Fairhill today is a showcase for Australian native plants and the wildlife that is attracted to native gardens. From the nursery that has one of the most comprehensive range of Australian native plants in the world, the gift shop, art gallery and natural history bookshop reflect the passion for native flora and fauna as well as the Botanic gardens that showcase the diversity of textures, colours and forms of native plants and wildlife.
This is a brief history of how Fairhill evolved into the place that it is today.
A passion for Australian native plants and a need for a change saw Alex and Barbara Hansa move up to the Sunshine Coast Queensland and start one of Queenslands first Australian native plant nurseries in 1975.
There were very few native plants in Queensland gardens and most Australian native plants from the temperate regions of Australia resent the summer rains and humidity of the subtropics so the first and most challenging task was to find plants that thrive in Queensland conditions. With the help of groups like SGAP the plant list grew over time to be the thousands of plants that are available today from rainforest plants, flowering shrubs like Banksia, Callistemon, Grevillea, Leptospermum, to grasses and sedges and even some of the Kangaroo Paw that will put up with our humid weather.
At first most of the plants grown were propagated form seed. As selected forms of plants became available more of our propagation was done. Always looking to improve the range available Fairhill started to grafting, allowing for the introduction of some of the dry country Grevilleas into subtropical and tropical gardens. Grafting Grevilleas onto a hardy rootstock also allowed them to be grown in a wider range of soil types.
At the same time as range of plants available was being developed the 10 acre gardens was also be planted. The garden, now registered as Fairhill Botanic Gardens, was our testing ground for all of the plants that have been grown and sold at Fairhill Native Plants. The Botanic Gardens have become quite and attraction to plant enthusiast from around Australia and the world.
Although most of the varieties of Australian native plants that we enjoy today are either selected form the wild or garden hybrids, there has been some deliberate breeding. Through our breeding programs Grevillia Golden Lyre, Grevillea Cooroora Cascade, Grevillea Crowning Gold, Grevillea Ninderry Sunset and Syzygium Bush Christmas have been introduced to the gardens around Australia. The selection of garden hybrids as well as deliberate breeding programs will continue to ad to the huge range of Australian native plants that are enjoyed today. It can be quite rightly stated that there is an Australian native plant available for any garden situation through plants introduced by Fairhill and other enthusiasts on top of the huge diversity of plants selected from the wild.