Colin Clayton (owner of Triffid Park) was born in 1941, the second son of a hardworking market garden family. He grew up on their 13 acre property in Dingley, Victoria, Australia and after completing a technical school education, Colin joined his father market gardening (growing vegetables), where he learnt to grow a large variety of plants. In 1965 Colin married Tina and by 1970 their family was complete with two daughters.

In 1981 they purchased the family property in Dingley from Colin's parents, having already started in 1977 a wholesale and retail plant nursery which was soon to become one of the biggest fern, palm and orchid nurseries in Australia called "Dingley Fern Market". Carnivorous Plants were introduced early in their nursery career, with connoisseurs, collectors, chain stores and other Carnivorous Plant nurseries all being catered for.

In 1988 after completing High School, Colin and Tina's youngest daughter Donna joined the business and helped to set up a mail order system, supplying wholesale and retail customers world-wide. This was then further enhanced by the use of the Internet and Email, enabling instant communication.

Then in August 1996, Colin and Tina made the big decision to sell their large nursery in Dingley for a housing sub division. Now gone are the magnificent gardens and buildings and the Clayton family's 50 year association with this piece of land has been broken. Colin and Tina bought 15 acres in the nearby suburb of Keysborough and set about with Donna's help to build a modern wholesale nursery to grow carnivorous plants exclusively. The new property was called "Triffid Park", with the inspiration for this name coming from the old English film "Day of the Triffids". The business was basically mail order, with the nursery open for personal shopping and inspection by appointment only.

Donna looked after all of the mail order business and seeing to the correspondence. When orders came in, she carefully chose the plants to be sent.  She also designed and maintains this web site, updating it daily as needed as new plants are available, or plants sell out, and adding new information and pictures. Colin grew the plants, packed the orders, and best of all travelled the world to find new or better, bigger or more colorful carnivorous plants and how to grow them. And when Tina was not waiting with her bags packed in readiness to travel with Colin, she kept the books in order and part time baby sat their eldest daughter Sharon's and her husband Craig's daughter Jessica, born in 1995 and son, Jedd, born in 1998.

In May 1998, we bought 10 acres of land next door to our property, which was all fully set up for horse agistment with 10 private paddocks. We built 7 more paddocks on our existing property, and set about running "Triffid Park Horse Agistment".

We then purchased a further 10 acres of land alongside our property. The new property had no fences for horses, so we designed and built another 15 paddocks to add to our existing 17 horse paddocks which we lease out for agistment.  We already had one tractor from our retail nursery which Colin attached a weed spray unit to, for spraying any weeds in the horse paddocks.  After moving to Keysborough, he bought another tractor to attach either a mower to for cutting grass, or harrow for smudging out horse manure or keeping all the laneways maintained.  He then bought another tractor with a post hole rammer attached, so that he could do all of the fencing himself. And then purchased his fourth and largest tractor to dig trenches for laying water pipes.  In 2003 we purchased a further 5 acres of land from a neighbour, to build 8 horse paddocks on.  This made our land total 40 acres (16 hectares).

At Triffid Park we also had "Triffid Park Wire Works", where we made wire baskets and topiary frames to sell to other nurseries to plant up and sell as a finished product or to sell empty for their customers to plant themselves. This was another part of the business that we relocated from our wholesale/retail nursery in Dingley along with the Carnivorous Plants. We made many interesting animal topiary frames.

Another area of business that we dealt in is a large range of "Water Plants" designed to grow in water features.  We started off with a small range of these in our retail nursery at Dingley, and over the years at Triffid Park, we have built up a very large range due to the growing demand of these type of plants.  Again these can only be purchased by pick up from Triffid Park.

In December 1998, Colin completed two years, plus a life time of knowledge into his first book "Carnivorous Plants of Victoria, Australia - A Field Guide and Cultural Notes to the Indigenous Species". He prints the book himself on our very large printer, and can update the book regularly as new information and name changes come to hand.  The book is now available for sale from Triffid Park.

Colin is continually working on a large range of these books, travelling to all parts of Australia and the world to research them.  He has now finished 9 books on field guides and cultural notes to the indigenous carnivorous plant species, and one book on collecting, naming and preserving carnivorous plants as herbarium specimens which are all available for sale.  Visit our "Books For Sale" page to find Colin's full list of books.

In February 2000, Donna started a three year Horse Management course which she completed in December 2002. 
Midway through 2001, she also started an adult horticulture apprenticeship, which she completed in 2003. 
After 7 years of marriage to her husband Jason, on the first of June 2002, Donna gave birth to their first child, a son Kyle Jadon, weighing in at 8 pound 12.2 ounces.  Kyle came to work with Donna each day, and we had lots of toys and a cot set up for him.
Then on the 7th May 2005, Donna gave birth to their second son, Ryan, who weighed in at 8 pound 11.5 ounces.  Ryan also came to work with Donna.

Kyle Jadon Smith Born 1st June 2002

Kyle in his car seat

Ryan Nathon Smith, born 7th May 2005

Colin and Tina with their new grandson, Ryan, only minutes old.

Ryan's Christening 4th September 2005

Donna and Jason, with Kyle and Ryan

On Monday 31st January 2005, Donna's husband Jason joined the staff of Triffid Park as a full time employee, helping to grow the carnivorous plants, including potting, weeding, deflasking tissue cultures, packing orders, driving the delivery van, working in the water plants, wire works, horse agistment and all the other jobs that are associated with the running of Triffid Park. 

From here the story continues to Triffid Park's New Nursery.

This Page was last updated on Tuesday, 12 February 2013