From May to August each year the Gawler Environment Centre and Gawler Environment and Heritage Association (GEHA) team up to bring residents of Gawler and surrounding areas the opportunity to purchase cheap locally indigenous plants. The Understorey Project aims to increase biodiversity in our region by encouraging communities to cultivate a variety of local plants, including all ecosystem elements. 

Please be aware that orders are to be picked up from the nursery in Gawler. (Other arrangements may be possible, but will involve an additional fee. Please contact us to discuss alternative arrangements before you place an order).

Things will be a little different this year as we are unable to host our usual pick up day in June due to Covid 19 restrictions. You will still need to place your order online, and once it is ready Adrian will be in touch to arrange contactless collection from the Gawler Environment and Heritage Association nursery. It usually takes about two weeks from ordering to collection so please don’t worry if you don’t hear back from us straight away. If you require your order in less time, please advise us when placing your order. *Delays may be experienced if Covid 19 restrictions increase*

If you have any enquiries about the plants, please contact Adrian Shackley on 0429 004 363 or

If you are interested in smaller herbs and grasses there a quite a few more species available; Adrian can provide you with further information.

We have made two short films for this project:
The Understorey Project: Whats it all about?
How to plant and care for your native garden

Click on the links below to view on YouTube:

  • The Understorey Project - What's it all about?
    The Understorey Project - What's it all about?
    Video summary of the Understorey Project
  • How to plant a plant
    How to plant a plant
    A video with steps on how to plant and care for native plants in South Australia

How to place an order – read the instructions at 1, 2 & 3 below and then click on the Understorey Project Store link a the bottom of the page. 

1. Decide if you want to order a mixed box or a custom box
Note: Orders must be in quantities of 20 or 50 plants

Mixed Box: $24 for 20 plants or $60 for 50 plants
What is a mixed box? A mixed box will contain species specifically suited to the area you live in. The species in this box will be chosen by the nursery and may contain 3 of one species if thought appropriate ie. grasses are more practical in clumps of 3 or more. This box is great if you are unsure of what to plant, have limited knowledge on what species are specific to your area or if you just want someone else to do the choosing for you.

There are four mixed box options:

  1. Mixed box (standard)
  2. Mixed box with trees (you will get one or two trees with your order)
  3. Mixed box of butterfly attracting plants (an assortment of shrubs and smaller plants which are food source for butterflies)
  4. Mixed box of native bee attracting plants (these are flowering plants of all sizes, please advise in the ORDER NOTES section if you want trees and shrubs included in your order)

If you have specific requests about the type of plants you want/don’t want in your order you can include this in the ORDER NOTES section on the Billing Information page.

Custom Box Cost: $28 for 20 plants or $70 for 50 plants
What is a custom box? A custom box allows you to make up your own order from the plants available. We advise creating orders with at least 6 different species and multiples of these ie. grasses are more practical in clumps of 3 or more. This box is great if you know which plants are specific for your area and you know what you want to grow in your garden. Note: Depending on availability of some species we may choose to supply a suitable replacement.

2. Placing your order

To order a mixed box:

Select option 7 ‘Mixed Box’ and choose a box(es) of 20 or 50 with trees, without trees, butterfly attracting or native bee attracting.

To order a custom box:

  1. Look at the map below to find out the vegetation association that you live in
  2. Select option 1-6 depending on the area you live in. eg if the map below identifies you as living in the coastal area then select option 2
  3. Select the plants you wish to make up your custom box

Look at the map below to find which vegetation association you live in. This will help you choose appropriate plants when ordering.

Gawler NRC - Vegetation Associations Map - Understorey Project 2017

Click here for an enlarged Vegetation Associations Map

Click here for the Understorey Project – Species List 2020

3. Advise of any specifics relating to your order

At the check-out, enter any specific requests for your order in the ORDER NOTES section eg. “I want all grasses in my mixed box”.

Important! If you are ordering trees or shrubs:

ONLY 5% of your order may be made up of TREES (including small, medium and large) eg. In a box of 20 plants 1 of the plants may be a tree species.

ONLY 10% of your order may be made up of MEDIUM/TALL SHRUBS eg. In a box of 20 plants only 2 of the plants may be medium or tall shrub species.

Understorey Project Store