Due to extreme weather conditions and power outages, The Garden of St Erth & Cloudehill gardens are closed until further notice. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Due to extreme weather conditions and power outages, The Garden of St Erth & Cloudehill gardens are closed until further notice. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Heronswood (Australia)

Is Heronswood one of the world's finest gardens?

Heronswood overlooks Port Phillip Bay

Is Heronswood one of the world's finest gardens?

In the last year Heronswood has been listed as one of the world’s best gardens in the book The Gardener’s Garden.

Set in the foothills of Arthurs Seat and commanding spectacular views across the bay, Heronswood House provides the backdrop to a garden of spring cottage flowers and summer perennials, as well as an extensive collection of edible plants including heirloom vegetables pioneered by Diggers 22 years ago.

Other features include a gigantic Cook Island Pine (Araucaria columnaris) and a Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) that are probably both 150 years old, dating back to about the same time that Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens were being planted out by Baron Ferdinand von Mueller (more than 100 years before the famous English gardens Sissinghurst and Hidcote).

Heronswood’s creator, Edward La Trobe Bateman, is regarded by many to be as important in early garden design in Australia as von Mueller’s successor, William Guilfoyle, who transformed the Melbourne Botanic Gardens into the brilliant garden we know today.

Home of The Diggers Club

Clive and Penny Blazey are Heronswood's eighth owners, following a motley bunch of Supreme Court judges, eminent academics, butchers, bakers and lately gardeners. The historic house and garden are now preserved for all time in the recently established Diggers Foundation. The last few years has seen the establishment of a kitchen garden which supplies about 80% of vegetables served in the ‘Fork to Fork’® restaurant. Almost all the vegetables are heirlooms and the site is one of Australia's only two organically certified publicly open gardens in Australia.

Inside the other historic building is the drop slab cottage (circa 1864) which used to house the Diggers Garden Shop but will soon be the home of the ‘Gallery of Plant Sex and Seeds’. For those who wonder at the focus on plant sex, take a moment to consider why a 100-year-old pear tree has never fruited or why avocados change sex during the day from males to females and back again to improve their chances of pollinating and therefore fruiting. The production of seeds could only occur after the evolution of flowering plants was facilitated by the development of insect pollinators.

In short, we need bees to pollinate plants to create the seeds that form our grains for food, our grasses for pasture-fed meats, and plants we depend on for shelter, clothing and medicines. Understanding plant sex in the garden is crucial for all gardeners who grow fruit trees, or vegetables such pumpkins and sweet corn.

The house and garden are open every day.


“I want to get people out into the garden”

Georgina Reid visits Michael Bates’ striking Sydney garden

“This garden solves all its problems with plants”

Georgina Reid visits Ian McMaugh’s jungle courtyard in the urban subtropics

A brief reflection

Stephen Forbes (a Diggers Director) shares his experience as the former Director of the Botanic Gardens of South Australia

All in a day’s work

The Heronswood kitchen garden produces an enormous 3,000kg of organic produce each year. How do we know? Because everything is meticulously weighed and measured.

An oasis of green in the bush

Clive Blazey introduces this secluded getaway, not far from Daylesford and Ballarat

Biddulph Grange: one of the wonders of the Victorian age

Heronswood gardener and Botanica tour leader, Julie Willis, visits a masterpiece rescued by the National Trust UK

Botanica Spring Garden (Japan)

Clive Blazey visits Japan for the Botanica Spring Garden tour

Botanical Ark (Daintree, Australia)

Clive Blazey visits Alan and Susan Carle's beautiful garden in the Queensland rainforest

Castel Ruggero (Chianti, Italy)

Margaux's family create perfect harmony, “A living personification of my mother and father”

Choosing perennial flowers for the

wilder parts of the garden

Cloudehill (Olinda, Australia)

Owner and garden creator Jeremy Francis takes us through the four seasons at Cloudehill

Collecting Amazon Lilies in the wild

Andrew Carrick tells the story of re-establishing lilies in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Create a summer flowering perennial border

Julie Willis creates Heronswood’s summer perennial border and explains its subtleties.

Cruden Farm (Langwarrin, Australia)

John Christie tells us why trees are an integral part of the gardens at Cruden Farm

Designing landscapes

Landscape designer Keith Edwards explains how he designs

Gardening can change the world

Georgina Reid wonders why we don’t value the natural world

Gardening is about progression

“Gardening is a progression beyond the innocent cultivation of obvious plants” clive blazey

Gardening with Biologicals

Stephen Forbes explains the importance of what we can’t see in our gardens

Gardens By The Bay (Singapore)

Clive Blazey introduces the wonders of Singapore's Gardens by the Bay

Growing 200 fruit trees in your backyard

Marcelle Swanson visits inner-city fruit grower and author Louis Glowinski

Meet Australia's citrus gurus - The Tolleys from Renmark

Clive Blazey discovers a garden where citrus, dates, mangoes, peaches and apples thrive

Moira’s Garden (Gaza)

Andrew Laidlaw describes how the first Global Garden of Peace is taking shape in Gaza

Ninfa (Lazio, Italy)

Clive Blazey visits the 'world's most romantic garden', the inspirational Ninfa in Italy

Q&A with Heronswood's Gardeners

Get to know Heronswood's talented gardeners

Sissinghurst gardens is given the kiss of life

Tommy Garnett, our finest garden writer, describes the redemption of Sissinghurst

Szálás (Subotica, Serbia)

Ines Balint shares a special garden connection and love of food with her family in Serbia

The grandfather of citriculture

Marcelle Swanson talks to world-renowned citrus expert Ian Tolley about his life's opus ‘Commonsense Citrus’

Three up and coming gardeners

Tony Fawcett explains why an outstanding gardener should be on every farmer’s list of go-to gurus

Tim Entwisle's Top 10 Favourite Plants

The Director of Melbourne's Botanic Gardens shares his botany of desire!

Two hundred years of hard gardening experience

Clive Blazey talks with Will Ashburner and Frank Broersen

Vegie gardening from Alaska to the Sunshine Coast

Kevin Redd doesn’t follow the rules, choosing to experiment with the vegies he loves, no matter what his climate.

Warrior for environmental change

Marcelle Swanson asks Joost Bakker about his philosophies for a sustainable future

Waste is a human Invention... there is no waste in nature

Clive explains how our waste is a symptom of an unsustainable lifestyle

Wildflower Meadow

One of our biggest aims at Diggers is to ensure that gardeners succeed.

Wisley (Surrey, UK)

Lisa Remato visits the inspiring RHS garden at Wisley

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