Category Archive: Gardenworld News

Gardenworld Gold and Silver at the Flower Show

There were times we wondered what we were doing. There were times of elation, and times of despair. Today it all became worth it when two of the gardens that Gardenworld were involved in took out four awards.

Designer Phillip Withers and his garden ‘Here and Now’ was awarded a Silver medal, and won The Honda Sustainabilty Award.

Designers Joby and Carolyn Blackman and their garden titled, ‘The Gardener’s Library’ was awarded a Gold medal and won an award for the best use of plant life.

The two gardens were totally different but both contained gardens that had some attainable attributes for home gardeners.

If you can’t make it to the show, come down and see us at the nursery as we would love to show you some of our award winning plants, always on show.

Here And Now

The Gardener’s Library


Sneak preview of ‘Here and Now’

We are so excited to be a part of The Melbourne Flower Show this year. Gardenworld and our in house Landscape Designer Phillip Withers have teamed up with Outdeco Gardenscreens, Semken Landscaping and over 20 other sponsors to create show garden ‘Here and Now’

We are creating not just a garden but the back of an Urban Dwelling to promote a good relationship between indoor and outdoor living. Here we will let the audience gain the feeling of looking out into the garden to a small urban family setting, one which celebrates the space they have while carefully carving out a sustainable system so that every pocket is thought through for the use of the whole family. The adults will have their desired entertaining area and secluded outdoor bathroom, while the kids will have avenues to explore, roam and play.

It will be architecturally artful and planted predominantly edible, full of fruit, vegies and herbs for use. The garden will promote function and sustainability but wont hide from Phils signature pops of colour as we look to consider every pocket of the space, even the humble chicken coop.

We have put in a great deal of effort over the past 8 or 9 months designing with the helpful input of a whole host of wonderful contributors whom we can’t thank enough for their support and attention to detail leading into what should be an amazing show…

We’ll keep you posted……..

March 26th – 30th. Exibition Buildings and Carlton Gardens.



Semken Landscaping


Anston Paving
Frencham Cypress
Pop and Scott
Shades Plus
Shades Plus
Porters Paint
Lotus Water Gardens
Smart Water Shop
Lilydale Instant Turf
Cenzo Design
Ross Gardam
Total way Transport
Schneppa Glass
Bark King
Suburban Chooks
Bayview Windows

Canada’s famous Butchart Gardens

Gardenworld Nursery staff member Sue Webster talks about her recent visit to these famous gardens:

Located twenty kilometres north of Victoria, on Vancouver Island, British Colombia, are the world famous Butchart Gardens.

Robert and Jennie Butchart were pioneers in the cement industry and in 1904 purchased the site for a quarry and cement plant. As the limestone deposits were exhausted, Jennie created something of beauty by bringing in tonnes of top soil to line the floor of the abandoned quarry. Little by little it blossomed into the spectacular Sunken Garden (see above). It was finally completed in 1921.

Between 1906 and 1929, the Butchart’s created an Italian Garden (see above), a Japanese Garden (see below) and the beautiful Rose Garden. By the 1920s, more than fifty thousand people visited the gardens each year.

The Butchart’s gave the gardens to their grandson, Ian Ross, for his 21st birthday in 1939 and for the next fifty years he was completely involved in their operation and development. In 1954 he introduced the Night Illuminations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the gardens. In 1978 Ian’s son, Christopher, started the spectacular firework shows and after Ian’s death in 1997, the gardens were transferred to Christopher. When Christopher passed away, the management was assumed by his sister, Robin. Still under family ownership, the Butchart Gardens are open to the public every day of the year.

During the summer nights, the gardens are illuminated and have a fantastic display of fireworks set to music each week. The Rose Garden is overflowing with lush colours and scents. The summer annuals and perennials are in full flower making a magnificent display along the walkways.

In early autumn, the diverse collection of some 300 varieties of dahlias come alive and the colours are most spectacular. At this time, the magic of the Japanese Garden appears with the vibrant colours of the Japanese maples as they change colour and begin to lose their leaves. It is at this time that 300,000 bulbs are planted for spring flowering.

During the winter months of December and January, the gardens have a popular Christmas lights display. As the gardens settle for the winter, thousands of pointsettias are moved from the greenhouse to enhance the Christmas décor throughout all indoor facilities.

Spring brings everything from blossoming trees to tulips and everything in between and the 300,000 bulbs emerge in a carefully orchestrated symphony of colour. The eighty full time gardens are at their busiest throughout the gardens.

Each year over 1,000,000 bedding plants in some 900 varieties give uninterrupted bloom from March to October. Over a million people visit annually for spring’s colourful flowering bulbs, summer’s riot of colour, entertainment and fireworks, autumn’s colours of russets and golds, the magic of Christmas decorations and winter’s peacefulness. On the 100th year anniversary in 2004, the gardens were awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Tourist Association and were also designated a National Historic Site recognizing their importance to the development of horticulture in Canada.

 This is a must see for any visitor to the west coast of Canada.

Outstanding Apprentice of The Year.

Congratulations goes out to our second year apprentice Chris Henbery who has been awarded ‘Outstanding Apprentice of of the Year’

Last Tuesday Swinburne University Of Technology held an awards evening to recognise the work and contributions of apprentices within the technology and trades industry. The awards were presented to individuals that showed dedication and contribution to education through apprenticeships as well as skills learned and used to a high standard in both work and study.

Our 2nd year apprentice, Chris Henbery, won an award for ’Outstanding Apprentice of of the Year’ in the Nursery category for horticulture. Chris has been with us at Gardenworld  for almost a year and a half, while studying his apprenticeship at Swinburne throughout this time. We are sure that if you have been served by Chris, you will see that he has learnt a great deal of plant knowledge in a very short space of time.

A number of apprentices from industry sectors including electricians, plumbing and landscaping were recognised. The awards also included a speech from guest speaker Sam Rowe, who plays in the AFL for Carlton and played his first game in the second round this year. He spoke to the guests about his carpentry apprenticeship that he has just completed, a job he hopes to resume when he finishes his AFL career.

The evening was a great success, recognising almost 30 up and coming apprentices across all industries and highlighting the potential we have for great emerging talent in the future. Well done Chris – enjoy your garden !

Chris was part of the now famous bottle garden at the Melbourne Flower Show

Cyclamen trials show off some of the world’s best.

By James Wall, Nurseryman.

This morning I attended a cyclamen trial. Plant trials are usually industry only events where varieties are grown and compared by fellow nursery people. You also get to see new varieties and experimental varieties. This trial was an indoor grown crop. The seeds were sown in Early October and the young seedlings were planted in the first week of January.

The quality of plants at this trial were superb. Nearly every pot plant had over 20 flowers. It surprised me to hear they were overhead watered, as often growers water underneath so as to better preserve the flower quality. This was a good indication that these were well bred plants that would even perform well in gardens and not just as inside pots. Congratulations to Ball Australia for growing these plants so well.

The majority of the breeding was from the French company Morel. It included mini varieties right through to larger varieties. There were the classic cyclamen colours, and also novelty varieties which include bi-colours and frilled edges. We are seeing more and more of these unusual types for sale in Australia, including ones with a more silver leaf.

Pictured are a few of my favourites. Expect to see some of the newer ones here over the next couple of winters. That’s right, cyclamen love the cold. Putting them outside for for a couple of nights will really freshen them up. To remove old flowers, twist and pull the stem at the same time. This will remove it from the base, making a clean break from the corm. Water regulalry, but don’t sit in water and you will experience months of their colour and beauty. Enjoy.

Halios Curly Magenta With Eye

NEW - Halios Grenadine

A colour out of the Metis Silverleaf Mix

Metis Victoria Salmon Rose

Tianis Fantasia Deep Magenta

A ‘new age’ of fertiliser is Troforte.

By James Wall

Pronounced Tro-fort-ay, this is a fertiliser that is gaining in popularity. It is a different philosophy in feeding plants. It’s not all about nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK), but more about making existing nutrients in the soil more available to the plants. It does have a small amount of NPK, but it also has lots of minerals. The amazing thing about this fertiliser that really sets it apart is the fact it contains live microbes which are triggered off once the fertiliser gets watered and begins to break down. Microbes already exist in soils, especially where there are worms. The problem is though, there are lots of tired old soils that have become acidic from years of conventional fertilisation. You dig down and there are no worms. What the microbes do is convert existing nutrients in the soil, to a much more available form, that the plants can use.

The other things about the product I like is the fact you can only buy a minimum of 3.5 kg. As a society, we use too many little packets of things rather than a more efficient big packet. Seeing little packets of food snacks packaged in big packets really irks me. The empty plastic tub is also returnable to the nursery and recyclable. The other thing I like is that this product is made in Australia. Too many of our fertilisers are produced packaged in foreign countries before being shipped out here on boats. Surely we have the smarts to make our own fertilser.

The big question is, does it work. We consulted some gardeners in Darwin who have used this product for a while. They started using it because they liked the fact it was not going to be toxic to rivers if there was excess runoff, a big issue in the wet season in northern Australia. They also continue to use it, because it works. Early indications from our customers, is that plants are growing well and they are getting strong growth. Of course sometimes it is hard to tell, because other fertrtilisers like cow manure are also being applied in between applications of Troforte. It is something we are going to continue to monitor, but early opinions, are positive ones.

Below is some information provided by the manufacturer, and a video from the Garden Gurus. Troforte is available at Gardenworld, including the Rejuvenator, although this is kept behind the counter so we can explain the fact that the microbes are not coated in fertiliser so must be used with a spoon, so as not to get moisture from your hands and into the container which sets off all the microbes. This is not an issue in the regular, larger prill, as the microbes are coated.

The amazing GardenBOX is here.

We now have a raised vegetable garden GardenBOX growing near our seedling section. It is performing well. It comes delivered, fully installed with growing medium and optional worm farm. You do the rest. Here is some info from its creator Marco Baretta.

Crafted from recycled wooden apple crates and specially engineered for the time-starved gardener, the GardenBOX brings a little patch of nature back into our plastic 21st century lives.

This is the distilled essence of  hundreds years of family tradition and patrimony, ingeniously designed to bring life the nooks and crannies of our backyards, patios and balconies and reacquaint us with the joys of fresh tomatoes, basil, eggplants, zucchini, broccoli, lettuce, and strawberries, grown with our own hands and picked from our own gardens.

Fitted with a brilliantly simple sub-irrigation system, the GardenBOX sends water straight to the roots of your plants when they need it, cutting out the bulk of the hard work to maintain a veggie patch. Together with an organic recycling system, the GardenBOX can yield up to 12 months of constant production with just a fifth of the space and water needed for a conventional patch.

The digging, the weeding, the watering, all the hard hours and failed crops – all of it disappears. These aren’t shortcuts or compromises, it’s just clever engineering. Engineering that can bring the joy of gardening to the schoolyard, the aged care home, the terrace porch, the inner-city balcony or the suburban backyard, and turn the blackest of thumbs green.

How It Works

The GardenBOX is a harmonious blend of tried-and-tested permacultural engineering and techniques. High density plantation allows for the compact size, while the custom designed sub-irrigation system means watering can be as infrequent as twice a month.

Combining one of our purpose-built worm stations with our uncompactable soil mix, you’ll have a veggie patch that looks after itself. Acting as an organic recycling system, the worms break down your kitchen scraps and other organic waste to produce worm castings – or vermicompost, the most potent, rich fertiliser known to man.


The sub-irrigation system is specially designed to create a miniature water reservoir below your plants. Plants drink up water through their roots, taking only as much as they need.

The sub-irrigation system cuts out as much as 90% of the water needed for conventional veggie patches, making it perfect for Australian conditions. Watering is required every 2-6 weeks depending on heat, light, ventilation and which veggies are planted.

The leaf lover tool is here.

The Leaf-Lover

Are you sick of picking up leaves by bending over? Then don’t, get yourself a Leaf Lover.

After raking, just scoop and lift into your container. The large paddles allow you to collect more leaves and garden litter in one go. It is made of lightweight aluminium so only weighs 1 Kilo and will not rust. They have grip handles which make them easier to operate.

We first heard about these when mentioned by Jane Edmanson on 3aw. She has had a few back problems in the past and finds the Leaf-Lover to be one of her favourite tools.

They are available now for $45 at the nursery, or Melbourne gardeners can order them from our online shop.


Mother’s Day gift ideas

It wouldn’t be Mother’s Day coming up if we didn’t offer some great gift ideas for you. Mum’s love nurseries and we get lots of mums who even pop in for a wander with their loved ones on the actual day. Saturday is also one of our busiest days of the year. Here are just a few of our wonderful gift ideas put together in a montage.

Mother's Day gift ideas.


How gardening made these people seven kilos lighter.

Those who spend their free time pruning the roses or pottering in the vegie patch are considerably trimmer than their non-gardening neighbours, a study by University of Utah researchers showed.

Read the full story here, written by Fiona Macrae from the Daily Mail and published on


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