Universal plant advice right here in the NT

Meet Tony from Universal Plants NT.

Meet Tony from Universal Plants NT.  Tony’s an old hand at this (in fact he’s been in the horticulture industry for 44 years!) and has experience in all aspects of ornamental horticulture including the design and installation of plants, turf and irrigation.

“Over the years I have been mainly involved in large landscape works throughout the Territory with the bulk being in Alice Springs”, explains Tony “I moved to Darwin a few years ago, but previously lived in Alice with a large nursery from which we supplied plants from Central Australia to the rest of Australia and even exported to the Middle East.”

Wow Tony – that’s very cool!

Tony’s universal gardening tips:

What is your favourite plant and why?

My favourite plant would be Allosyncarpia Ternata.  It’s a great NT native, tough as nails and looks great as a canopy tree to 30 metres with attractive glossy foliage and beautiful bronze new growth. Its drought hardy and I believe it is a good alternative for the African Mahogany in the Top End. 

Your best tip for a water efficient garden in the build up?

The build up is a great time to get new fresh mulch into the garden to help retain moisture in the ground.

Your best tip for a water efficient garden in the wet season?

Turn off irrigation timers as this will stop water being wasted. But keep an eye on the rainfall and if dry spells occur then plants can suffer and become stressed, so manually water on an as per need basis.  We can assist by giving our customers information about smart irrigation controllers.

What are your qualifications?

My qualifications started a long time ago with two years at Urbrae Agriculture College in Adelaide doing a Certificate in Ornamental Horticulture.

I have been involved in many Federal and NT Government projects as well as projects for the American Government, so over the last 40 years most of my qualifications are just me being old and still doing it!  Lol. 

But I’m still learning and that’s why I’m still enjoying doing what I do!

What do you like most about living in Darwin?

Darwin has it all; great weather, awesome fishing, amazing foods and strong, different cultures.

Why did you choose landscaping/gardening/irrigation as a career?

I think it chose me as I have been involved in plants and irrigation since I was very young.  I have been basically self-employed for 40 years and my passion has always been plants and irrigation. I will always be involved in horticulture of some description.

Fun fact   

Being a desert boy for a long time, going out on the water is always a fun time for me - otherwise I’m at home growing plants! Also, my sport passion is shooting barebow bow and arrows at targets.

Bucket list 

I’m keen to get to Indonesia, to see whale sharks in their natural habitat, and to visit Lord Howe Island and see the kentia palms growing in their natural habitat.