June 2015: Report from Australia

Vol. 7, Issue 2  |  June 2015


Australia Down Under

By Leigh Siebler

We are heading into Winter now but it’s a time to plan and get ready for Spring. The end of the financial year should see garden centres with sales growth and importantly a welcome increase in customer numbers and average sale. Melbourne had mixed weather for the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show (MIFGS) but we still saw over 100,000 people attend.

A group of 8 GCA members exhibited a Show Garden again this year and were delighted to win a Gold Medal. (photo, right)

While there is a big focus on planting trees in the industry promotion, 202020, https://202020vision.com.au/ there is no doubt that vegetables and edibles of all types, small to medium shrubs and ‘potted colour’ are still the major sellers in garden centres. We are seeing many innovative boxes and containers suitable for smaller gardens, balconies and patios coming onto the market.

The growth in apartments being built around Australia is huge as is new home-building. Many older homes being sold are knocked down and the rebuild inevitably has little or no garden. People are buying in the older areas to be close to work and the cities. These newer homes clearly present a challenge with their lack of gardens but also an opportunity for innovative garden centres to come up with solutions to get more plants into these homes. Maybe it is convincing people that plants in containers should be treated as decoration and tossed out after a week or two – just like a bunch of flowers. Maybe it is to convince them that they need indoor plants and offer a hire service rather than a straight out purchase. The affluent consumers want service and are prepared to pay for it. I am not sure our industry is catering for it. Yes, it is a challenge and you need to be careful not to lose sight of your core business but you also need to look for new business opportunities.

garden RELEAF 2016

I reported in March on this promotion and it worked well in most areas. We have raised over $63,000 and still counting for our charity beyondblue.


Leigh Siebler
Garden Centres of Australia


 Click below for all of the stories from this issue:

Message from the President

Update from the IGCA Office

Celebrating Garden Days in Canada

Playing Games with the Spring in Czech Republic

Update from Denmark

Invasive Alien Species in France


Erwin Shares a Gem in Italy

Update from Ireland

Update from Japan


2015 Awards Competition in South Africa

Getting Plants into the News in Switzerland

Update from UK 



Ebert’s in USA Gets Customers Excited to Shop with Pre-Spring Tour