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News Story for October

Unearthing garden industry greats

Production nurseries and garden centres across Australia will soon be contesting the ultimate garden industry awards program. Every year the Australian Garden Industry Awards unearth our nation's garden industry greats. This year the awards will embrace both production nurseries and garden centres, bringing well deserved acknowledgment to the best of the entire garden industry.

The Australian Garden Industry Awards will be celebrating the hard work and dedication of those nursery men and women who continue to help gardeners achieve their dreams. This year with the introduction of production nursery categories, the awards will recognise and reward excellence industry-wide.

Presented jointly by Nursery and Garden Industry Australia NGIA) and the Garden Centres Association of Australia (GCA), the awards are designed to acknowledge the efforts of garden centres and production nurseries which strive to give their customers exceptional service, provide a benchmark for excellence and an aspirational focus for improvement.

Garden centres not only provide everything needed for a garden, but also offer expert advice and guidance. Most centres have well constructed displays designed to inspire and provide solutions to the diversity of Australian garden demands. Collectively the centres' professional staff and their dynamic displays give an understanding of the plants that will thrive locally and bring together unique elements for a fresh perspective.

Production nurseries continue to support and contribute to the ongoing vibrancy of the retail garden industry sector. The engine room of the garden industry, production nurseries deliver diverse and commercially attractive stock for an ever-demanding consumer. Their expertise and understanding and their focus on delivering outstanding product, ensures their garden centre counterparts continue to prosper.

Entrants from across Australia will be vying to be named 'Best Garden Centre' or 'Best Production Nursery' in numerous categories. Other hotly contested categories will include 'Waterwise Gardening', 'Outstanding Staff Member' and the 'Marketing Project Award'.

Once again the Yates company is proud to continue as the major sponsor of this very important program for the entire garden industry. Every garden centre and production nursery across Australia is invited to take part in the Australian Garden Industry Awards.

For an entry form or additional enquiries, please contact Steve Loe at Precedent Productions on (02) 9264 0757.

Colourwise Nursery sold
Ian and Mieneke Collins who have just celebrated 20 years at Colourwise, have announced the sale of the nursery to Malcolm and Penelope Thompson and family. Malcolm's parents, Graham and Beverley Thompson, who are avid garden lovers and owners of `Bisley', one of Mt Wilson's feature gardens, will also have an interest in the nursery. Ian and Mieneke established Colourwise Nursery back in 1984, on 10 acres at Glenorie around a caravan they lived in. At that time they had a corrugated iron shed, shipping pallets for flooring and no electricity. Today the nursery is 24 ha (60 acres) and employs up to 70 staff in peak periods and is one of the largest and best known production nurseries in New South Wales.

Malcolm Thompson who is a chartered accountant, has spent the last 15 years working as an investment banker in the currency market in Singapore and Tokyo as well as Australia. Penelope has a background in retail management and buying having worked with John Lewis in London and David Jones Australia.

Malcolm says he does not anticipate making any major changes, but aims to bring a fresh and different marketing approach that he believes can raise the business to another level.

Ian and Mieneke Collins are delighted at the outcome. Ian says "we are so pleased to have been approached by a buyer who is positive about the business and its future prospects. The sales terms include an agreement that it will be business as usual with all existing staff retained together with the existing product mix. We will continue to be involved in Colourwise for the next few years - full-time during the hand-over phase, then a part-time advisory role. We would like to thank all those people who have assisted us and traded with Colourwise over the last 20 years." Colourwise Nursery: tel (02) 4566 6177.

Barry Waldeck memorial launched
Fraser Giftware & Garden Centre, 2004 state winners of the Display Gardens Award in Western Australia, have now launched their latest initiative - a display Parterre Garden centred upon a meditation fountain dedicated to Barry Kniest Waldeck. As many readers will appreciate, Barry was the former owner of this reputable nursery and founder of the Waldeck chain of retail garden centres.

Lieutenant General John Sanderson AC, Governor of Western Australia, Mrs Jan Waldeck, Mrs Sanderson and Mr Peter Daale, CEO, Cancer Support Association of WA.

The display garden and meditation fountain was officially opened by His Excellency Lieutenant General John Sanderson AC, Governor of Western Australia, and Mrs Sanderson in September.

Fraser Garden Centre is now owned and run by Dianne and Ian Blevin who continue to manage and develop the nursery with the assistance of Barry's former staff. Since acquiring the nursery they have created a display parterre garden centred upon a meditation fountain to create space for reflection and spirituality. The fountain is dedicated to the memory of Barry Waldeck. It offers visitors the opportunity to make a gold-coin donation (akin to a wishing well) to the Cancer Support Association (CSA) of Western Australia. As this was not a commercial proposition, the CSA was pleased to endorse the project, especially since it received the full support of Mrs Waldeck.

Fraser Giftware & Garden Centre managing director Ian Blevin said "Our successful display gardens are cross-merchandised and feature various courtyard concepts, unique garden styles and provide design solutions for our customers. We now provide inspiration and a sense of place to gardeners, showing them how an attractive garden can be created effectively utilising the vast selection of plants, ornaments, pots and water features that we stock."

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