Bridgewater locals grow their own native plants

23rd March 2022

On Sunday the 20th March, plant propagation expert Ruth Mollison from Island Seeds and Landcare Tasmania's Peter Stronach and Evie Drinnan headed out to the Botanic Institute to facilitate a native plants workshop with the Bridgewater Foreshore Landcare Group, local families, local school and council reps & 24 Carrot Gardens staff.

Image: Growing from cuttings © Evie Drinnan 

The "Grow Your Own Native Plants" workshop began with a reconnection walk and talk with Peter Stronach along the foreshore to visit one of the original Prickly Box (Bursaria spinosa) trees that has stood the test of time. We collected seeds from the prolific seeding tree. Peter talked about the significance of the site and all that could be done as a Landcare group along the foreshore.

Image: Ruth shows us how to collect the seed © Kristina McCarthy

It looks like this 'mother' Prickly Box has been growing in this location since well beyond 1930! A priority for the local group is to give the 'babies' (seedlings) a chance to grow by protecting them from weed invasion and slashing.  Prickly Box play a vital role in many of our ecosystems and part of this year's Landcare projects - however - germinating Prickly box is not that easy and is notoriously unavailable at nurseries.  We hope we are able to have success growing these plants.

We then moved back into the polytunnel for an introduction to growing plants, before we ate a delicious lunch outside. Vlad made us fresh pizzas and a summer salad using tomatoes, basil and other veggies that Lou picked earlier that morning from the Botanic Institute gardens.

Image: Delicious! © Kristina McCarthy 

Ruth taught us how to plant the Prickly Box seeds we collected, as well as strike cuttings of other coastal species that the group will plant in weeded areas along the foreshore this spring. We used saltbush, native spinach, correa, and pigface cuttings, just to name a few. Some of these plants are important local bush food species as well.

Image: Learning from the expert! © Kristina McCarthy 

Locals had a great time connecting with their patch and there is much enthusiasm to continue to care for the health and vibrancy of this significant place - we look forward to watching the new Bridgewater Foreshore Landcare Group thrive!

We would like to give a massive thank you to the Material Institute for providing lunch and letting us enjoy your beautiful space, and in particular, Kristina McCarthy from 24 Carrot Gardens for the photos, Lou Sales for all the preparations she made, Simon Dunne from Material Institute and Vlad Panevin for the fabulous feast!

We would also like to thank Brighton Council for funding this workshop, and Councillor Phil Owen for attending. 


All photos thanks to Kristina McCarthy from 24 Carrot Gardens Tasmania. 




  • kutalayna is the Aboriginal name for the Jordan River and this video, put together by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, is a short documentary of the people associated with kutalayna.