Graeme Brindley in his new nursery at Sandy Beach, inspecting pots of variegated rhoeo, often called Moses in the cradle
Graeme Brindley in his new nursery at Sandy Beach, inspecting pots of variegated rhoeo, often called Moses in the cradle

Growing a business

By BELINDA SCOTT

IT'S taking Graeme Brindley months to move.

And that's because of his baggage, which keeps growing on him.

Mr Brindley is the owner of Brindley's wholesale nursery, selling hundreds of thousands of plants every year to clients all around Australia.

The nursery has been a feature of Coffs Harbour's Loaders Lane for 27 years, but now he is in the process of moving it to a new six-hectare Sandy Beach site.

"Twenty seven years ago this was an empty paddock and there were only four houses in this street. Now we are surrounded by suburbs," he said.

A fourth-generation Coffs Harbour resident, Mr Brindley said it was hard leaving the area where generations of his family had lived, but the nursery had outgrown the site and they had decided to look forward to the future.

Brindley's Nursery, which now has eight people on the staff, is not open to the public, but specialises in propagating and growing predominantly indoor plants, especially zygocactus for retail nurseries, chain stores and supermarkets throughout Australia.

Mr Brindley grows plants under licence from a number of breeders in the USA and is also developing new varieties bred at Brindley's.

He said there was enormous personal satisfaction in growing quality plants and developing new plants.

His new 1200-square-metre greenhouse is ultra-modern in design and structure, with double-skinned polythene roofing, controlled vents and computer-controlled moving greenhouse screens.

The screens, based on Swedish technology, maximise light for increased growth and the nursery does not require an artificial cooling system.

The new nursery also has more than half a hectare of shade houses and Mr Brindley has plans for more to come as the nursery expands.

"It will be nursery showpiece and we will be doing industry field days as well as having TAFE students there," he said,

"If you want to be serious about being a major producer you have to keep up with the latest methods."

Mr Brindley said the new location was 'a perfect nursery site' with a gentle slope and access to re-use water.

Most of the new nursery is on a drip irrigation system and part of his plan for the future is to use the much more spacious site to grow plants to much larger sizes, with more profit for less handling.

The steel nursery structures at the Loaders Lane site will not be moved to Sandy Beach, but will be sold off to interested people and the one-hectare site will eventually be developed for housing.

And if you want advice from an expert about your indoor plants:

"Most people pamper their plants too much ? find the right place and they'll thrive," Mr Brindley said.



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