Supplier update: Garden nursery

Allan's Nursery in Tasmania is on the market

Owner Bill Allan and his late wife Noelene sold billions of plants, flowers and herbs

Located in Launceston (TAS), nursery wholesaler Allan's Nursery can sell 14,000,000 seedlings in just one year. Bill Allan told

At any one time, we've got upwards of 10,000,000 plants in the place. And it turns around five times a year.

The wholesale nursery has been in business for six decades. But after the passing of his wife and son last year, 84-year-old Mr Allan has decided to sell the business and retire to enjoy fishing and lawn bowls. He said:

It's a pleasure to be here, but I've got old legs. I'm worn out.

Listing agent Roger Dick of Goldman Property, who is selling the property alongside Ian Singline of Shepherd and Heap, said:

He's been a pioneer in the nursery industry. He and his wife worked all their life. He's been very innovative and well regarded in the industry as a leader. He was the first to put in underground heating.

In addition to winning accolades such as Nurseryman of Australia award in 1987, Mr Allan also bred a unique flower, a pansy called Storm Cloud. He explains:

It's the most unusual pansy. Its petals have a white strip through them, which is uncharacteristic. They have to be hand pollinated with a little brush and kept away from other pansies, so they don't cross-pollinate.

He also bred two types of tomato plants: Mama Mia and Allans Early Red. The latter has been in production since 1967 and is available throughout the country.

The Allans' nursery empire once included three retail centres, but these were sold off over the years, with only the wholesale site at Youngtown left in the family. It grows and sells an enormous range of ornamentals, herbs, flowers, trees and vegetable seedlings. Bunnings is one of its main customers, buying roughly 1700 different products.

The nursery currently employs nine full-time staff, including two managers. Mr Allan said:

I'd like [the new owners] to carry on with the staff. Some of the staff I've got have been here since they left school. They are all brilliant.

He has offered to stay in touch with the new owners to assist with the handover. While Mr Allan would like to see the business continue, the property could also appeal to developers, zoned for future residential subdivision.

On-site, glasshouses and polyhouse structures cover about 8000sqm. Hydronic heating, shading and ventilation boost production in the cooler months. There is also a workshop, machinery shed, potting shed, soil mix bays and an administration building. Machinery and equipment include two delivery trucks, a front-end loader, a forklift, and tractor.

As the agent, Mr Dick would not speculate on a price range. He said:

We're offering it to the market by expressions of interest.

In an earlier interview with The Examiner, Mr Allan said he didn't plan on completely giving up growing plants. Instead, he would opt to use an empty block next door to him to continue breeding certain flowers, while also growing "a few things" for charity.

  • Sources: and The Examiner
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