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Woodside Plants & Design is an online plant nursery devoted to growing plants that are inspiring and beautiful.

Specialising in ornamental grasses and perennials, we grow low in-put, high impact plants for challenging climates and conditions. All our plants are grown outdoors as nature intended with the majority being frost hardy.

Established in 2010, we operate from the small country town of Gloucester on the Barrington Coast of New South Wales. Here we can experience extreme climatic conditions from below zero in Winter to mid 40’s in Summer. Our soils are a heavy reactive clay, that open up forming inch wide cracks in dry Summers, to becoming saturated during wet periods. Only tough plants can survive these challenging conditions.

Rob Willis
Originally from South Africa, Rob’s childhood involved holidays to Kruger National Park where he quickly grew an interest in African wildlife and native plants. His early childhood passion for African wildlife then came to a halt when he immigrated with his family to Australia at age 10. Living in Sydney, growing snapdragons in his mum’s garden then sparked a new interest that has become a life long passion – growing plants!

Completing a Bachelor of Applied Science (Hort) and a Masters of Agriculture at Sydney University, Rob also spent time studying in Israel in the research of arid-zone horticulture for fruit tree crops and is qualified in permaculture design.
Following the completion of his formal studies, Rob’s interest for growing plants then lead to him owning and managing for 12 years what became an iconic boutique nursery in Sydney. During this time Rob sought to provide plants that would inspire both the landscape industry and the keen home gardener. Concurrently, Rob also ran a design practice where he provided landscape consultation and planting designs to countless residential and commercial properties.

As a horticultural scientist, Rob continues to grow, trial and test new plant species to see if they are suitable for the constantly changing weather patterns we are experiencing.

Joanne Willis
Growing up on the mid-north coast of NSW, Joanne had the opportunity to explore ‘the great outdoors’ through her childhood which has flowed into her adult life. Initially completing a Bachelor of Business, Joanne’s love for the Australian landscape then led her to further study completing a Diploma in Horticulture (Landscape Design) and later on a Diploma in Arboriculture.

Initially Joanne worked in the nursery industry growing and propagating plants. She then spent 10 years working with boutique landscape architect firms in Australia and New Zealand. In collaboration with Rob and the inspiration they share behind Woodside Plants, Joanne has returned to her passion for growing plants. Together they have the same vision to trial and test new plant species and offer these to the keen home gardener or the plant-minded designer who is looking for alternatives to the mainstream nursery industry.
In addition to working with Rob at Woodside Plants, Joanne also works as a consultant arborist in Sydney and regional NSW.