About the club
The Diggers Club is Australia's largest garden club. We are passionate about preserving the best traditions. We nurture two historic gardens so you can visit and learn about gardening. Heronswood has two buildings listed on the Register of National Estate. We teach gardening at horticultural colleges, run workshops, and publish books.
The Digger's Club is a climate positive company
- We drive fuel efficient cars and neutralise their emissions by joining Green Fleet.
- We only buy green, renewable energy.
- We garden organically, burying CO2, and supply our café with organic food, grown from our heirloom seeds.
- We grow and sell hundreds of thousands of plants that sequester CO2.
- We have cut our water bills by 60%.
- We use F.S.C. paper.
Plants direct to your door
Our one drip plants survive the hottest summers, so you can plant your Diggers plants and bulbs with confidence that they will succeed. At our two gardens, Heronswood and St Erth, we trial all our plants for garden worthiness, discarding those that flower too briefly or don't suit our hot, dry summers. We list over 400 hardy perennials, each described by cold hardiness and heat tolerance, rarely offered in nurseries. Please visit our gardens or read our catalogues to choose the ideal plants for your own garden.
The Diggers Club nursery is accredited to ensure that your plants have been produced to the highest standard demanded by the NIASA. We guarantee all plants to be successful within climate zones stated, or we will replace them, or credit your account.
Receive plants by mail
We send plants by Australia Post year round. Plants are packed carefully to ensure they arrive in the best possible condition. We send our plants anywhere from Hobart to Darwin. Order now and receive them in winter and spring, which is the best time to plant. Planting instructions are provided in with each order.
The Club for subversive gardeners
What's in a name? Diggers was born on July 1978 in an old tin shed! Our purpose was to rescue the wonderful old varieties of vegetables, such as Scarlet Runner Beans, that mainstream companies were dropping from their lists.
Due to the buying power of Coles and Woolworths, the only way to reach the keenest gardeners was to set up mail order distribution, bypassing retail shops. Over the past 30 years, a hardware collossus, such as Bunnings, have gained dominance and now control the garden market, just as Coles and Woolworths control the fruit and vegetable market. Buying food, rather than growing it at home, is a greater contributor to climate change than all the CO2 from coal fired power stations. Multinational chemical companies, like Monsanto, can now introduce chemicals into our food supply (ie: G.M. seeds), which threatens our health and the existence of our best plant varieties.
So to preserve our best plants and garden traditions, and to help solve climate change, Digger's has to become a club for subversive gardeners. We are anti-G.M. and anti-industrial agriculture and pro-organic, as we campaign to increase the growing of food in our backyards.
What's in a name?
When The Diggers Club commenced, one of our first club members was a 92-year-old "RSL Digger", more attached to a rifle than a shovel.
Growing our own uncontaminated food is not a new concern, but one that goes back to the 17th century Diggers in England. The original Diggers inspired by their founder Gerrard Winstanley, seized public land with the aim of growing food to give away to the poor. Their crime was simply planting vegetables on common land but it was met with a force of troops at the request of land owners.
The first Australian reference to Diggers came in 1853 during the goldrush. United in rebellion the Diggers rose up when forced to pay unfair taxes. This sparked the Eureka Stockade, so to be called a Digger was to describe a subversive mate who shared the common cause.
Most Diggers at the mines wore blue shirts; creating the origin of the words 'blue collar worker', but it was the word Digger, with its powerful connection to resistance and loyalty, that carried through to our World War One soldiers.
Exclusive offers for Diggers members
Experience various activities from Botanica World Discoveries. You'll find a comprehensive listing of their tours here
- 1978 - July, our first catalogue published
- 1983 - Heronswood is purchased; contributing to the cottage garden revival
- 1986 - Heronswood joins first Open Garden Scheme
- 1988 - Diggers pioneers drought tolerant plants
- 1991 - Diggers pioneers heirloom vegetable revival
- 1996 - Diggers' new environmental, thatched roofed office opened, Garden of St Erth becomes Diggers' second garden
- 1998 - Diggers adapts new U.S. cold and heat zones for Australian gardeners
- 2007 - Diggers' nursery, seed office and despatch moved to 20 acre site in Dromana
- 2011- Clive and Penny gift ownership of The Diggers Club, Heronswood and St Erth to the Diggers Garden and Environment Trust.
Safe seed pledge
Seeds are the basis on which our lives depend. We will promote their diversity and free availability, and fight all attempts to own or destroy our garden inheritance of open pollinated heirloom seeds.
We oppose genetically engineered seeds that promote the use of chemicals. We support sustainable slow food agriculture.
FSC certified paper
The Forest Stewardship Council is an international, non-profit organisation which was set up to ensure sustainable forest management. It prevents clear felling of old growth forests, protects watersheds and ensures replanting of harvested trees. Its guarantee is its chain of custody to ensure all wood products are harvested sustainably. Ask for FSC products.
Plastic wrap Bio-wrap
Many members call us to ask why we continue mailing our catalogues to you wrapped in plastic. Don't worry! after years of searching, we have found Biowrap, a totally degradable plastic that gradually disintegrates. There is no known eco-toxicity to the soil, or to ultra-sensitive organisms as it breaks down.
Vogue Entertainment and Produce Award 2007
Heritage award for preserving heirloom vegetable seeds.
Award of merit
Seed Saver's Exchange for the preservation of genetic diversity.
Our environmental café
The roof is thatched with water reed grown nearby. Rammed earth walls were constructed on site from local gravel, with uprights from recycled telegraph poles. Benefit - minimal cement, no construction miles - maximum embodied energy from timber, reeds and earth.