Our Team

Larry completed his apprenticeship in horticulture at Government House in Melbourne.   His parents, Bob and Moira Smith purchased Riverside Gardens Garden Centre in 1982 and Larry and his family relocated to Shepparton to help out.  Larry is a very keen gardener and has a wealth of knowledge about plants and soil types, especially around the northern Victorian region.

Murray went straight from school to working in the family nursery that Bob and Moira took over in 1982.  He is a qualified horticulturalist having completed his apprenticeship at Riverside Gardens and travelling to Melbourne to complete the schooling component. Murray loves his garden which he has built up from a bare block to a well established and well maintained haven, with his wife Simone’s help of course!

Simone has had a long association with Riverside Gardens dating back to a week’s work experience while at secondary school. Years later after marrying Murray and raising a family she started helping out where possible and has been back on a more permanent basis since 2006. Simone is a passionate home gardener and has taken on a lead role in the nursery. Customers can be confident that the advice they receive from Simone will be from ‘hands on’ experience and local knowledge.

Another part of the furniture around here. Rodney is another keen and passionate gardener and in the past, had a vegie patch almost big enough to supply the Melbourne Markets! He also completed his apprenticeship in Horticulture whilst working at Riverside Gardens and has knowledge equally comparable to that of both Larry and Murray. Further to his Horticultural qualifications, Rodney pursued a career in financial planning but still can’t keep away from the plants and the customers on weekends.

We have seen Deyon grow into a fine young nurseryman and become a protégé of knowledge like his mentors. Deyon has completed Certificate 4 in Horticulture and also runs his own garden maintenance business on his days away from Riverside Gardens. His passion for all things gardening made him the perfect candidate when a part time position became available. Deyon began work experience with Riverside Gardens whilst still at Secondary school.

Moira has been with the company since she, and husband Bob purchased the business from Les and Joan Branston back in 1982. Moira still likes to stay in the link and maintains her hand on the till drawer every third Sunday and is everyone’s favourite person come pay day. Her presence around the nursery is a little less though throughout Bowls season. 

Jenny will gladly go out of her way to make sure you are being tendered to. She is also known as ‘Keeper of the cat and anything animal’. As well as being a bright and sparkly ‘front of house’ checkout operator on weekends, Jenny also does our weekly Plant Hire calls. Jenny has been with Riverside since before the move to Emerald Bank (that’s a long time!!!)

Tia has been with us since she completed work experience in the nursery back in early 2013. Since then she has completed her studies and pursuing her career in events, but still comes back to help around the gift shop and nursery on weekends. She is responsible for operating the till and making sure the gift shop is looking nice and presentable. She is also responsible for ensuring that your last impression of your visit to the nursery is a good one!

We're sure you'll be just as impressed by her as we are!

Rosalie has been associated with Riverside Gardens since 1982, having made the move to Shepparton with Larry back in 1982. She has worked full time from 2004 to 2013, being responsible for the indoor shop area and various admin duties. Rose has decided to put her acquired skills to a much bigger challenge and has started her own business which will involve helping out small retail businesses. She is sure to be around the nursery from time to time but looks forward to hearing all about what’s happening from Larry each day.

Bob’s passion for gardening has certainly rubbed off on almost all of their eight children. His career as a Mechanical Engineer and a love of garden design still keeps him busy drawing up the odd Landscape design and mastering complex shade structure designs. Sons Larry, Murray & Rodney all share his love of gardening as do daughters Kerrie and Natalie and their partners. Natalie went on to be a Landscape Architect – a rub off of both gardening and drawing capabilities. The interest in gardening is still apparent with Bradley and Toni, and Vicki would prefer to have a picnic under a nice tree in a botanical garden than to stop the dog from tearing up her own back yard.