Come with me on an adventure!
Post Office Farm Nursery is one of the leading growers and suppliers of the very loved Hellebore plant, also referred to as Winter Rose. They are, in my opinion, one of Australia’s best breeders for Hellebores. When I herd that they were open to the public showcasing new varieties, giving talks and tours I knew this was a place I wanted to visit. At work we have been buying their stock for years so its nice to finally put a ‘face to the name’.
The nursery is located in Ashbourne which was an hour and forty-five minute drive away, almost two hours from where I live. When you arrive at the nursery you drive up the driveway to discover the staff parking area and a few propagation igloos. As you walk up to the main gate to the left is a decent under-covered area. This is where the showcasing of new and old plants are and available for purchase.
They are open to the public until the 25th of September, 10am to 4pm on Sundays only. They run the tours and talks at 11am and 2pm. Their tours will teach you about and show you the nursery and their talks show you how to propagate Hellebores. Unfortunately I just missed out on the tours and talks by an hour…
Overall I really enjoyed seeing the nursery. But for those of you who live more than a hour and a half to two hours away the journey might not be worth it. If you’re going just to buy the plants I would recommend looking on their website to purchase or to have a look at what garden events they attend near you. But if you’re a horticulturist or a very keen gardener and what to see how they operate then you might find the journey worth it. If you want to check out their website here is the link.
Because I was in the area I decided to go visit Diggers Club St Erth which is based in Blackwood. Walking up to the old miners house I walked through the nursery and the first thing I noticed was the quality. A majority of the plants health were very poor and I was a little disappointed. A lot of what was for sale were deciduous shrubs and trees so it is expected for them to look like sticks at this time of year. But the evergreen stock that was for sale didn’t look very green… I do acknowledge that we are in the heart of winter and a few things wouldn’t look as lush as normal but a lot of the evergreen stock looked questionable as to if it were alive. I would hope that the quality would improve later in the year once the weather warms up. So if you were going to go to St Erth to buy plants I would say you might find better stock at Dromana.
But I was impressed with the shop inside the old miners house. There were open fires and each room was dedicated to different things. One room was full of tools another filled with books so overall it had a very good atmosphere. Their seed room was a decent size so I managed to pick out all the seeds I wanted to sow for spring.
I can imagine their gardens to be breathtaking in the spring! Even in their winter state you can appreciate the layout and thought that has gone into designing them. I loved a lot of the unusual features around the garden such as the wooden fences (shown in video) and different garden spaces/rooms.
So the question is would I recommend visiting St Erth? Yes, but in the spring if you want to see what they have to offer in their plant selection. Yes, if you want to see their gardens because they are beautiful with the natural backdrop of the Australian bush-land. Overall I did enjoy visiting and seeing the gardens. It is just one of many gardens that I have been wanting to see and now I can tick it off the list.
Until next time happy gardening!
By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs