Hard work blossomed for the nation’s most outstanding environmental gurus after scooping a host of honours at Australia’s prestigious Nursery and Garden Industry Awards naming the top nurseries and garden centres for their unswerving commitment to the community and improving green space.
Presented at a glittering ceremony in Melbourne last night, the awards, currently in their 21st year, recognise and honour excellence in business, products and services and acknowledge industry leaders as they strive to achieve best business practice within the nursery and garden community.
The 11 winners underwent a rigorous assessment process to make it through to the national final.
Judges shone a spotlight on the phenomenal transformation and diversification of the City of Melbourne’s urban forest recognising the ambitious project as Australia’s best Greenlife Infrastructure, while The Westringia Fruticosa ‘Grey Box’, a hardy native shrub and landscaping gem accomplished by plant breeding specialist Ozbreed was crowned Plant of the Year.
Among the cream of the crop, the inspirational launch of the beautiful Dianthus ‘Memories’ flower by Plants Management Australia in collaboration with Alzheimer’s Australia received the first Marketing Campaign award for its significant contribution to dementia research, and Cameron’s Nursery in the Sydney Hills District took out top honours for leading the way in saving the environment.
The sweet smell of success was also enjoyed by Australia’s favourite retailers. Queensland’s much loved Brookfield Garden Centre was awarded the nation’s Large Retailer of the Year and very first Industry Business of the Year, an inaugural category recognising the most outstanding achiever across retail, production and supplier sectors. Newman’s Nursery, a specialty family business dating back to 1887 in the picturesque Adelaide Hills was named Small Retailer of the Year for its dedication to sharing the green life experience.
The Large Production Nursery of the Year award went to Ramm Botanicals after pioneering an enormous range of Australia’s iconic kangaroo paw hybrid, while South Australia’s biggest grower of colourful moth orchids run by a talented father and son team from The Netherlands took out the top prize for the nation’s Small Production Nursery of the Year after moving Down Under.
Leading garden experts Yates took home two categories, the Industry Innovation award for its cutting edge augmented reality My Garden app and the Allied Product of the Year for its highly effective environmentally-friendly insect control Success Ultra, providing the most unique product on the market for curbing pesky insect damage.
National Young Leader was awarded to Chantal Tenace of Direct Plants in Victoria for her great work and dedication to helping people reconnect to the land through a series of unique community garden classes and events.
CEO of the Nursery and Garden Industry, Robert Prince, said judges were impressed with the very high standard and quality of entries all round which made the judging process even harder, and applauds winners for displaying exceptional environmental leadership.
“These awards celebrate industry players at the top of their game and the winners this year truly demonstrate that businesses of all sizes can be sustainable and profitable. The industry’s goal is to significantly increase green space over the next five years and the great work demonstrated by our 2015 winners is a positive step towards that vision,” he said.
“We can enjoy less pollution, increased productivity and an overall better quality of life, and it’s all thanks to our hardworking nurseries and garden centres that provide the community with much-needed green life,” Mr Prince added.
Australians can look forward to more trees, plants and turf thanks to a campaign by the Nursery and Garden Industry with support from over 200 partners encouraging councils, developers and landscapers to help improve green life in urban areas by 20 per cent before 2020. More than 8.7 million square metres of new green space has already been planted in cities across the country.
To take part in the vision or for more information, visit www.202020vision.com.au.