Garden Advice came about by Bill Brett’s frustration with the amount of misleading and incorrect information in the New Zealand Garden Centre industry. Frequently when asked a question about a plant or product, garden retail staff simply read the very brief label. On checking websites of garden wholesalers, production nurseries, and garden retailers, quality information is scarce and misleading at best. Add to this garden magazines, the fairy tales of social media, and gardeners become confused.
We are independent and the information we give is current best practice, sustainable and science proven. It can be hard to know where to start looking online for reliable information that is relevant to New Zealand and showcases New Zealand products. Garden Advice is the place to look for every level of gardener, from beginner to experienced.
✓ We are independent and have no commercial connection to any supplier, or nursery
✓ We offer information on all aspects of gardening – we don’t sell products
✓ Our information is Best Practice—Sustainable—Science Proven built on 60 years’ experience
✓ Information on plants and products is accurate, honest, and based on science, and our experience.
Bill Brett is a well-known name in New Zealand Horticultural circles where he has had a wide-ranging career. Following graduation from Massey, — initially in field research, to advisory work with commercial growers and orchardists specialising in pest and disease control. A stint in Biosecurity for Ministry of Agriculture followed, before joining Yates as the Technical Officer, and later manager of Yates Home Garden Division. Retail beckoned when Bill was approached by Mitre10 to establish and manage the garden division. To top off his career Bill set up his own nursery and garden centre consultancy resulting in many clients in NZ, Australia, UK and Ireland.
Simultaneously Bill served on the board of the NZ Nursery and Garden Industry Association for 12 years, two years as President.
Bill is a keen gardener, self-sufficient in vegetables from a very small backyard, well respected for his knowledge in all aspects of home gardening, particularly pests and disease control. This knowledge can be found in his first book ‘Garden Pest and Disease Control – An essential NZ guide’. A second book —'The Home Orchard- Essential NZ Guide to Growing Fruit’has just been published.
In 2020 Bill was awarded ‘An Associate of Honour’ by the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture. It is the highest award conferred by the RNZIH and is awarded to ‘Persons who have rendered distinguished service to horticulture’.
Kelly Jean Reyland graduated from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture with Honours. She has spent the following 15 years working in the nursery and garden industry, in both design and garden centre management roles. While working at Springvale Garden Centre in Whanganui in 2013 She won Nursery and Garden industry Young Achiever award and went on to represent the sector and win 2013 New Zealand Young Horticulturalist of the year. Kelly Jean was fortunate to win a travel scholarship which enabled her to attend the 2015 International Garden Centre Association Annual Congress in Denmark and she has since attended 2 more Congress in Canada in 2017 and England in 2019. Following a year long stint working at GardenWorks Garden Centre in Vancouver, Canada, Kelly Jean has returned home to NZ to work at Green Door Garden and Decor in Havelock North and has teamed up with Bill to develop Garden Advice, an independent online gardeners resource.
Kelly Jean’s husband Dan finishes up the team with knowledge on all things IT and not a lot about gardening! He is the technical side of Garden Advice and vital to the running of the website and our technical production. Keep an eye out for his videos and blogs on how to integrate technology into the garden.