Fairhill today is a showcase for Australian native plants
and the wildlife that is attracted to native gardens. From the nursery that has one of the most comprehensive
range of Australian native plants in the world, the gift shop, art gallery and
natural history bookshop reflect the passion for native flora and fauna as well
as the Botanic gardens that showcase the diversity of textures, colours and
forms of native plants and wildlife.
This is a brief history of how Fairhill evolved into the
place that it is today.
A passion for Australian native plants and a need for a
change saw Alex and Barbara Hansa move up to the Sunshine Coast Queensland and
start one of Queenslands first Australian native plant nurseries in 1975.
There were very few native plants in Queensland gardens and
most Australian native plants from the temperate regions of Australia resent
the summer rains and humidity of the subtropics so the first and most
challenging task was to find plants that thrive in Queensland conditions. With the help of groups like SGAP the
plant list grew over time to be the thousands of plants that are available
today from rainforest plants, flowering shrubs like Banksia, Callistemon,
Grevillea, Leptospermum, to grasses and sedges and even some of the Kangaroo
Paw that will put up with our humid weather.
At first most of the plants grown were propagated form
seed. As selected forms of plants
became available more of our propagation was done. Always looking to improve the range available Fairhill
started to grafting, allowing for the introduction of some of the dry country
Grevilleas into subtropical and tropical gardens. Grafting Grevilleas onto a hardy rootstock also allowed them
to be grown in a wider range of soil types.
At the same time as range of plants available was being
developed the 10 acre gardens was also be planted. The garden, now registered as Fairhill Botanic Gardens, was
our testing ground for all of the plants that have been grown and sold at
Fairhill Native Plants. The
Botanic Gardens have become quite and attraction to plant enthusiast from
around Australia and the world.
Although most of the varieties of Australian native plants
that we enjoy today are either selected form the wild or garden hybrids, there
has been some deliberate breeding.
Through our breeding programs Grevillia Golden Lyre, Grevillea Cooroora
Cascade, Grevillea Crowning Gold, Grevillea Ninderry Sunset and Syzygium Bush
Christmas have been introduced to the gardens around Australia. The selection of garden hybrids as well
as deliberate breeding programs will continue to ad to the huge range of
Australian native plants that are enjoyed today. It can be quite rightly stated that there is an Australian
native plant available for any garden situation through plants introduced by
Fairhill and other enthusiasts on top of the huge diversity of plants selected
from the wild.
and Barbara have attracted brilliant plants people to work for Fairhill, people
that have a huge passion and knowledge of Australian native plants.