Passion at the Auckland Council Nursery

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Jim Schroeder works for the Auckland Council Nursery based at Kari Street in Grafton, with responsibility for the propagation of both native and ornamental species for the two Auckland Council’s nurseries.

Jim surrounded by a range of very healthy specimens ready for planting

Jim, who grows the 22,900 seedlings used by the Trees for Survival programme in schools across west and north Auckland, has a wealth of experience in growing plants from seed.

In particular he has an interest in growing rare and native plants such as the native nettle, Urtica ferox, (great for butterfly gardens) and Myrsine oliverii.

Jim hasn’t always been so green fingered! Before becoming a horticulturist, he was a chef for 25 years. He left cooking “burnt out” (a very apt expression for a chef) and decided to pursue a career that had more sociable working hours and would be more compatible with family life.

Jim’s first step on the horticulture ladder came when he took up a temporary role at the Auckland Domain. Ten months later this turned into a full blown career in horticulture, although with limited plant knowledge initially, Jim had a lot to learn. He spent the following six years observing and listening; obviously he did a great job during this phase as the result is the incredibly skilled and knowledgeable nurseryman we see today. How very glad we are that Jim decided to get out of the kitchen and into the potting shed.

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