Growing Friends Cranbourne
The Growing Friends propagate a great variety Australian native plants that have been sourced from the Gardens. The plants are grown from cuttings and seed, mostly supplied by the Gardens gardening staff.
- plants are grown as ‘give-aways’ for school students visiting the Gardens (organised by the Gardens' Education Service)
- regular plant sales are held at the Nursery throughout the year with special days for Friends and staff, and separate days for the general public
- the City of Casey purchases plants from the Growing Friends for their ‘Green Web’ revegetation program in the Casey and Cardinia areas and as ‘give-aways’ for Arbor Week.
Working together, as well as having morning tea and lunch together, in a natural open-air setting accompanied by the sounds of local birds, is a very enjoyable and healthy activity.
When we meet
The Growing Friends meet every Thursday near our new nursery at the Gardens Nursery, in the Gardens' depot, from 9.30am - 2pm. All are welcome.
Our new nursery
I had hoped to report that we had moved into our new nursery, but it is not to be. Next time! Our shed is ready and it is a Palace—perhaps we should officially call it ‘The Growing Friends Palace’. Poly- and shade-house are on the way. After that, the irrigation, and it is all done bar a few little jobs. In the meantime we continue to share the Gardens Nursery.
We need more Growing Friends!
We need more regular, weekly workers—our workload has increased. Soon we will be occupying our bigger and better new premises; our activities include preparing cuttings, potting, weeding, labelling, pot-washing and, from time to time, a number of other jobs, especially prior to and at plant sales. You may or may not have experience in these tasks, either way it is fine. Knowledge of Australian plants is useful but not essential—you will learn as you go. If you are at all interested, please contact Marjanne.
The autumn plant sale was held next to the kiosk near the Ian Potter Lakes Precinct at the north end of the Gardens. After a well-attended Members and Staff Sales Day on the Thursday, a very busy Saturday and not quite so busy Sunday, many of our plants were a sell-out and we raised a record $11,500.
With the ongoing support from the Gardens propagation staff, who assist us with plant material from the gardens, advise us on how best to propagate and/or grow certain plants, we were able to offer a great variety.
‘Big’ buyers, some armed with plant lists, arrived as soon as the gate opened on the Saturday, making for a very busy day. Growing Friend,s as well as non-Growing Friends, assisted in various capacities. Numerous Plant and Garden Advisors, with their extensive plant knowledge, confidently assisted customers and answered their many questions.
The Sunday was mostly attended by casual buyers visiting the Gardens—each time the Garden Explorer vehicle stopped at the café, people hopped off, browsed the plant sale and then made a few purchases—some vowing to be back at the next sale. The weather can make or break the sale and this time once again we were lucky—all in all it was a very successful weekend.