A plant nursery dedicated to landscape architects - Building NZ
A plant nursery dedicated to landscape architects

A plant nursery dedicated to landscape architects

Nurseryman partners directly with architects and landscapers, getting a feel for their individual feel and style, and then works with them to produce a smorgasbord of plants that will suit each unique project.

Words by Nick Forrester

Landscape architecture is a fickle profession, in that almost every single project is different from the last, sometimes vastly so.

There are so many things to consider: the elevation of the terrain, and whether it changes throughout the space; the species of plants that the climate can support; the preferences of the client — everyone has plants they love and plants they hate!

Of course it’s a landscape architect’s job to deal with these challenges and solve them to the best of their ability and to their clients’ satisfaction — but in order to do this, they need a reliable way to source and supply plants.

This is where Nurseryman comes in. The company partners directly with architects and landscapers, getting a feel for their individual feel and style, and then works with them to produce a smorgasbord of plants that will suit each unique project.

Nurseryman works directly with landscape designers to curate plants for each different project.

A nursery for professionals

Travis Currie, Nurseryman’s head of growth, says the company’s business model is relatively distinct to other plant nurseries.

“We’re on a 30 acre block of land — which is reasonably big by nursery standards,” says Travis. “With such a large area, this gives us the ability to go to our landscaper partners and find out what plants they use regularly — they tend to have a pool of plants they default to.

“We look at what plants they typically use over a 12-month period, and we start the process to put those into production for them — and they’re reserved for that specific partner for when they need it.”

But the service that Nurseryman provides is more than just supplying plants to landscape architects for when they need them: the company also sends out monthly updates to its partners regarding the status of the plants they have reserved.

And every six months, the company sits down with each partner to go over their reserved stocks, and analyse whether they need more or less than they originally planned for.

“Since it can be a fickle game, these meetings are crucial,” says Travis. “It means that if they’ve asked for too few plants, we can hatch a game plan to make up the deficit — and if they’ve asked for too many, we can release the excess plants into the general market.”

It’s a win-win, Travis says — the company can focus fully on its commitment to its landscaper partners, and can also dip their toes in the wider consumer market when they’re left with a surplus.

Travis says its assurance of supply to its partners is what sets it apart.

An offering that sets it apart

This kind of business arrangement is reasonably common for big retail plant shops and home improvement to partner with plant nurseries; however, it’s nowhere near as common for nurseries to partner with landscapers and landscape architects.

“It's a very successful model for us, because it means we’ve got our constant core of customers who we look after and grow for. And having landscape architects as clients, rather than big retail companies, means it’s easier and more reliable to forecast what plants they may need in future months.”

Even more important than this, he says, is the assurance of supply offered to Nurseryman’s clients.

“Plants are not like other goods — you can’t easily ship them from overseas, you need to carefully and expertly tend to them, sometimes for months or years,” says Travis. “Having a reliable supply coming from a reliable partner, then, is absolutely critical.

“And with our systems and monthly updates, our expert knowledge in plants and our close relationship with our partners, that’s what we can offer: a reliable assurance of supply.”

Learn more about Nurseryman and how its offering works.

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