In the media

Here are some of the places we've popped up in the media in the last few years.

Australian Geographic, January/February 2024

Photo of Australian Geographic magazine highlighting Canowindra

Photo of Australian Geographic magazine highlighting Perennialle Plants



Perennialle Plants Recognised As One Of The Best In NSW And The ACT


Nerida and Chris Cuddy with Gardening Australia's Tammy Huynh

Chris and Nerida Cuddy at the awards with judge Tammy Huynh (Gardening Australia)

Perennialle Plants, renowned for its collection of beautiful, hardy plants, quality emporium goods, and a much-loved cafe, has been voted one of the best nurseries in New South Wales and the ACT by its customers. 

Perennialle was one of four finalists in the People’s Choice Award, at the Nursery and Garden Industry NSW &ACT (NGINA) awards night in Sydney last Friday. This recognition comes as a testament to Perennialle’s unwavering commitment to quality and service.

Owned and operated by Chris and Nerida Cuddy, the nursery has become a landmark in the region, attracting visitors, and even coach tours, from all over the state and beyond. 

All plants in the nursery are home-grown in the extremes of Canowindra’s heat and cold. A Horticultural Scientist, Chris has curated a specialist “Gardeners’ Nursery” and this is reflected in the fact that Perennialle’s plants are bought by Sydney’ Centennial Parklands and Botanic Gardens, the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens and other regional Botanic Gardens; as well as providing the same plants to landscapers and home gardeners.

Behind the success of the Canowindra Nursery is a tale of family commitment and local community support. Chris, a dedicated individual who has poured heart and soul into building the business over 12 years, credits the unwavering support of his wife Nerida, who has always believed in him and in his vision. Now, the involvement of their children in the business gives both Chris and Nerida great joy. 

Perennialle’s staff team, known for their deep commitment, has also contributed greatly to this achievement. Of course, Chris and Nerida are so grateful for the support of all their loyal customers.



Cuddy family's restoration of historic Canowindra building breathes new life into main street

By Luke Wong


Nerida and Chris Cuddy standing outside renovated building.

Nursery operators Nerida and Chris Cuddy are restoring a commercial building dating back to 1909.(ABC Central West: Luke Wong)

Key points:

  • Nerida and Chris Cuddy are refurbishing a historic building in Canowindra that dates back to 1909
  • The couple plans to restore elements of the building to reflect its original design
  • The Buy from the Bush campaign helped the family's nursery business get through the drought

"We had driven past it so many times and suddenly realised that underneath the facade there was a beautiful old building just begging to be loved," Nerida Cuddy said.

Her husband, Chris, a horticulturist, said the couple wanted to be sympathetic to the building's history during its restoration.

"It's just been such a joy to see the beauty that was in the building being shown to everyone," Mr Cuddy said.

"She is one of the beautiful darlings of the main street and we want her to shine."

Best Brothers drapery commercial building with a flooded river in the background.
The historic commercial building has housed several businesses throughout the decades.(Supplied: Nerida Cuddy)

While the building requires major work to restore it to its former glory, over the decades, a list of prominent businesses have called it home.

Built in 1909, it began as a commercial exchange store, followed by a drapery and later a stock feed business.

By mid-century, it housed a Ford dealership, then a Holden car yard followed by a motor museum owned by renowned collector Charlie McCarron.

A man and woman standing in a doorway of a Ford car dealership building.
The Gaskill Street building was a Ford car dealership during the 1950s.(Supplied: Nerida Cuddy)

Renovators' dream

Hammering away to finish the first stage by Easter, the couple has rebuilt the building's setback entryway and reinstalled the original cedar doors which were found in the cellar.

A tricky task was removing a layer of corrugated asbestos sheeting which hid the building's ornate façade for half a century.

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The couple commissioned a local sign writer to paint a cursive-style welcome mural along the prominent sidewall.

If things go to plan, they hope to one day rebuild the front awning that was removed long ago.

"Any changes that we make, we'll try and echo and honour the history of the past," Mr Cuddy said.

"We feel like we've been entrusted with this building and we're holding it for future generations."

Chris and Nerida Cuddy standing next to a piano in building renovation site.
Chris and Nerida Cuddy have plans to include flexible, creative spaces in the building's restoration for community events.(ABC Central West: Luke Wong)

A schoolteacher and musician, Ms Cuddy said there were possibilities of setting up flexible, creative areas in the storefront and the adjoining shed for community events.

For her, a highlight is a grand piano, on loan from some locals, that sits in the front display room.

"It lives in our building, so that was the cherry on top for me," she said.

"We hope musical people will come and play and just add to the atmosphere and enjoyment of this place."

Surviving tough drought

Chris Cuddy and employee with nursery plants.
Nursery owner Chris Cuddy is employing more people since the breaking of the drought and business thriving during the pandemic.(ABC Central West: Luke Wong)

The family, who currently run their exotic plant nursery from their home, were forced to let go of several casual staff during the drought.

But a chance highlight of the business through the Buy from the Bush campaign sent a wave of new customers when it was needed most.

"That really saved our bacon," Mr Cuddy said.

The couple decided to do the "crazy thing" of taking out a second mortgage to expand the business after plant sales flourished during the pandemic.

"Hopefully, it'll be one of those things that people have taken up in a pandemic and they'll keep going and it'll be a lifelong love for them," he said.




Orange City Life 21/04/2021

Buy from the Bush leads to new opportunities

‘Buy from the Bush’ continues to provide our bush businesses with incredible opportunities and a generous amount of traffic sent straight to their doors. Canowindra locals, Chris and Nerida Cuddy were one lucky couple to be included in the platform last year.

Rewind to October of 2019, Chris was considering taking on night work in order to keep his nursery business afloat due to the impact of the drought on sales. A horticultural scientist, Chris had built the business from its beginnings in 2010, travelling to several plant festivals and field days each year, including the Collectors’ Plant Fair in Sydney.

Although word was building about his specialist nursery, the drought and accompanying water restrictions were taking their toll on customers’ ability to buy plants.

A year earlier, Chris had had to let two casual staff go and had been doing all the work of maintaining a large display garden, propagating and potting up plants, creating artwork and a website, and running the business himself.

Around this time, Grace Brennan of Walgett, NSW, came up with the brilliant idea of encouraging city friends to support her friends’ drought-impacted businesses - and ‘Buy From the Bush’ was born.

The idea took off, city folks were more than happy to have a simple, practical and highly effective way of helping drought-stricken rural areas.

It was then that one of Chris’ social media posts was publicised by Buy from the Bush, and the orders started to roll in.

That Christmas, thanks to Buy from the Bush, sales had increased on the previous year by 1400%, it was said the family enjoyed a celebratory Christmas ham!

The knock on effect was in full swing, Chris took on a trainee for 2020, and momentum continued to build, until the Covid lockdown inspired a gardening craze (along with a huge growth in online shopping) which took everything to a new level.

In June 2020, Chris and his family took a walk downtown and noticed the beauty and potential of a fairly run-down large building in Canowindra’s main street. After a lengthy process, the building was bought to enable a new adventure for the nursery and emporium. Then was born, ‘Perennialle Plants Emporium.

Chris has since employed two full time and up to six part time staff members.

When Chris and Nerida Cuddy bought the building mid last year, they began research on it; with the help of the Canowindra Historical Society, they unearthed beautiful old photos of the building’s various identities.

More photos kindly came from Ian Brown, who’s family owned the building for a number of years, he and his family have enjoyed passing on a little of that part of their history to the Cuddy’s, who actually have a very distant common ancestor with the Brown family of Canowindra.

The enlarged photos will be proudly displayed inside the new ‘Perennialle Plants Emporium.’ Nerida said, “We have always loved history and stories, we like to repurpose and/or restore old things rather than buying new things.”

“We felt that the opportunity to buy this beautiful building and breathe new life into it was a great gift to us, and hopefully will be a gift to Canowindra as well”.

Chris added, “We are very grateful for the support of our customers from all over eastern Australia, and sometimes further, as well as our own community of Canowindra”.

Chris and Nerida feel an enormous debt of gratitude to Grace and the Buy from the Bush team.

“We know we are one example of many business that were not only enabled to survive, but to thrive as the horrendous drought came to an end.”



Better Homes and Gardens July 2020

Birdhouses from Perennialle Plants in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine


Sydney Morning Herald June 2, 2016

Gardening: Rosemary looks good in the garden and tastes great on the plate

Now that it's finally cold enough to turn the oven on for dinner my secateurs are seeking out rosemary to roast with potatoes tossed with lemon, braise with beef and bacon, or nestle against a lamb shoulder given the long slow treatment.

Rosemary comes in two forms – one grows upright and one low along the ground. The general consensus on flavour is that the upright versions are better for cooking, though nothing beats the lounging version for crawling in a tangled fragrant mass over a hot wall. Otherwise, flavour seems to depend as much on conditions as anything. Rosemary likes it hot and dry and prefers frost and drought to humidity and soggy soils.

<i>Rosmarinus officinalis</i> 'Mozart' provides an ideal edging along a path at Lambley Nursery.

Rosmarinus officinalis 'Mozart' provides an ideal edging along a path at Lambley Nursery.

Consequently, in my humid patch rosemary is not long-lived. Every few years it succumbs to a fungus and I start again in a different spot. Next time this happens I'm going to hunt up the variety called 'Mozart'. It is much praised by nurserymen such as David Glen of Lambley Nursery, outside Ballarat, who uses it as an edging along a broad brick path, and Chris Cuddy of Perenialle Plants at Canowindra; both sell it through mail order. 'Mozart' has richer blue flowers than the hardware store plant I'm currently growing, and many more of them. The glossy green leaves and flowers grow on strictly upright stems to about 90 centimetres.

That sturdy uprightness of rosemary is valuable in the garden as a contrast to floppier, more flimsy plants, and it also looks good with succulents, which share the affinity for hot, dry conditions. Sydney garden designer Peter Fudge channelled a sort of Japanese aesthetic in his own front garden, planting rosemary in gravel alongside felty Kalanchoe tomentosum, succulent crassula and dark green mounds of dwarf Raphiolepis 'Snow Maiden'. The rosemary is kept trimmed to form neat green-grey mounds.

Mickey Robertson at Glenmore House in Camden matches rosemary with other Mediterranean types such as lavender, santolina and perovskia (Russian sage), which look suitably rustic against the old farm buildings in the garden. Robertson also puts rosemary to use in her kitchen, where she bakes it with chestnut flour and pine nuts into a favourite cake.

To keep rosemary looking good it's best to be mean – no water, no fertiliser and plenty of cutting. Trim often and prune it back by about two-thirds every year after the flowering starts to wane. Use some of the prunings as propagation material: trim the tips, strip the bottom third of leaves and carefully firm into pots of potting mix. The resulting successes can be used as repeats around the garden, or kept as back-ups to replace old plants and those afflicted by sudden death.

Rosemary prunings not used for propagation or dinner needn't go to waste. Food magazines use the stripped stems as skewers, which seems like a terrific idea but I find is more trouble than it's worth. Instead I allow the stems to dry then use them as fragrant kindling in the fire pit or barbecue.


The Sydney Morning Herald May 15, 2015

Gardening: hardy and handsome, perennials are always a plus

By Robin Powell

Chris Cuddy describes himself as a plant nerd. What does that mean? Here's an example: his favourite plant is an ancient survivor of the Namibian and Angolan deserts, Welwitschia mirabilis. This Jurassic-era plant produces only two leaves during its life and can live 1500 years. Over the centuries of wear and tear, the leaves split and fray so the plant looks like a huge mound of seaweed washed up in the desert. It is generally grown only by botanic gardens, but Cuddy came across some seed and now has 20 plants. "It's a bit of a folly," he says. "I don't even think I can plant it out in the garden, but I heard about it at uni as an example of a really ancient plant, so when I came across the seed, I couldn't resist. True plant nerd behaviour."

Cuddy grew up in Lane Cove, but fell in love with the countryside around Canowindra, and started his nursery there, Perennialle​ Plants (, in 2010. His focus is on drought-tolerant and frost-hardy plants, mostly perennials. Most of the catalogue is from southern Africa, the Mediterranean and New Zealand, and he says all do well in Sydney, though gardeners on the coastal fringe need good drainage.

Salvia leucantha from Perennialle Plants.

Salvia leucantha from Perennialle Plants. CREDIT:ROBIN POWELL

The nursery primarily operates as mail order, though it is also possible to drop in, shop and see the plants growing in the garden. Particularly impressive last week was Salvia leucantha. It might not have the rarity, history or nerd value of the Welwitschia but it's much prettier. It is commonly called Mexican velour sage, referencing its Mexican origins and the fabulous felty feel of the long spires of flower. Cuddy grows the purple-flowered original, and the South-African-bred white and pink-and-white versions. They all perform very well in Sydney and are at their best from March well into winter. Cuddy grows five or six plants together to form an impressive mass, but they also work in smaller spaces as individual plants. In Canowindra the frost knocks back leucantha in mid-winter; in Sydney gardeners have to play Jack Frost by cutting the plant to ground level in August.

Also featuring in Cuddy's late-autumn garden is Phlomis 'Edward Bowles'. The commonly grown phlomis, Phlomis fruticosa, is commonly known as Jerusalem sage. 'Edward Bowles' is a hybrid of it and of P. russeliana, which has lovely wide leaves. The result of the marriage is the best of both parents. The large evergreen felty leaves form a low mound with spires of yellow flowers rising like claws in summer. When the flowers die, the stems become dark brown spires holding tiers of the whorled seed heads. "The seasonality of the plant is great," says Cuddy. "You get such different effects at different times, and all in a tough plant about 1.2 metres high and a metre wide." Not just for plant nerds.

Sydney Morning Herald, August 15. 2014

Buying plants online ideal for adding perennials to your garden

Remember when the mid-morning weekday doorbell meant one of two things: Jehovah’s Witnesses looking to save your soul, or charity collectors with rattling tins? Online shopping has changed everything. Now the doorbell could signal a much-awaited dress, a critical replacement phone charger or, even better, a box of new plants.

My first Sydney garden was a romantic and flowery affair squeezed into a sunny terrace backyard. Filling it with roses and foxgloves and catmint and achillea and lady’s mantle required many journeys to nurseries at Dural for replacement plants. Drive and buy on Saturday, plant and admire on Sunday.

Hardy: Plants at the dry garden at Lambley Nursery only require watering a few times a year.

Hardy: Plants at the dry garden at Lambley Nursery only require watering a few times a year.CREDIT:ROBIN POWELL

If I were making such a garden now, I’d do all my buying online. The perennials that make what was then a cottage garden and is now a modern flower garden (inspired by international designers such as Piet Oudolf and locals such as Melbourne’s Ian Barker) are perfect plant material to send by mail order.

Best known of the perennial online nurseries is Lambley, outside Ballarat. Its owner David Glen is a renowned plantsman and inspiring gardener. Don’t miss an opportunity to visit if you are nearby. Closer to home in NSW are Perennialle Plants in Canowindra (which) ... specialises in drought-hardy perennials that cope with a freezing-to-boiling range of conditions.



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