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Incredible Edibles

Gold-award winning Incredible Edibles returns to the Ellerslie International Flower Show in 2010 with an inspirational garden featuring fruiting plants in a courtyard setting.

Tauranga-based Incredible Edibles last exhibited at the Ellerslie International Flower Show in 2006, winning Gold and the Supreme Award for Design Excellence for its exhibition garden.

Incredible Edible's Andrew Boylan says with next year's Ellerslie exhibition garden will be designed by Christchurch designer Sandi MacRae Landscape Design and will ensure inspiration for visitors to incorporate fruiting plants in their own garden.

Gone are the days of the quarter-acre section with an orchard out the back. Today we are bringing the backyard into the front garden and we can achieve this on a section of less than 300sqm and even in apartments with balconies.

Fruiting plants not only bear fruit which is healthy and kids love, but these plants have spring/summer flowers, beautiful autumn foliage and many are fragrant.

Incredible Edibles will bring to Ellerslie 2010 a potted fig tree which was on display at the last five Ellerslie Shows in Auckland. It is now 10 years old, stands two metres tall in a pot a bit smaller than a wine barrel and produces 150 to 200 figs each year.

You can do so much in pots these days. The public generally have a perception that fruiting plants will result in a cottage garden set-up; messy, fiddly and a lot of work. Our Ellerslie 2010 garden will show that fruiting plants are low maintenance and fit well into any small garden.

You simply don't need a quarter-acre section. Our exhibition garden will use lots of containers and show how you can get the most out of a smaller site.

He says fruiting plants can be incorporated in to many areas of the garden, for example any box hedge can be replaced with a Chilean guava hedge. It is a fruiting and ornamental plant which brings year-round interest to the garden with its flowers, foliage, fruit and fragrance.

Andrew always had fond childhood memories of going around to visit his Gran and eating fruit growing in her garden. It was when he was managing Tharfield Nursery, just outside Tauranga, and his family were living in a rented house that one day he found his three children sitting under a citrus tree enjoying each others company and eating fruit from the tree.

This was the inspiration for Andrew, his wife Fiona and business partners Nick and Christina Hoogeveen to buy Tharfield Nursery in 1997. The nursery was originally established in 1963 to produce kiwifruit plants, however, had diversified into ornamental plants and shrubs when the kiwifruit industry slumped in the 1980s.

Andrew and Fiona spent the next three years developing the Incredible Edibles brand, which now retails more than 200 varieties of fruiting plants throughout New Zealand, including blueberries, cranberries, figs, guavas, passionfruit, tamarillos and much more. These are grown in the South Island by Bayliss and Elliotts Wholesale Nursery.

Andrew says the home-grown fruit and vegetables craze has been building for the last 10 years and it will never die out as people have recognised the value and health properties of home gardening.

People used to grow their own fruit and vegetables out of necessity but with more discretionary dollars, fruit and vegetables became a commodity.

The resurgence in home-grown fruit and vegetable has got nothing to do with people not being able to afford to buy fruit and vegetables; it is that they want to grow their own produce so they know what they are putting in their mouth and stomachs.

©australian nurseriesonline 2007