The FGWF team were lucky to get out of the office to spend the morning with Paul Wessels from Norana Lilies, located in Mangere, Auckland. Paul grows across two locations - a lily and tulip cut flower site in Mangere, Auckland and a bulb export site based in Gore, Southland.

At the Mangere site, Paul grows 10-12 different varieties of tulips and oriental and asiatic lilies in a range of colours that supplies the New Zealand domestic market, including UFG Auckland and Wellington. At the Gore site, Paul grows 50 different types of tulip bulbs for the export market, that is sold to The Netherlands. These are typically less commercially grown in NZ to suit the European markets. Paul has been growing lilies for over 30 years on the property, adding tulips 16 years ago.

Lilies are available all-year around and tulip season starts from April through to the end of October. Each day, the team starts picking early in the morning, preparing product bunches for auction, replanting and maintaining product crops. Paul finds the hardest part of being a grower, is seeing that the product that you’ve worked hard to grow, has unsold but its all worth it when you get to see the compliments and enjoyment that comes from your product.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at their property in the video below and hear all about what makes growing flowers in New Zealand so great!