EWHA kicked off 2017 with our first event on Friday 3rd March – a behind-the-scenes tour of 2 well-known Nurseries at Kinglake.
Matt from Antique Perennials showed us around his Nursery and stock beds of perennials, many of which are rarely seen in your regular Garden Centre. We were particularly impressed with his selection of Sanguisorbas and grasses such as Panicum virgatum ‘Iron Maiden’. Attendees had the opportunity to purchase plants at wholesale prices. Matt dispensed cultivation advice but also told his personal story of the complete destruction of his Nursery during the 2009 Black Saturday fires. From such a calamity he and his business partner, Mike, have been able to restore their business which is going from strength to strength.
After loading up our cars with our purchases, we retired to the Kinglake Pub for lunch where the staff were easily able to cope with our group of 30 – full marks for a delicious meal delivered quickly and efficiently!
Our next visit was to Prestige Plants, a very different Nursery: one which supplies a large range of species to commercial clients, such as Vic Roads and local councils, for large-scale landscaping. Craig, the owner and Manager explained the nature of his operation and particularly the challenges involved in supplying to this sector of the industry. His business was also impacted by the 2009 fires with the destruction of valuable infrastructure.
These two contrasting Nurseries gave us a great insight into the rewards and challenges of running these types of businesses.
We wish to thank Matt and Craig for their generosity in showing us around.