All the gardens around the Centre buildings have been planted with Australian native plants to showcase plants that can be grown locally in your garden. Native plants are low maintenance and better suited to local weather conditions and soils. As well as a beautiful display, these native plants promote a healthy ecosystem encouraging and benefiting insects, birds and other animals by providing food and habitat.
The Australian Plants Society (Newcastle Group)
The Australian Native Plant Society, Newcastle Group has been closely linked to the development of the grounds at HWCA since 1986.
Associate Professor Max Maddox invited Dr Paddy Lightfoot to help with the overall design and development of the site and the involvement of APS was commenced. The nursery was established to propagate plants for planting on the site and the Thursday Mob and APS Working Bees established the planting regime.
The landscape was divided into 3 sections with the zone closest to the Centre growing native plants from all over Australia to act as a showcase to people wanting to grow Australian natives themselves.
The second contains plants endemic to the Hunter Region and the third zone contains only plants which would have originally grown here. The remnant rainforest on Ironbark Creek, for example, has been enlarged using all the plants which would have been growing in East Coast Naive rainforest.