By Karen Smith
The Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland (NGIQ) Green Expo was recently held at the Gold Coast Turf Club, showcasing greenlife displays which included everything from potted colour to advanced trees and everything in between.
All under the one roof, visitors have the opportunity to speak direct with suppliers, growers and allied traders. Aside the from the benefits of face-to-face networking it’s a bonus to be able to see firsthand what is on offer. You may be a retailer that is looking to place orders, or a landscape designer or installer looking for that something a little different to use in your designs, or advice from growers about the suitability of plants for your designs or installations.
For retailers visiting the expo just seeing the displays created by the growers is an opportunity to gather ideas on how to display plants in your garden centre, as well as seeing what is on offer and placing your orders.
It’s not all about plants either, although who doesn’t like being at an event filled with greenlife? Allied trades, who supply equipment to actually grow those plants are available as well, such as pump suppliers and irrigation specialists, or suppliers of trolleys and other equipment.
Visitors represent all sectors of horticulture, including people from botanic gardens, education institutions (both teachers/lecturers and students), city councils, the landscape sector, designers and installers, retail garden centres, and business owners, from sole traders to the big end of town.
The Spotlight competition is always worth looking at, and you can vote on which products you feel are worthy of winning an award. Information about these products is also available, and you can speak directly to the suppliers of these goods.
The Spotlight showcase this year consisted of the following products submitted by exhibitors who submit a product for an award. A voting form is handed out to all visitors and exhibitors and they get to vote on who wins.
Big Leaf Wholesale Nursery
Hippeastrum reticulatum – a shade loving bulbous perennial that grows 30cm high with pink flowers from spring to autumn.
Streptocarpus ‘Pretty Turtle’ – named as such because the dark green leaves have pale green markings that resemble the markings on a turtle shell. It is perfect as a houseplant.
Zanzibar zenzii – a dwarf variety similar to the original Zanzibar Gem. Zamioculcas ‘Zenzii’ produces upright stems with dark green glossy leaves with very compact growth. An indoor plant that will tolerate very low light levels and requires very little water.
‘Davana’ Fern – an easy to grow indoor fern with a unique wavy leaf margin that gives the plant a voluminous appearance. The foliage takes on a gorgeous glaucous colouring as the plant matures with bluish green foliage.
Rudbeckia ‘Sunbeckia’ – a new hybrid available in a large number of colours with large flowers and long-lasting blooms, and a vigorous growth habit. Perfect for display pots or mass planting.
Kale ‘Candy Crush’ – The world’s first truly edible ornamental kale, the leaf remains purple when cooked and can also be eaten raw.
Lavender La Diva ‘Big Night’ – a Spanish lavender with extra-large deep purple flowers. 30-40cm (H) x 30cm (W).
Gardenia jasminoides Sweet Tea™ – glossy deep-green foliage with fragrant double white flowers. Prefers full sun to part shade in acid, moist well-drained soil. 1m x 1m.
Gardenia jasminoides Sweet Star™ – similar conditions to Gardenia ‘Sweet Tea’, 1.5m x 1.5m.
Dystilium myricoides x racemosum ‘Vintage Jade’ – 1.2m (H) x 1.5m (W) at 20 years, and can cope with most situations. Glossy evergreen foliage and a slightly weeping habit.
Dystilium myricoides x racemosum ‘Cinnamon Girl’ – 0.6-0.9m (H) x 1.2m (W) at 20 years. New growth has bronze and copper tones and matures to deep green. A functional shrub that will adapt to variable conditions including very dry or wet conditions, as well as full sun or shaded positions. Its rounded form makes it perfect for landscaping.
Garden City Plastics
A new range of 100% recyclable cell plug trays, ready to use propagation substrates, and plug transport cartons.
Pothead™ (available in 140mm, 200mm and 300mm) reduces weed burden in pots by blocking light. It has a ventilation system to prevent soil heating, reduces water loss and spreads water evenly.
Ellepot ‘Step Up’ system where intermediate size Ellepots are used in the early stages of production to pre-finish the crop before transplanting into the final pot. Utilise expensive winter growing space, or plant directly in the field.
The new Felco 221 Longreach Loppers designed to meet the needs of professionals. They have a sharp, curved cutting head offering maximum cutting capacity. The aluminium handles are lightweight and come in various handle lengths – 60cm, 70cm, 80cm and 90cm.
Zoom Garden Edibles and Décor
Petchoa ‘Sunset Orange – offers a stunning mix of bright tropical tones ranging from orange to deep yellow, and features a distinctive fragrance. A vigorous mounding habit with greater rain recovery than standard petunias. Perfect for baskets and containers.
Agreva Sustainable Agriculture
Actinovate Biological Fungicide – a biological fungicide with activity against both soil and foliar pathogens, and with an ability to boost soil and crop health.
Vegetrug – Wooden planters in square tall and rectangle tall sizes, and a three-tier terrace herb planter all made from sustainably sourced cedar wood (FSC100%). Pre-formed, liner included. Suitable for balconies, patios and decking, and comes flat packed for easy assembly.
Foodcube – a self-watering wicking bed designed and manufactured in Australia, and copes with extreme climates by drawing on its reservoir of water. Units can be fitted together to expand the size.
Awards for the show were announced at the Gala dinner held at the Voco Hotel. In conclusion, once again NGIQ organised a successful event and everyone was very happy with the venue and the overall running of the show.
The winners were:
Best of Expo
- Best of Expo Greenlife – Heaton’s Nursery –
Anthurium ‘Princess Amalia Elegance’
- Best of Expo Allied Trade – Auspots Permaculture
Best New Product/Service
Best New Product Allied Trade – Garden City Plastics
- GCP’S New Range of Australian Made 100% Recyclable Cellplug Trays
Best New Product Greenlife – Heaton’s Nursery
- Anthurium ‘Casanova’
Most Innovative Display –People’s choice award
- Australian Plant Specialists
Best Greenlife Display
- Big Leaf Wholesale Nurseries
Best Allied Trade Display
- Garden City Plastics
All images supplied by Karen Smith