Queensland HMA members enjoyed a delightful October meeting hosted by Edward and Mary Bunker of Proven Winners in the historical grounds of Redlands Nursery at Redland Bay.
Established in 1958, propagation is still carried out within the original nursery structures.
In showing members operations, leading nursery hand Neil Venn proudly declared ‘it’s not the newest around but we still produce a pretty good plant’.
Edward and Mary set up Aussie Winners to trial, introduce and market selected Proven Winner plants in Australia and New Zealand, and have established a network of licensed propagators and growers here and abroad.
Son, John, spoke excitedly of a recent philanthropic venture with the Independent Garden Centre Network of New Zealand where $47,000 was raised for breast cancer awareness. He said more marketing opportunities will be sought in Australia in the near future.
The other key partnership Aussie Winners has is with Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney where it sponsors trial gardens used as a performance test for home gardeners to experience.
HMAA members interested in learning more about new plant releases showcased by John Bunker during the HMAQ site visit can access information, along with hi-res images, on the Proven Winners website www.provenwinners.com.au. The PW Growers Guide 2021-2022 lists existing and current new releases. Please note: These login details
are for Media only and not for the general public. Consumers should be directed to the AW website www.aussiewinners.com.au
Philosophy of an advanced tree grower
Dave Webber moved his advanced tree enterprise from Pallara to a section of Redland Bay Nursery grounds four years ago, modifying the layout to suit. He said the transformation took a year to complete and was a massive task.
“We were constructing and potting at the same time, plus running the old site at Pallara. “When we came, there was overhead irrigation and gravel. More than a thousand posts, and 2 kilometres of wire were used to set up a drip system.
Dave grows everything himself for the simple reason, he likes to control tree health.
“If you don’t keep on top of advanced tree stock, you pay for it afterwards. I don’t scrimp,” he added.
“My potting mix consists of 70% pine bark of different grades, coir peat, and coir chip to help transportation of water evenly throughout the 45kg bags. It costs a fortune, but it’s well worth it. I also use 16-18 month Osmocote fertilizer so that once the product leaves the nursery, there’s still enough beef to keep it going.
“That’s the philosophy of Pallara, it’s not about getting produce to that loading dock and out on a truck, there has got to be life left in it afterwards.”
Written by Gail Bruce QHMA