The Landcare Nursery is Thriving!

Published 13th October 2023. Written by Maddison O’Brien

Earlier in October 2023, Landcare coordinators Maddison O’Brien and Brooke Statham had the pleasure of meeting with the talented women behind the Watershed Landcare Nursery. This thriving nursery is a testament to the years of dedication and hard work from passionate volunteers. But how did it all begin, you ask?

It all started as a backyard passion project by Christine McCrae, a local farmer and botanist. Soon, the array of plants grew to the point where Christine’s close friend and fellow Watershed member, Wendy Arnott, hopped on board. Wendy started growing plants from cuttings and took some of the young, frost-sensitive plants under her care at her home.

Before long, this small-scale hobby operation was bursting with an impressive variety of local native species, and the exceptional quality of these young plants didn’t go unnoticed. Thanks to the generosity and support of Rowena & Daniel Petrie, this volunteer-driven operation found its permanent home and has flourished ever since.

The talented team behind the nursery’s success; Christine McRae, Wendy Arnott and Anne Sedgers alongside Rowena Petrie and Landcare Coordinators Brooke & Maddi.

The good work at the nursery continues to grow, with several large orders coming in from councils, revegetation projects, and local landholders. What makes the “grow to order” model special is that the plants are cultivated especially for each project, and the care and attention truly shine through.

There are exciting plans in the pipeline for nursery improvements, including a second water tank in the planning stages, more benches to meet the growing demand for tubestock nurtured with Landcare love, and enhancements to the online store and ordering system to make it easier for the community to access planting information and browse what’s available.

While the Watershed Landcare Nursery does have an online store for those looking for a few plants here and there, most of the work comes from grow orders. Chris, Wendy, and Anne, with the incredible help of volunteers, have sown thousands of seeds in the last few weeks and are now inviting more orders.

With El Niño on the horizon, and while water is still available, it’s a smart time to think about revegetating landscapes, planting shelter belts and shade trees, and making it all happen. Whether you have a creek or a dam in need of riparian species or a challenging rocky situation, the nursery team possesses in-depth local knowledge about species and how to create successful plantings.

It can all start with an order to the Watershed Landcare Nursery. The Watershed Landcare tube stock is competitively priced, and members even enjoy a discount. To find out more, visit or call 0413 912 250.