Wagner’s Rose Nursery is a family business growing roses for over 60 years.
Harold Baker started growing roses in the ‘50s in Payneham, Adelaide. His youngest daughter Barbara and her husband Earl Wagner took over the business few years later, growing roses in Tea Tree Gully, Paradise and then back to Payneham. They finally moved the Nursery to Port Noarlunga South, running a very well known business in South Australia.
After a youth spent surfing and skiing in New Zealand, her son Brian Wagner took over the family business in the early ‘80s and grew roses at McLaren Vale for 15 years, where he established a wholesale and retail business. Brian’s passion and experience for the industry started at a very young age, spending most of his time with the parents at the Nursery; he made his very first money picking blooms at sunrise for the florist trade when he was only 7.
In the early ‘90s water restrictions were introduced in McLaren Vale, forcing Brian out of the area. After 4 years looking for the right place for his Nursery, he found a very good property in Kalangadoo, in the South East of South Australia, with much more water and much better quality soil.
Today, Wagner’s Rose Nursery grows a very large range of roses and is agent for the main breeders in the world. Brian has built the business up to be one of the largest growers of roses in Australia, and his wholesale outlet supplies nurseries all over the country.
Brian Wagner and Benedetta Rusconi, with their children Luca and Chiara.
(photography by Sharyn Cairns, published on "Country Style" magazine, May 2013)