For Merise Blackburn, taking part in the City’s Native Plants for Residents initiative has not only transformed her garden, but also helped save on water costs and increased habitat for birds and other fauna.
Since moving to Kelmscott in 2018, Merise said her family have benefitted from the City’s annual free plants and seedlings giveaway.
“Our experience has been extremely positive,” she said.
“We have always found it well organised and found the range and plant selection to be excellent, even when arriving a few hours after the event commenced.
“Our family collected a range of species including Eucalyptus, Banksia, Kennedia, Conostylis, Hemiandra, Patersonia and Gompholobium. I was particularly excited to see our Gompholobium tomentosun (Hairy Yellow Pea) flower and produce seed this year, meaning it is being pollinated and likely encouraging native bees to our property.”
While Merise considers herself a keen gardener, she said the plants and seedlings required little maintenance once established.
“I am a keen gardener but I also appreciate low maintenance plants. I’ve had to do little other than some minimal watering which is a relaxing activity in itself. It’s rewarding seeing the plants flower and become established.
“Watering once a week to fortnightly over summer has helped our native seedlings to thrive.”
Since its first year in 2017, the City’s Native Plants for Residents initiative has given away more than 35,000 native plants and seedlings to local residents.
“There were plenty of volunteers and environmental experts to help answer questions on the day.
“Whether residents were after ground covers, shrubs, grassy-type plants or trees, there was advice on what to choose and how to look after them whether it be shade, open sun or a mix of both.”
Merise, who resides with her family in the Kelmscott hills, close to the Regional Park, said location influenced her family’s selection of plants and seedlings.
“We wanted to complement the surrounding vegetation types whilst also introducing plants with attractive flowers like Blue Lechenaultia and kangaroo paws. There were volunteers and staff able to help residents choose plants suitable for their location and soil type.”
Residents of the City of Armadale are eligible to receive 10 free plants per household as part of the giveaway at Minnawarra Park on Saturday 8 May. To receive your free plants, proof of residency is required.
“Be sure to bring your ID and a little patience,” Merise said.
“There were numerous plants to choose from along with some great advice. Why not choose a native tree that will add numerous benefits to your garden including shade and colour as well as habitat and food for our friendly wildlife.”
City of Armadale - Native Plants for Residents
When: Saturday, 8 May 2021, 9am to 12 noon
Where: Minnawarra Park
- A variety of trees/shrubs/herb seedlings*
- Limit of 10 plants per household
- Learn from the experts what natives to plant, where and how to care for them
*8,000 plants available on the morning pre-selected for your location
**Current proof of residency in the City of Armadale and photo ID required