This is the first in a series of blog posts about becoming a brand ambassador for some of my favourite New Zealand gardening businesses as part of my own business, Anita’s Garden.
I am excited to announce that I have recently become a brand ambassador for a number of reputable New Zealand gardening retailers. This marks a major step in my development into what I hope to become in the future. My dream is to transform myself into a leading New Zealand gardening personality and educate others about how they can grow their own food to feed their families, improve their health and reduce their grocery bills.
The brands I am endorsing range from small homegrown businesses such as my own to leading national gardening retailers. While the range of products and services offered by these different entities varies somewhat, they are linked by a common thread. I have been a loyal customer of these businesses ever since I started gardening just over five years ago. The quality of their products and services are absolutely amazing. I completely stand by these businesses which I am eager to promote to other gardeners.
I am proud to promote the following New Zealand gardening businesses and retailers here at Anita’s Garden. I have set out a bit of information about each entity below, as well as a brief explanation of why I am happy to support and promote their products.
Italian Seeds Pronto
Italian Seeds Pronto is the New Zealand distributor of Franchi, a range of Italian heirloom seeds. Franchi is the oldest family run seed company in the world. The quality and range of their heirloom seeds are absolutely amazing, not to mention the irresistible packaging! I highly recommend Franchi seeds to other gardeners. Those in New Zealand can source Franchi seeds directly from Gillian Hurley-Gordon who owns Italian Seeds Pronto (http://www.italianseedspronto.co.nz/) and also from selected stockists throughout the country. Gillian is a wonderful person who has become a close contact of mine over the years. Those overseas can source the wonderful Franchi range through their own local distributor online (for the UK see Seeds of Italy’s website http://www.seedsofitaly.com/ and for the US see Seeds From Italy’s website http://www.growitalian.com/) or find stockists in your home country.
Gardn Gro is a small, family run business that is owned and operated by the lovely Merv and Treena Snell in Papakura, South Auckland. Gardn Gro stocks a range of quality fertilisers and growing mixes. Merv has also become a good friend of mine over the years. I originally became aware of Gardn Gro when our close and amazingly generous family friend Jonelle Douglas gave me quite a few of their products as a gift. The best thing about Gardn Gro is that they deliver straight to your door. In summary, Gardn Gro offers prompt delivery, very reasonable prices and high quality products. Visit http://gardngro.co.nz/ for more information and to place an order.
MeadowSweet Herbs and Flowers
MeadowSweet Herbs and Flowers is a boutique nursery situated on Auckland’s Hibiscus Coast and is owned by my friend Minette Tonoli, who shares my passion for plants. We met through New Zealand gardening forums on Facebook a few years ago and from then on became firm friends. Over the weekends, you can normally find Minette at local farmer’s markets, where she sells a very wide range of herb, flower and vegetable seedlings. Heirloom tomatoes are one of her specialities. Every season, Minette grows an incredible selection of exotic and unusual tomato varieties. MeadowSweet Herbs and Flowers is developing an online shopping system, so you can order plants from Meadowsweet and have them delivered direct to your door. Minette also holds workshops and gives talks on various gardening topics. Visit http://meadowsweet.co.nz/ for more information and to get in touch with Minette.
New Zealand Bulbs
NZ Bulbs is New Zealand’s largest online bulb supplier and has been a family business for 60 years, started by Len and Margaret Hoek in 1957. NZ Bulbs is part of Aorangi Bulb Nurseries and is based in Manawatu. NZ Bulbs grows more than 25 acres of bulbs throughout the year for both bulb and cut flower production. Since I started gardening, I have placed a bulb order with NZ Bulbs just about every season. The garden is almost always blooming with some of their beautiful flowers. Visit https://www.nzbulbs.co.nz/ for more information and to order bulbs and tubers for the spring and summer seasons.
Egmont Seeds is one of New Zealand’s largest seed companies, supplying both commercial and home gardeners. Wholly New Zealand owned, Egmont Seeds is also a family business. Egmont Seeds was originally established in 1996. John McCullough, the General Manager and owner of the company, has been involved in the business of seeds all his working life. Egmont Seeds has a very broad range of vegetable, flower, herb and fruit seeds. Over the years, I have been growing a variety of vegetables and flowers from the Egmont Seeds range with great success. To request a hard copy of their catalogue or to shop online, please visit http://www.egmontseeds.co.nz/.
Awapuni Nurseries is a family owned business based in Manawatu. In the mid-1990s, Paul and Henry Ham took over Awapuni Nurseries from their parents Lea and Ton Ham. Designed with the busy gardener in mind, Awapuni offers high grade large vegetable, flower and herb seedlings ready to plant into the garden, delivered direct to your door. You can also find Awapuni seedlings at selected retailers nationwide. They are characteristically wrapped in newspaper and sold in bundles, which is a more environmentally friendly way of packaging plants rather than using plastic punnets. Raising plants from seed can take time. Whether you’re a new or experienced gardener, Awapuni seedlings are a valuable addition to the garden. Over the years, Awapuni seedlings have functioned as fantastic instant gap fillers around Anita’s Garden. To shop online or find stockists, visit https://awapuni.co.nz/.
Bulbs Direct is a New Zealand business based in Paparoa, Northland which grows and supplies home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs year round. Owned by the Gravatt family, Bulbs Direct is a tight knit, multi-generational family business with extensive previous industry experience as commercial bulb growers and exporters. Bulbs Direct’s bulbs and flower growing operations are located on two other sites in Waipu and Ruakaka. Since their launch in 2014, I have ordered flower bulbs from Bulbs Direct each season. I have been highly impressed with the range and quality of their bulbs and am pleased to recommend their products to other gardeners. To shop online, visit http://bulbsdirect.co.nz/.
Palmers is a major New Zealand gardening retail chain with branches throughout the North Island. Palmers stocks a wide selection of plants and products to keep your garden looking good all year round. Palmers garden centres also include other retailers, such as cafes, florists and gift shops. My local store is the Pakuranga branch, which I only discovered this year. The store has a fantastic range of plants, complemented by extremely warm customer service from Garry, Colin, Jo and the team. I highly recommend stopping by Café Botannix inside for lunch or a coffee. I have quickly become a very happy customer and strongly recommend locals in the East and South Auckland area check out this amazing garden centre. For more information, visit their website, http://www.palmers.co.nz/.
As mentioned above, this is the first in a series of posts on the subject of being a brand ambassador. In my next post on this subject, I will explore what it means to be a brand ambassador and how this fits in with my overall business plan for Anita’s Garden.