“A whole lot of South Coast wholesale nurseries are doing it tough, and I’m hoping that identifying their plants with a Local Regrow sticker will encourage people to support these local growers,” she says.
Burnetts typically buys a third of its plants from ten South Coast nurseries, including Jamberoo Native Nursery, so Elizabeth is very aware of the hardships they have suffered.
“Three of them have been burnt out and the others have been dealing with water restrictions, heatwaves and now floods.
“There was also a period when they just couldn’t get anything out because of road closures.
“The fires stopped production, sales and access to markets.”
Her Local Regrow initiative also has a multiplier effect, as $1 from each plant sold, regardless of its value, will be given to Landcare Illawarra and Shoalhaven specifically to buy native tubestock for replanting.
“They are the experts who will make sure the right plants are put in the right places.
“In turn, they will buy these plants from local growers, so the circle is complete.”
Elizabeth feels stongly that each of us has a role to play in the recovery period.
“It is a time to restart, rebuild and reinvigorate the whole of the South Coast, beginning in our own gardens.
“Our gardens have to become the temporary habitat for displaced animals, insects and particularly birds.
“We’ve effectively missed a whole season of flowering.”
The Independent Garden Centres Association has expressed interest in extending in the campaign which Burnetts has developed throughout its Australia-wide network.