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The Growing Edge

Who doesn’t want to give their garden the growing edge? Several hundred members of the Nursery and Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) certainly do! Their enthusiastic attendance at the recent NGIA biennial conference shows that independent plant growers and retailers are very much alive. They are facing stiff competition from what are” affectionately” referred to in the industry as the “Big Boxes” but are fighting back.

At the conference, NGIA members were joined by yours truly. In return for attendance, I have been tasked with writing follow-up articles on topics raised at the conference for NGIA. My keyboard will be receiving a workout in the next month or two as I research and write about topics ranging from demographic shifts to drone technology. What do these areas have to do with growing and selling plants? Well, you’ll just have to keep your eyes peeled here to find out!

One of the conference highlights was a ferry ride on the Derwent River to the Museum of Old and New Art, where we enjoyed a private viewing and an excellent dinner. This iconic venue is affectionately known as MONA here on the Apple Isle. It’s well worth a visit just to view Hobart and its surrounds from the museum grounds. Sorry no photos from this evening! I was too busy holding my “clutch” and making sure I didn’t topple over in my “heels” as I navigated the stairway to “heaven”. Yes the affair was strictly cocktail dress. Those of you who know me may be having a small chuckle right about now imagining this scenario. Hmmm ...

And generally I was too busy scribing during sessions or following up presenters to record the conference more visually. Memo to self: Take a camera next time.

So I am leaving you with just a snap or two taken during a field trip to retail nurseries in and around Hobart. One nursery in particular stood out. The Harmony Garden Centre has recently been renovated and plans for a cafe are in the pipework. Nursery owners Angela and Andrew hope to relaunch a Farmers’ Market that received a very enthusiastic reception when trialled late last year.

Angela and Andrew have recently received Plant Life Balance accreditation, a new national program aiming to get more plants into more homes. They can help you to select plants that will improve the air quality of your home, whilst leaving you feeling more relaxed, inspired and positive. Biophilia, gotta love it! But more on that later ...

So do yourself and the nursery industry a favour! Check out your local Plant Life Balance accredited nursery for a stylish new plant-based look for your home. You may just give yourself the growing edge.

A bientôt!


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