Meet Chris Cuddy
Meet Chris Cuddy, Perennial enthusiast and owner of Perennialle Plants, Canowindra. Photo - Robin Powell
Meet Chris Cuddy, owner Perennialle Plants
Perenialle Plants is a mail-order nursery for tough plants, but you can also drop in. Don’t miss the chance if you are in the Canowindra area. As well as the plants, there’s an inspiring garden and lovely little shop full of artisan-made house and garden desirables.
Interview: Robin Powell
I came here to study straight out of school and loved it. I went back to Sydney to study horticulture at Sydney Uni, but returned to Canowindra. There is a great community here and the landscape is beautiful. And did you know that the word Canowindra is derived from the word that means ‘home’ in the local Aboriginal Wiradjuri language? It means home to me too.
Chris' garden is full of interesting textures and sculpture. Photo - Robin Powell
What is your plant focus?
Living and gardening in Canowindra I needed plants that were drought-tolerant and frost-hardy. Most of the plants in my catalogue are from southern Africa, the Mediterranean and New Zealand. But I also look for suitable tough plants from the Middle East, the Americas, and here at home.
Autumn tones of phlomes, sedum, sage and miscanthus Photo - Robin Powell
Where are most of your customers gardening?
They come from all over the country, and from a range of different climates too. I have a client who is gardening on Magnetic Island, for instance, so in the dry tropics off the coast of Townsville where he’s having great success with some of my plants.
Pierre de Ronsard roses with salvia. Photo - Robin Powell
You grow your plants outside. What benefits are there in that?
It grows a tougher plant. The curse of modern life is that people buy on appearance. In the supermarket that means that a perfectly good apple with a spot gets tossed. In the same way people go into a nursery and want a plant that is beautiful and lush. The best way to achieve that is to feed it well and protect it from the elements. But when that plant goes out into the real world it finds life very difficult. I find that the plants I grow outside just glow when they get into the garden because they haven’t been coddled. They have been subject to wind, rain, sleet and full sun and learnt to cope.
Perennial salvia will laugh at the summer heat. Photo - Robin Powell
Is your garden about trying out plants, or making something to please yourself?
It’s actually both. I want to make something beautiful; that utilises all of the colours and textures and shapes and forms in a way that is pleasing. At the same time I want to know that the plants I’m growing I can recommend to other people. So as well as creating a lovely garden, we are selecting for the best-adapted plants for hot and dry situations.
How do you find him?
Browse Chris’ plant list at www.perennialle.com.au or drop in and see him at 52 Rodd St, Canowindra, 0427 077 798.