In the ever-evolving world of horticulture, Van Berkel Distributors stands as a testament to perseverance, adaptability, and family values.

Founded in the 1950s, the company has grown from a small mail order business to an industry-leading distributor of bulbs, plants, and perennials, with Trenton Cottage serving as their wholesale division and Garden Express their thriving retail arm.

Garden Express has today served over one million customers across Australia, while Van Berkel Distributors remain one of Kmart’s longest serving suppliers, having worked with them for over 50 years.

The nursery division is another important aspect of the business. With 65-acres of land in Healesville and the nursery in Monbulk spanning 10 acres, the company specialises in the propagation and cultivation of various plant species. Noteworthy is the Wollemi pine, a rare and ancient Australian native tree, which was believed to be extinct until a small population was discovered in the Blue Mountains. Van Berkel Distributors was the first associate company to distribute the pines 25 years ago, and almost 20 years ago, they became the pine’s sole propagator and distributor.

They are also one of the largest growers and suppliers of Hostas, Hippeastrum Amaryllis bulbs, and Peony roses. Furthermore, their dedication to preserving old-world favourites is evident in the specialty lines they offer, catering to customers seeking unique and rare plant varieties.

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“At 15, I took a leap to begin a career in horticulture and never looked back. It’s an industry full of variety and opportunity.”

Bonnie-Marie Barnsley
Horticulturist and TV presenter

“I’m coming towards the end of my apprenticeship, and have loved every second. Doing what you enjoy makes you look forward to work every day.”

Mani Swift
End-to-End Grower, Ball Australia

“I have a degree in computer engineering but wanted something different. Studying horticulture, I nurtured my passion with help from mentors. Now every day is different.”

Chintin Shah
Nursery Manager, Wrights Nursery

“Now that I’ve completed my traineeship in arboriculture, I spend my days pruning for keen home gardeners. It’s so rewarding knowing which tree species I’m working with and to always be learning something new about them.”

Amanda Woodhams
Climbing and Consulting Arborist, Botanic Projects

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