NextGen Northern Suburbs Wildflower Society Tour

On Thursday the 5th September, a group of 50 NextGenners, including students from North Metro TAFE, visited the Northern Suburbs Wildflower Society Nursery in Landsdale for a tour and discussion on all things to do with growing the unique flora of Western Australia!

The group was divided into three with a volunteer Wildflower Society representative presenting on a topic of interest including a tour of the nursery, propagation from seed and cuttings, seed treatments, seed collection, grafting and even a wildflower sightseeing tour of the adjacent bushland.

Each speaker was so informative and spoke with such enthusiasm which encouraged a lot of really good questions and networking between everyone whilst we stopped for a tasty lunch.

A huge thanks to the volunteers for dedicating their own time to setting up and facilating the tour of their nursery and our NextGen sponsor Bailey’s.

Stay tuned for our next event!

NextGen Kings Park Tour

On June 12th, our NextGen group and interested members, met up at the Kings Park Nursery facility for an in-depth talk and tour on the educational topics of ‘Plant Breeding’ and 'Seed Collection and Conservation'.

Head Plant Breeder, Digby Growns, led one group through the propagation/plant breeding area of the nursery, highlighting their very interesting Grevillea and Kangaroo Paw Plant Breeding Program, even including an exclusive look at their tissue culture lab where they are working on new varieties of  Chamelaucium ‘Waxflowers’. Digby explained the rigorous processes involved in the decision to release a new plant hybrid for sale; 5-7 years for growing and selecting plants for desired flower colour, level of disease resistance and overall plant performance. 
Seed Collector/Conservationist, Luke Sweedman, then spoke about his work collecting many thousands of  seeds from Western Australia for Kings Park Nursery and the ‘Millenium Seed Bank’ in Kew UK.. With some 3o years experience under his belt, Luke gave a very thorough overview of his work to date. Everyone was amazed at the distances Luke would travel to collect seed, sometimes staying in remote areas of Western Australia for weeks at a time with just one assistant staff member, a caravan, and a kitted out seed collection vehicle.
At the conclusion of the talk and tour, everyone stayed around for a chat during lunch - a great opportunity to ask questions, and learn more about this area of our industry - which very few have access to.  This is one of the main benefits of becoming a NextGen or NGIWA Member.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Digby Growns and Luke Sweedman from Kings Park, and  of course, our NextGen sponsor Bailey’s Fertiliser for making this amazing opportunity possible.

Richgro - Official Sponsor of NGIWA

NGIWA is delighted to announce that Richgro have agreed to a 2 year sponsorship deal with Nursery & Garden Industry WA.
For the past 12 months, NGIWA CEO Matthew Lunn has been in discussions with Richgro over a possible partnership in order to grow the association with industry support.
“I’m absolutely delighted for the association, and with his many years being involved with the NGIWA Board, Geoff Richards and his team saw great value in working with us to support and promote our association, particularly in areas of retail and regional areas. Our thanks must also go to Tim Richards, Heath Okely, David Miles and Troy Franks from Richgro who have been instrumental in supporting this agreement", Matthew said.
The 2 year agreement will not only see support at all NGIWA events but also at the Perth Garden Festival in April, where they will be sponsoring the awards for Best Nursery Exhibitor.

Retailers Workshop - Understanding and Positively Influencing How Our Customers Judge Us

On Wednesday the 29th of August we had a great workshop with Jurek Leon at the Richgro headquaters. It was an enjoyable and informative session, and everyone took away some great points on how to look through the customers eyes when judging us and our businesses. We learned the importance of  identifying the different customer types and assessing what matters most to them, then looking at some of the non-essential things you do that can improve your customer's experience.
Thank you to the sponsors of the workshop: Richgro and GCA, to Jurek Leon from Terrific Trading for a really good workshop, and to everyone who could come along and share their own customer service experiences.

NEW MEMBER: Soil Solver

Our NGIWA member family continues to grow with the recent addition of Soil Solver to the group.  Welcome Joy Ross and her team!

Soil Solver is friable and easy to blend into sand. Simply measure and pour over the surface of the area to be treated and mix into the top 10cm of the garden sand, add well matured compost and then mulch over the top. You will immediately see the difference in texture, and moisture content.

Use Soil Solver to permanently change the structure of the sandy, water repellant soil by adding the natural kaolin clay and silts. After that you only need a small amount of compost as food for the plants each year. Clay and silt helps the garden to thrive during hot summers and prevents the soil leaching nutrients by slowing down the rate that water moves down through the soil profile so that nutrients stay close to the roots where the plants are able to easily access it.

The Growing Edge - National Conference 2018

The biennial national conference headed to Australia’s apple isle, Tasmania and Wrest Point Hotel, the home of Australia’s first casino on the outskirts of Hobart. Over 200 delegates attended with representation from NGI’s across the whole of Australia, national office staff, allied industries and organisations who were taking part as exhibitors. It was great to see a strong contingent of NGIWA board representatives and members including state president Carole Fudge, state national board member Ross Hooper, Colin Groom, Kylie James, Tim Parker, Geoff Richards, Mark Tucek and state biosecurity Certification auditor, Steve Blyth.

Held over three days, day one focused on industry tours to production and retail sites within a few hour’s drive of Hobart, with days two and three turning the attention to formal proceedings in the large auditoriums at the hotel. Members split into two groups for the industry tours and both buses were packed for visits to some of Tasmania’s best green life providers. Growers enjoyed visits to Tibballs Wholesale Nursery, Granton Plants, HALS and Westland Nursery; and retailers were spoilt with tours of Harmony Garden Centre, Clennetts Mitre 10, Greenhill Nursery, Plants of Tasmania Nursery and Chandlers Nursery. Both tours came back with glowing reports although the visits to a cider farm and winery for lunch may have lifted the spirits.

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NGIWA Christmas Party 2017

We held our Christmas drinks at the Balmoral Hotel in Vic Park last Tuesday to toast another successful year and catch up with old and new friends of the Association.
Joining us too were a number of industry guests including Ben Archibald from Touchwood Nursery, Paul Nash and the sales team from Corporate Sports Australia (CSA) and David and Kelly Parnham  from the Parkerville Berry Company. It was also terrific to see a number of our Honorary Members there with Deryn Thorpe, John Colwill and Neville Passmore all participating in the festivities.
Benefits of being a member of NGIWA certainly came to the fore for the evening with all enjoying the opportunity to spend time networking and particularly with CSA present, ask plenty of questions with regard to next year’s Perth Garden Festival. Also on hand to answer questions was Steve Blyth, WA’s FMS auditor.
It really was pleasing to see so many attend the event and once again this has shown that NGIWA is beating with a strong heart as members continue to support events in numbers.

Pest & Disease Workshop 2017

We had a fantastic response and turnout with over 35 members packed into the nursery at Men of The Trees, Hazelmere taking part in our annual Pest & Disease Management workshop with Andrew Manners and John Duff from the Department of Agriculture & Fisheries Qld.
Despite being a very hot day, it was an extremely informative program with all participants able to listen to present day diagnostic problems facing nurseries today, as well as having the opportunity to discuss personal problems facing their own nursery with experienced entomologists Andrew and John.

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NEW MEMBER: Volunteer Task Force

Welcome to the team from Volunteer Task Force who recently joined NGIWA as Associate Members.

Volunteer Task Force (VTF) has been serving the community since 1970. Their mission is to deliver services that support independence, enhance safety and amenity of people, and to build community through volunteering. Their services are aimed at supporting those who have difficulty with everyday tasks due to frailty or disability and they take an enablement approach with a focus on providing services “with” a person and not “for” or “to” a person. They work in partnership with people and their carers to increase independence and physical and social wellbeing.

Volunteer Task Force Inc. has recently announced that they will be merging with Community First International and Care Options Inc. to create a bigger, stronger, WA-based care organisation. Their new organisation will deliver care and services to over 10,000 clients across metropolitan and regional WA with a 400-strong workforce and over 600 volunteers.

NextGen Workshop - Grafting WA Flowering Gum and Growing Good Quality Eucalypts

Last week NGIWA Nextgenners were treated to an engaging, practical and hands-on Corymbia grafting workshop held at the City of Stirling’s Council production nursery in Karrinyup. The workshop and practical demonstration was led by Amanda Shade, Assistant Nursery Curator from Kings Park Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority who guided the group of 50 through the ins and outs of Grafting Corymbia ficifolia (Western Australian Flowering Gum). The ‘Mummy graft’ was the technique chosen with Cormybia maculata (Spotted Gum) used for the rootstock. From the get go, everyone enthusiastically tried their hand at grafting their very own WA Flowering Gum, with most even taking them at the conclusion of the workshop! All that grafting was hungry work and many stayed on after to chat/network whilst enjoying a delicious BBQ for lunch.
NGIWA would like to say a huge thanks to Amanda Shade from Kings Park, our Nextgen sponsor Baileys Fertiliser, and the City of Stirling for hosting the event.

NGIWA Retailers Night - New Plants For Autumn

Our members and guests were spoilt last night at our first NGIWA Retailers Night for 2019.  Held at Zanthorrea Nursery the discussion focused on new plant releases for autumn.

Our thanks to Nancy Scade (Australian Native Nursery Group), Carole Fudge (Benara Nurseries), Craig Woodroffe (Ellenby Tree Farm) and Mark Tucek (Domus Nursery) for their enlightening and informative presentations and to Troy Franks of Richgro, who sponsored the evening.

AGM 2018

Another successful AGM this year which was well attended by members. We are delighted to announce Craig Woodroffe from Ellenby Tree Farm as our new President and Carole Fudge as Vice President. We have two new faces joining the board - Paul Beveridge from the Perth Hills Veggie Co and David Underwood from Dawson’s Garden World. Long serving board members Colin Groom, Nancy Scade, Geoff Richards and Ross Hooper will continue to hold a seat on the executive committee with Ross also sitting on the NGIA national board. Finally we would like to thank David Lullfitz, Gen Bailey and Michael Gorman for all their support whilst sitting on the board for 2017 – 2018 and we will continue to seek their advice in the future.

NEW MEMBER: Grasstrees Australia

Welcome to our latest NGIWA member. Grasstrees Australia is a family operated business committed to the preservation of endangered Western Australian native Grasstrees and Zamia Palms. Once extracted, plants are nursery stabilised for 12- 18 months, ensuring new root development and an optimum success rate.  By supplying to the public, landscapers, property developers, local councils and government departments, these plants can be recycled back into the West Australian landscape guaranteeing the longevity of this ancient flora.

The Retail Nursery and Display Centre is located in Wattle Grove and is open 7 days a week.

NEW MEMBER: Parkerville Berry Company

Welcome to David and Kelly Parnham of Parkerville Berry Company who have just joined as NGIWA members!

Parkerville Berry Company is a local, family owned and operated business that has been producing delicious, fresh blueberries since 2012. As the exclusive WA supplier of Mountain Blue Farms blueberries, they provide plants from the best blueberry breeding program in Australia.

From five acres in Parkerville, David and Kelly propagate from their plants to provide both commercial and retail plant varieties. They also grow out Tissue Culture plants sent from the Eastern states to ensure their plants are free from blueberry viruses.

NextGen Tour - Nuts About Natives

The first Nextgen event for 2018 just took place at the amazing ‘Nuts About Natives’ nursery in Karnup, and what an interesting tour it was! Starting off outside the tissue culture lab, Proprietors Ben Croxford and Anouska Cousin spoke about the finer details of tissue culture and the many seed recalcitrant species they’re able to successfully grow using this technique. Ben then showed us around the different growing areas, speaking about their deflasking and hardening processes and many other facets of their small yet very successful operation.

The tour concluded with a delicious bbq where everyone had the opportunity to chat and network with some new and familiar people within the industry.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Ben and Anouska for showing us all around their very interesting nursery which I’m sure everyone can agree, was worth the visit. Also a special thanks to our Nextgen event sponsor Baileys Fertiliser.

Stay tuned for our more great Nextgen events in the coming months.

Member Profile: Coast Road Palms

Coast Road Palms are one of the latest nurseries to join NGIWA and this month we took a behind the scenes look at one of Perth’s leading tropical plant growers.

Tucked off Bennett Springs Drive, Bennett Springs Beechboro, Coast Road Palms began from some very humble beginnings in 1987 on 10 acres of what can only be described as desert sands. Today, what started out as a hobby, Lou and Connie Varischetti, owners of Coast Road Palms, have now turned into a thriving family run business.

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Grow Me Instead WA

We have had a number of requests for the Grow Me Instead WA booklet, which unfortunately is no longer available in print, but can be downloaded here as a PDF.  Note that it is an old publication so some of the contact details may now be obsolete.

Member Profile - The Green Life Soil Co

In 2001, horticulturists Linda & Paul Mitchener were looking for a tree change and stumbled across an old permaculture and environmental site on Farrall Road, Midvale. Within a short period, trading began under the name the Swan Garden Centre and whilst the range of plants and products they carried did increase, the soil supply side of the business also evolved and expanded. They started by making customised soil mixes for particular needs and specific plants at the customer's request. Over time, this evolved and was refined to the range of soils they now produce, and it was decided in early 2008 to change their name to reflect the emerging nature of the business - and thus The Green Life Soil Co. was born.

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NEW MEMBER: Aquaponics WA and Hydroponic Xpress

Welcome to Delia and Neville of Aquaponics WA and Hydroponic Xpress who have recently joined as NGIWA members. 

Hydroponic Xpress and Aquaponics WA is Perth's largest hydroponic shop and aquaponic warehouse and display centre. They have qualified and knowledgeable staff to answer all of your hydroponic and aquaponic questions and carry a range of Aeroponics, Aquaculture turbo tank hydroponics, Hydroponic Systems, Hydroponic Kits, Hydroponic Lights, Pumps, Air Pumps, Air Stones, Filters, Nutrients, Additives, Grow Rooms, Grow Tents, Fans, Filters, Pots and Growing Media.  Visit them at