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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.