Plant deliveries began arriving on site and are now going into the mulch-improved soil. A planned ‘random’ planting pattern will be adopted to reflect the way a native grassland would naturally develop with plantings divided into three categories -- forms, fillers, and features. Grasses comprise the 'forms and fillers’, which will be larger when matured and will create denser bushes throughout the planting areas. Feature plantings include those with bright and eye-catching flowers that will bloom in time – and will sit towards the ‘front’ of planting areas to draw the eye.
Plantings on site will include:
• Themeda triandra (Kangaroo grass)
• Rytidosperma caespitosum (Wallaby grass)
• Wahlenbergia communis (Tufted bluebell)
• Chrysocephalum semipapposum (Clustered everlastings)
• Pycnosorus chrysanthes (Billy buttons)
• and many more.
SMCT Horticultural Assets Manager Helen Tuton is confident Project Cultivate’s goals are being achieved on site at MGC.
"It’s really important to remember with Project Cultivate that all of the 127,000 plants are plants that we know would have been here before this was a cemetery, when this was a grassland,” Helen said.
“We also know, with our locally native plantings, that they have a better chance of doing well in this space. They’ll cope with the weather, they’ll cope with soil, they’ll cope with the rainfall, and they’ll start to spread their seed to turn this land to as close as its naturalistic state as we can get.”
Project Cultivate at Melbourne General Cemetery is already helping to improve soil quality, which will in turn support an increase in biodiversity and the sustainability of the site, as well as reduce the heat island effect and our reliance on herbicides by suppressing weed growth.