Hidden in The Hills – Hills Community Nursery

By Lachlan Turner

Not exactly hidden, but at least somewhat concealed on the top of a hill near the southern boundary of Ted Horwood Reserve, is The Hills Shire Council’s Bidjiwong community Nursery off Renown Road, Baulkham Hills.

It is here that Council Horticulturists and Volunteers propagate thousands of Australian Native Plants every year.

Care is taken to ensure genetic integrity as all seed is collected from local flora. Much of the seedlings produced and, in some cases more advanced plants, are used to revegetate local reserves and parks.

There are times when seedlings are replanted in bushland fringes to replace exotic species that have been removed by dedicated bushcare volunteers.

To encourage the use of indigenous varieties, Ratepayers and Residents within the Shire are able to collect a small number of free native species for planting in their home garden.

It is not recommended that any native plants be removed from their natural environment as there is around a 95% mortality rate in such cases.

For those interested in the propagation and cultivation of native species, the Community Environment Centre conducts Workshops on these subjects, at the Nursery.

Participants are introduced to the various techniques employed in the propagation process. Growing from seed and hardwood cuttings are effective ways to perpetuate the native vegetation of the region.

Other related Workshops are conducted on a regular basis at the Community Environment Centre at Annangrove. A free native plant in tubestock is often available to those attending many of the sustainability workshops.

These plants have been propagated and nurtured by the Staff at the nursery and are guaranteed to thrive in the local area given proper attention once being planted in the home garden.