Friday, 17 August 2012

A not so tiny garden

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get out of Melbourne for a morning bushwalking with friends. We planned a three hour walk through the Lerderderg State Park near Blackwood, about a 90 mins drive out of Melbourne. The trail circled around, mostly following along the Lerderderg River. It was a lovely way to spend the morning, despite the occasional drizzle and flooded paths. 

Lush undergrowth and stunning trees in the Lerderderg Gorge.

A winking log cheered us up when we were starting to get tired.

Mid-way through the walk the path came right down the gorge to the river. Despite looking tiny in this photo, it was actually quite wide.
At times the path itself turned into a muddy creek!

The walk started and finished at the Garden of St Erth, a stunning sandstone cottage that was built in 1860 and is now surrounded by historic gardens and housing a plant nursery and cafe. It is also home to the Diggers club, an organisations that has been running since 1978. Along with running the Garden of St Erth, and another in Heronswood, they have a huge mail order nursery that specialises in rare, organic and heirloom varieties of seeds and plants. 

After the walk, we had a well deserved coffee and flourless orange cake in the cafe before wandering around the gardens and the shop. 

 Daffodils are just starting to come out in the lawns surrounding the main building.

A display of garden beds that appear to be awaiting spring plantings, but if you look closely in the background there is a patch of broad beans just waiting to be picked. If only I had the space for a garden like this! I'm looking forward to coming back in a couple of months when the garden is at its spring best.

The Diggers club have a huge collection of organic seeds as well as a nursery full of fruit trees, vegetable seedings, herbs, bulbs, flowers and native plants. While it was tempting to bring home everything in the shop, my lack of cash on hand meant I left with a bag of Pink Fir potatoes, and a packet of five colour silverbeet and siberian tomato seeds. The potatoes are supposed to be similar to Kipfler and are described as having a rich nutty flavour. They have a huge variety on offer, and I'll be placing an order online in no time!

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