Frangipani Grove's John (Tom) Lawler and Dennis Schmidt are expert breeders and can't get enough of these beautiful flowers at their amazing farm at Pimlico.
Frangipani Grove's John (Tom) Lawler and Dennis Schmidt are expert breeders and can't get enough of these beautiful flowers at their amazing farm at Pimlico. Alison Paterson

Better Homes host visits Northern Rivers

ONE of Australia's best-loved gardening experts, television star Graham Ross reckons there's something special about Northern Rivers frangipanis.

The host of popular television lifestyle show, Better Homes and Gardens, Mr Ross was in the region on Wednesday to film a segment on these beautiful plants at the Frangipani Grove in Pimlico.

 

Graham Ross, the popular horticulture expert on Better Homes & Gardens, enjoyed filming a segment on frangipani breeding at Pimlico near Ballina.
Graham Ross, the popular horticulture expert on Better Homes & Gardens, enjoyed filming a segment on frangipani breeding at Pimlico near Ballina. Alison Paterson

Walking around the extensive property which contains around 5,000 plants and 4,000 cultivars, Mr Ross said the frangipani is a beautiful combination of fragrance, grace and grandeur.

"I've loved frangipanis since I was four years old and learned how to take cuttings of them," he said.

"Back then, there were only yellow and cream varieties so it's amazing to see all the different types here."

Mr Ross said a family holiday to Hawaii in 1956 to the incredible range of different flowers and plants outside Australia.

"I could not believe the variety of colours and perfumes," he said.

"My eyes were opened to a whole new world of plants."

Since then, Mr Ross has travelled overseas more than 50 times to visit international gardens and horticultural events and festivals.

Mr Ross said innovative businesses such as the Frangipani Grove allows keen gardeners all over the country an opportunity to grow and enjoy the amazing range of colours and fragrances now available.

He said he loves coming up the Northern Rivers and had been looking forward to speaking with Frangipani Grove's John Lawler and Dennis Schmidt about their extensive collection.

"It's amazing to here and small the perfumes," he said.

"I've been looking forward to seeing these varieties for such a long time."

Frangipani Grove's John Lawler said he and fellow frangipani expert Dennis Schmidt have travelled to tropical countries such as Thailand and other countries to obtain seeds which they they then used to cross-pollinate to create gorgeous cultivars and develop vibrant new varieties.


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