Kangaroo paw is a fairly easy plant to look after, but they’re a little bit delicate in the frost,” he said.

“Being a Western Australian plant they’re not used to a lot of frosts. They might have one or two in a year but not 10 or 20 like we get. But they are worth it because they’re such a beautiful plant.”

The Landcare Nursery will be more accessible to kids and adults alike following National Tree Day on July 29, from which point they are planning to start opening on Saturdays.

“We’ll be open on the Saturdays here all Spring and Summer this year, because we want to give people more opportunities to come down on the weekends and get their plants, rather than being just open Monday-Friday like before,” said Steve.

“That will start with that National Tree Day from the last Saturday in July. I’ll just see how things go, because Saturday might be a busier day. If you’re doing some gardening you can just drop down and grab a plant, rather than have to wait for the next week.”

The nursery can be found on Gocup Road, about three hundred metres from the Snowy Mountains Highway intersection.