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Independent and Impartial Advice for West Australian Gardeners

John Colwill is The Plantsman. He lives in the foothills of Perth, Western Australia

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John Colwill
N. D. A.
N. D. Ag. Eng(Distinction)

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Founder & Floor Cleaner

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National Committe Member

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Councillor & Honorary Life Member

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Lead Presenter & Content Coordinator

John emigrated to Australia in 1967 (and you can be sure he’s paid back the fare since). He travelled around Australia for 3 years taking any casual job that was available before joining the ABC’s Rural Dept. This saw him based in Perth, Geraldton, Bunbury, Maryborough (Q) and Sydney. After 10 years with the ABC he left to start his own business specialising in the selection and production of native Australian annual species for both the domestic and export market. His love affair with these plants continues to this day.

Since 1980 John has presented gardening programmes for the ABC on both State and National television as well as being a featured guest on other programmes. He also hosted radio gardening programmes for WA metropolitan and state audiences for the ABC for 15 years and wrote weekly gardening articles for the West Australian newspaper for 12 years. He has also contributed to and edited several horticultural publications.
John is also a founding member of Beyond Gardens where he is responsible for developing and building presentations. This innovative sustainability programme has delivered well over 1000 events to over 100,000 participants at regional centres throughout Western Australia.

John’s consultancy clients and projects have included: Perth Zoo - Plant species, distribution, mapping and recommendations for fodder production: WA Dept of Agriculture to re-establish the Agwest Garden Advisory Centre (unfortunately later disbanded ): WA Water Authority and subsequently the Water Corporation. Principal horticultural consultant from 1990 developing innovative and original Waterwise gardening techniques and recommendations to encourage greater water efficiency by WA gardeners. This pioneering work involved providing technical advice, researching and writing Waterwise brochures, leaflets, information sheets and web pages, the development of the Award winning ‘Waterwise Plants for Perth Gardens’ and 'Waterwise Plants for WA' databases and the development and presentation of specialised Waterwise Training courses for groups within the horticultural industry including Nurseries and Garden Centres, Lawnmowers, School Gardeners, Bunnings and Local Government.

1991 National winner of the Wilkie Medal from the AFL (Anti Football League) for doing the least to support football. He celebrated the occasion by putting a football through a mulcher.
2007 Finalist WA Water Award for the Waterwise Plant database
2008 Winner WA Water Professional of the Year
2010 Winner WA Water Award as part of the Great Gardens team
2013 Winner WA Environmental Sustainability Award as part of the Beyond Gardens team.
2018 Joint Winner Horticultural Media Association of Australia’s Anita Boucher Award.

1981-1983 President WA Wildflower Society
1983 - 1986 Federal President of the Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants
1990 - 2006. Member of Araluen Botanic Park Board
1990 - 2010 President Araluen Botanic Park Foundation (Inc)
2010 - Present Vice-President Araluen Botanic Park Foundation.
2001 - Present. Honorary Member WA Nursery & Garden Industry
2019 - Present. Established, specialist growers and on-line suppliers of West Australian Native ephemeral plants.

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