Heronswood garden

 Heronswood is the home of The Diggers Foundation, a living catalogue of garden treasures showcasing all that can be found in Diggers Club magazines and books. 

 At the heart of Heronswood is a cottage garden of meandering paths and lawns, seamlessly combining edible and ornamental plantings. Australia’s first certified organic open garden, it is the place to learn about sustainable practices and the preservation of heirloom flowers and vegetables. A working garden for gardeners, with new projects always on the go and ideas to take home to your patch.

Heronswood delights throughout the changing seasons, with the warmer summer months bringing the stunning perennials into full show. Explore the different sections of the garden below and learn more about the history of Heronswood. 

Summer perennial border

At the front of the house is our summer perennial border. The Pastel colour scheme harmonises with the mellow stonework of the historic house. Although visually soft, the perennials are as tough as nails. 

Key plants

Echinacea ‘Magnus Superior’, Echinops ‘Ritro Blue’ 

Vegetable parterre

An iconic and well-loved signature attraction of the Heronswood garden. Inspired by French potager gardens but instead of bedding flowers, here we feature the many colours of heirloom vegetables in decorative patterns. Three harvests and plantings each year in winter, spring and summer. The parterre is encircled by fruit trees trained for small spaces either as espalier or hedging. At the bottom of the parterre is a berry patch, with strawberries raised on plinths for ease of picking.

Cottage border

The spirit of a ‘cottage garden’ is a garden with a little bit of everything with a dwelling at its heart. Our cottage border contains old-fashioned favourite annuals and perennials set amongst citrus trees and flowering shrubs. At its centre an arbour festooned with rambling roses and grape vines. Self-seeders run free and the colour scheme is loose and cheery.

Key plants

English Roses, Foxgloves, irises, Fairy Fishing Rods, Hollyhocks, Honesty, Wallflowers, Alyssum, Love-in-a Mist, Sweet peas

The colour wheel border

Colour theory is central to designing a flower focused garden. Our colour wheel border arranges annuals and perennials according to the hues of the colour wheel. Plantings radiate around our central Ash Tree lawn ranging from cool shades of blue and violet to vibrant hot reds oranges and yellow in the sun. The result is a harmonious graduation of colour and a living catalogue of garden flowers.

Key plants

Sweet Peas, Dahlias, Cornflowers, Salvias, Citrus, Poppies, Everlastings, Roses

Dry garden

An unirrigated garden featuring beautiful Mediterranean plantings adapted to low rainfall and coastal conditions. Foliage form and textures are the year-round backdrop for the ephemeral seasonal flowers.

Key plants

Agave, Euphorbia, French Lavender, Melianthus, Ponytail palm, Eucalyptus ‘Silver Princess’, Santolina, Rosemary, Centranthus, summer bulbs.

Lush succulent garden

Surrounding our slab cottage is a garden of succulents, planted to emphasize their lush looks, rather than their arid origins. The bold foliage and rock work pay homage to the organic surrealism of Antoni Gaudi and Salvador Dali. A bank of Aloes is a feature in late winter.

Key plants

Aeonium, Sedum, Euphorbia, Aloe, Echeveria, Kapok tree

Sub-tropical food border

An ornamental edible planting of Guavas, Bananas, Macadamias and Pawpaw underplanted with hot colour edible flowers such as Cannas, Dahlias and Daylilies. The garden is 90% edible, but it looks anything but utilitiarian.

Key plants

Babaco, Yellow Guava, Chilean Guava, Abysinnian Banana, Cool Climate Bananas, Dahlia ‘Bishop of Landalf’ 

Mini plot

  A demonstration of how the intensive matrix system of planting vegetables can sustain a family of 2 in a 20m2 plot. A home scale vegetable patch, here you will find the seasonal vegetables that will guide your home vegie plantings.