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The Garden of St Erth

Featuring over 4 acres of food, cottage and bush gardens each season provides different delights and inspiration to both experienced and aspiring gardeners.  The gardens are filled with plants which thrive in central Victoria’s cold winters and hot dry summers. A huge range of daffodils, hellebores and other flowering bulbs bring the garden to life in spring. 

Visitors can admire the colour and beauty of our perennial flower borders throughout summer and autumn with hardy, long flowering perennials creating an amazing cottage garden display amongst our Australian bush setting.

The Garden has been certified organic since 2008 and Digger’s range of perennials, bulbs and heirloom vegetables are grown at St Erth using the best organic methods. Seasonal produce from our kitchen gardens is served at St Erth café throughout the year.

Explore the different sections of the garden below, and learn more about the history of The Garden of St Erth

Herbaceous border

The flowering jewel of the St Erth garden is the cottage perennial border in front of the historic stone cottage. Peaking in late summer when the harmonious colour combinations draw the viewer’s eye gently across a delightful scene. Standing in the central lawn, every direction you look is a perfect picture.

Key plants

Miscanthus, Dahlia ‘Breannon’, Verbena bonariensis, Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’, Russian Sage

Dry garden

Surviving (actually thriving) on rainfall alone, this garden demonstrates what can be done with careful plant selection and management. A living mulch of plants with foliage colour and form that keeps the sun from the drying out the soil whilst creating a pleasing but tough garden display for all seasons.

Key plants

Ballota ‘Dwarf’, Lambs Ears ‘Big Ears’, Lavender ‘Grosso’, Euphorbia rigida, Myrtus communis

Bush garden

Planting under Eucalypts and Blackwood wattles is a challenge for any gardener, so we’ve worked hard on a solution. The St Erth bush garden combines the landscape design prowess of Andrew Laidlaw, the Melbourne Botanic Gardens landscape architect, with a selection of hardy shrubs and groundcovers. The resulting effect is that of a cool and calm retreat filled with birdlife and the sweet scent of the bush.

Key plants

Native mints (Prostanthera spp.), New Zealand Lancewood, Iris foetidissima, Libertia spp., Cordyline australis

Orchard

Every country garden should have a home orchard. St Erth’s orchard began life with the Garnetts in the 70’s and some of their original trees remain. In the early 2000’s Diggers refurbished the orchard, replacing some of the old wide-spaced planting with a trellised espalier orchard, planting more than 40 trees where 10 were removed. A living demonstration of how to manage your fruit trees at home, from pruning to netting right through to harvesting.

Key plants

Heritage apples, pears, stonefruit and quinces

Kitchen garden

At the top of the garden, where the view drifts off down the valley, sits the kitchen garden as this is the spot that gets the most sun. Perfect for cool season vegetable crops of leafy greens, garlic, corn and short-season tomatoes – all heirloom selections from the Diggers range selected for short summers.