The use of native plants in the domestic Australian gardening industry
At the time of the Award, Tracey Knowland owned and operated, in partnership with her husband Stuart, the Bangalow Wholesale Nursery in the Bryon Bay hinterland. The nursery’s focus is on the production of premium advanced Australian native trees and shrubs for the Australian landscape and development industry.
They are both actively involved in the nursery industry with Stuart appointed Chair of the Northern Rivers branch of the National Nursery and Garden Industry Association. Tracey is also a member of the Nursery Industry Association as well as being a co-ordinator of the Bangalow Business Women’s Group.
Tracey’s passion is for trialling and developing superior selections of small to medium Australian temperate and subtropical rainforest and coastal tolerant trees, not only for the landscape and development industry, but as a beautiful and sustainable alternative in Australian backyards and gardens.
A number of their tree selections were under trial for plant breeders rights. They were licenced growers of Ozbreed’s Advanced Australian Tree Range being promoted to landscape architects, local councils and tree growers.
With the implications that climate change presented to water availability, along with wildlife habitat and weed invasion, Tracey believed the domestic Australian gardening industry should look more seriously at native plants. She had been lobbying the industry to develop a labelling system that clearly identifies native plants, to allow gardeners to make informed choices and to reduce the risk of weed incursion.
Tracey planned to use the bursary to fund her participation in the 2008 National Nursery & Garden Industry Association National Conference “Seachange for an Essential Industry” to be held in Adelaide. The conference was to be followed by a study tour of Victoria’s largest wholesale nurseries.
Tracey hoped to investigate sustainable growing methods, water saving, recycling, treatment and irrigation along with current tree selections and growing trends.