News and Events

Workshops for October 2019

Two new workshops are coming up at the Community Nursery in October - Apple Grafting with Guytons and Bird Drawing with Jo Ogier. From prior experience these workshops will be booked up very soon so if you are interested see the link below. For the Jo Ogier workshop there will be a limit of 12 people and prior payment will guarantee your place. The grafting workshop will be pay cash on the day but prior bookings are essential. Send me an email for either workshop to book your place.

The details of both workshops and costs are listed at

Outreach by the Southland Community Nursery

Connecting Communities – Good for Schools. Good for Children. Good for Communities - 4 September 2019

The Southland Community Nursery (Bronwyn, Chris and Edith) welcomed our involvement in Sport Southland’s Health & Physical Education (H&PE) day and we worked with other groups and agencies to highlight the importance of H&PE and the promotion of hauora (well being) to the participating schools. Over 900 students were registered and all got a taste of how a wide range of community groups can contribute to the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well being needs and aspirations of children. While it was difficult to take the outdoors to the ILT Stadium we succeeded in providing a nature area to explore. We loved seeing the children choose, being engaged and empowered by their involvement in the day.

Hauora fits in so well with what we do at the nursery – through exploring nature we connect school children with the outdoors, connect schools with their communities and we link people to their environment and to their community. At the Southland Community Nursery we get outdoors where we connect with nature, and we let nature feed the soul. There is fresh air and we undertake physical activity, whether it be walking, digging a hole for a plant or running about the maze paddock! We encourage outdoor activity in nature and see the benefit of this for the mental and physical well being. Thanks to Sport Southland and their vision for holding this day.

Bronwyn and Chris

Ecofest – 7 September 2019

The Southland Community Nursery was also involved at the Spring Ecofest, at the Workingman’s Club where the themes were sustainability, new technologies, traditional crafts etc. People often need reminding that restorative tree planting and getting out into nature are a great response to todays problematic world – you do good for the environment and yourself! There were a wide range of stall holders, displays of goods and services and the showing of the inspirational Hugh Wilson Banks Peninsula restoration story movie which you can watch for free here -

It was a day of connecting with those other groups such as QEII, Forest and Bird, Kiwi Conservation Club and the Otatara Landcare Group – all groups whose actions in the environment are making a difference!

Bronwyn and Chris

Woodlands wanting to plant for bees – 29 August 2019

The Woodlands School Pukeko class inquiry this year is sustainability with a focus on bees. They have learnt a lot about bees already and have been looking at how they can make bees more sustainable at school and in their local Outdoor Learning Area in their community. So today at the nursery we had fun learning about planting plants that attract bees – with a focus on NZ native plants. We looked very closely at flowers or pictures of flowers (as at this time of year there are only a few natives flowering such as kowhai, kakabeak and fuchsia). The students used their fantastic knowledge of flower parts and pollination to identify all the parts, and we discussed aspects like colour, size and the shape of the flowers and how these flowers are used by plants to attract bees and other pollinators to the plant in order for it to be pollinated – plants really are quite clever! We explored who and what else pollinates native plants - native bees, moths and butterflies, flies, birds, other animals such as bats and geckos and wind. Chris got a bit carried away by the number of native bees – there are actually 28 species of native bee. Dodging the hail showers we went on a bush walk around the pond looking at all the different species of NZ native plants, and looking at the layers in the forest – an ecosystem of plants, insects, birds and other life. After lunch we potted up some manuka seedlings – bees love manuka flowers! The hail blasted us again as we potted up but it was fun (and the education centre was close by for shelter!).

There are many good reasons for planting trees, shrubs and flowers to attract bees to your place for the benefit of both the bees and the plants. Many Southland native species provide flowers that attract bees and there are a number of resources that have been compiled to help you choose appropriate species for our Region – see

Woodlands class loving their place – 27 August 2019

The Woodlands School Kakapo class arrived at the Southland Community Nursery ready to learn and excited to be seeing another place where restoration has occurred. We spent some time in the education centre sharing what we do at the Southland Community Nursery (our place) and the school students telling us about their Outdoor Learning Area (their place) – what it has, what it’s like, what the plans are. Our bush walk around the pond saw us noticing different NZ native plants, and experiencing first hand an area that has been restored from a paddock to a forest. We talked about the different species of NZ native plants that have been used at the nursery for the restoration and how many of the species planted have attracted birds to the area. By providing habitat we can create ecosystems. Exploring how a forest works – the different layers of a forest, colonising/nursery species and mature tree canopy species was a lot of fun with the school students becoming trees and acting out the growing of a forest story! Over lunch the paddock and lizard homes were explored and lots of thinking questions asked. We focused on the kind of conditions different plants like and how this has to be considered when carrying out restoration planting. We then planted out finding a higher area to dig after all the rain. The need for pest weed and pest animal protection was noted and with Woodlands looking at starting a pest control programme it was great to hear that Dave from ES is speaking to them later this week. A busy day was finished with some expert potting up of some manuka seedlings. It is great to hear that this class is immersed in learning in their place – doing mathematics, writing and everything in their Outdoor Learning Area. Awesome!

Lots of links we could make…..

Restoring your patch

Attracting birds

Creating a school garden

How a forest works

KCC kids go bug hunting with Ruud at the nursery – 18 August 2019

We dug holes, lifted logs, dipped in the pond and rummaged about the forest. We found worms, grubs, beetles, an ant colony and a fly. We saw the evidence of caterpillars and moths on the harakeke. We were told stories about bugs – how the nursery web spider has at least 6 different types of silk that it spins from nozzles in its butt, and how the caterpillar looking thing we found is actually the young of the black beetle!! Amazing. We got to have Ruud’s friends the weta and spider climb up our arms and sit in our hands. It was awesome!! Big thanks to Ruud and his friends.