Nursery in full bloom

Alec, Jackie and Ross Hooper, of Zanthorrea Nursery, have won the award for Best Speciality Garden Centre. Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au d417061
Alec, Jackie and Ross Hooper, of Zanthorrea Nursery, have won the award for Best Speciality Garden Centre. Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au d417061

The nursery, owned by Alec and Jackie Hooper, won the award for Best Speciality Garden Centre at the 2014 Nursery and Garden Industry Australia awards.

The awards recognise excellence and acknowledge industry leaders within the nursery and garden community.

It is the seventh time the nursery has won the major award.

There were 12 finalists grouped under the three categories ” Best Lifestyle Garden Centre, Best Speciality Garden Centre and Best Group Garden |Centre ” in the awards.

Zanthorrea downed five rivals, including Grasstrees Australia in Welshpool, to win Best Specialty Garden Centre.

The award was judged by Jennifer Stackhouse, former editor of ABC Gardening Australia magazine and author of many books on gardening.

‘Nothing out of place, beautifully maintained display gardens and stock, and a happy, helpful staff,’ she said in her commentary about Zanthorrea.

The nursery has a history of being first after the Hoopers opened it in 1975.

It was declared the first certified sustainable garden centre in WA in 2007.

Staff have undergone training on sustainable garden practices, which include such things as water efficiency in the garden, avoiding environmental weeds, using fertilisers wisely, using plant care chemicals that are safe and selecting native plants that support wildlife.

In 2012, Mrs Hooper was awarded the Kalamunda Chamber of Commerce’s Best Businessperson Award.

She said it was a ‘perfect day’ when Ms Stackhouse visited the nursery last month.

‘We were so delighted to have her visit,’ she said.

‘On previous days it was blowing a gale and our staff were running around cleaning up.

‘We were surprised to win because we were up against some great nurseries, so we didn’t go to the gala thinking that we had this one in the bag.’