Woody Meadow Project featured on Gardening Australia

Dr Claire Farrell and John Rayner from the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences (SEFS) combine beauty and biodiversity in the heart of Melbourne.

You can watch the full interview by Millie Ross through the Gardening Australia website. The Woody Meadow story beings at 47:00.

The Woody Meadow Project is a unique research collaboration between the University of Sheffield in England, the University of Melbourne and the City of Melbourne. The aim of the project is to apply the concept developed in England to Australian plants and shrubs from heathland communities across Australia.

The garden was first planted in January 2017 and is located at Birrarung Marr, just down the hill from Federation Square along the Yarra River. This area has many planted gardens that are green and easy to grow but they often lack diversity and aesthetics. The Woody Meadow hopes to change this through beautiful flowering native plants.

"Plants that have a lot of colour, movement, texture and are not high maintenance" were chosen to provide interest to pedestrians said project co-lead, John Rayner. "Ground cover, lots of dense shoots and flowering plants that attract lots of birds and insects. That's the combination we want."

Dr Claire Farrell said that the project has "exceeded expectations" after the plants were pruned back through the coppicing method 16 months ago. This method encourages plants to produce more shoots and flowers to create dense growth.