The cleaning is never done

DSCN3746-228x300Looking at the picture on the left, you could think that the crew at the Euroa Arboretum is a little too fanatical about cleanliness. Vacuuming the flowers indeed!

What Cathy Olive (at left), Project Manager at the Euroa Arboretum, is actually doing is collecting seed from the New Holland Daisy or Vittadenia cuneata at this moment using a portable vacuum cleaner.

The Euroa Arboretum uses native seed for propagating plants in the nursery and for supplying to customers who are undertaking revegetation projects involving techniques such as direct seeding. During November and December in particular seed is collected from plants growing in various locations in their natural environment.

DSCN9731-222x300The Arboretum also has several intensive seed production areas (SPAs). These aim to increase the genetic diversity and resilience of rare plants in our environment. The SPAs are designed in a way that makes the seed produced from these plants easy to collect. At the Arb we have several SPAs consisting of mounded beds covered with heavy-duty, UV-resistant plastic weave (see picture right). As the seed falls, it can be collected off this cover – even by sweeping it into a pile.

DSCN3724-300x269A recent addition to the SPAs has been raised box beds for propagating various types of daisies from seed. When the seeds are ready to harvest, they are manually picked (pictured left) or collected using a portable vacuum cleaner. The daisies will be used on our new grassland re-establishment project – more details to come!

Grandma always said to start the day with a neat and tidy bed. I am not sure that she meant a neat flower-bed. Or vacuuming.