The Circles of Learning Team have been volunteering with Collectors Plant Fair for three years and we are thrilled to have them back at the Fair again this year. They will be the first friendly faces you see when you arrive at the gates, so be sure give them a smile as you get ready to begin your plant-hunting adventure.
This weekend is a once-a-year opportunity to purchase plants direct from The Green Gallery. They have been growing and saving a bunch of collectable jungle plants just for us this weekend.
Over 14 years The Collectors Plant has organically grown from a paddock in Bilpin to filling the grounds of the Hawkesbury Race Club. There is no doubt it is the most inspiring and fun weekend on the gardening calendar.
We are the biggest plant fair in Australia. BUT.
We need you to know a few things before you set out.
A selection of fresh and tasty food options, smoothies, gelato and coffee will be available at the fair.
We have assembled the most delicious food trucks in Sydney to provide sustenance during your weekend plant hunting. There will be a range of vegetarian options available.
Drum roll please. The A-Z of this year's rare and collectible plants (some never seen before) and all your old favourites. A taste of what you can expect to find this weekend. Print out our SITE MAP and plan your plant hunting route.
We have just had news that an incredible variety of tropical plants are in a truck and are on their way from tropical North Queensland TO OUR FAIR!!
Let’s start with a little list shall we...
Orchids are found in every corner of the planet and come from the biggest family of cultivated plants on earth: 30,000 wild species. There are twice as many orchid species as there are species of birds! Orchids have had a 200-year journey from the tropical jungles to become the nation's most popular houseplant.
Story: Linda Ross
Images: Luisa Brimble
‘Sally Holmes’ is a strong-growing shrub rose with lightly scented, clotted cream-coloured, single flowers held in large bunches.
Words: Linda Ross
In the Garden At Red Cow Farm
Words and pictures: Ali Mentesh and Robin Powell
A dahlia with dollop of clotted cream and a hint of coffee
Opening pale peachy pink then fading to soft coffee cream ‘Cafe au Lait’ is a celebrity-status dahlia. The multi-petalled blooms are up to 25 cm across and there may be 40 on a plant at once, so strong support is essential. The colour of this dahlia can vary depending on the age of the bloom and the amount of sunlight it receives.
Words: Linda Ross
Words: Kath Gadd
‘Banksia or grevillea’ I’m sometimes asked, in the native-plant lover’s version of ‘Batman or Superman’. For me, it’s banksia, every time. Let me explain. Banksias begin flowering in autumn and put on a wonderful show all through winter and into early spring, a time that can bit a bit dull in the garden. They appear strong and bold, their flowers stand upright on their varied and unusual foliage. There is something reassuring about their presence, whether as a feature shrub, border, backdrop or screen. And the birds, bees and small marsupials love banksia flowers for their abundant nectar and large seeds.
Meet the growers: Matt Reed and Mike Morant growers of rare and unusual perennials, alpines and bulbs.
Sunday Lunch: Pig & Potatoes
Take time out from plant hunting for Sunday Lunch within Collectors’ Plant Fair. Treat yourself to a delish plate of 'Pig & Potatoes' cooked there on the spot.
Kath Gadd’s company is Mallee Design, a garden design business that uses only Australian plants, and does a neat sideline in beautiful, spun copper birdbaths.
Interview: Robin Powell
Create a shell garden with Jo from the Plant Artisan.
Words: Jo Aquilina and Linda Ross
In November 2014 David Kennedy and Andrew Dunshea, creators of Katoomba’s wonderful Clover Hill, embarked on a new garden over the mountain in Little Hartley. In this extract from Claire Takacs’ new book, ‘Australian Dreamscapes’, David tells what happened next.
Mickey Robertson’s kitchen garden at Glenmore House is as beautiful as it is productive, experimental and instructive. Here she shares tips from her autumn garden.
Meet Peter Hey, of Just Cliveas and Rare Things - clivia breeder and grower of rare plants.
Interview: Linda Ross
When we asked nurseryman Chris Cuddy to share his expertise and his favourites from this family of long-flowering, easy-care plants his big challenge was what to leave out!
The Secret Garden and Nursery is a not-for-profit community and therapy garden that allows variously abled people to work together in a beautiful space. It’s also a great local nursery, with plants at bargain prices. Every year they come to Collectors with a truckload of salvias, ornamental grasses and handmade bee hotels.
If you like rare and unusual plants, make your way to Andy’s Rare Plants stall at Collectors’ this year, where Andrew Harvie and his mates will have things you’ve never seen before.
Perenialle Plants is a mail-order nursery for tough plants, and a regular stallholder at Collectors'. You can also drop in to the nursery if you are in the Canowindra area. As well as the plants, there's an inspiring garden and lovely little shop full of artisan-made house and garden desirables.
Gil Teague's Florilegium has published some of our best garden writers, including Peter Valder, Margaret Hibbert, Michael McCoy and Alistair Hay, but we know it best as Australia's only specialist garden bookshop.
Collectors' will stage an Old School Flower Show. Bring a flower to exhibit at the show. Great prizes are on offer and everyone's welcome!
All of these plants are easy to grow in Sydney, but are not easy to find in garden centres. Track them down at the Collectors' Plant Fair, Hawkesbury Racecourse Clarendon; and if you see them in a friend's garden, beg a cutting.
The Collectors' Plant Fair is perfectly timed to plant spring bulbs. This year Easter is followed by the school holidays to give us the necessary down time in the garden.
To say that Alex Elliott-Howery and her husband James Grant have a café doesn't begin to tell the story. Cornersmith is not just a café, but a pickling and preserving business and school, and a trading hub for the produce gardeners of Marrickville. And I'm excited to tell you today that Marrickville is coming to Clarendon - yes you heard right - we're getting a little inner city pickling magic at Collectors' Plant Fair!
Iris run in the bloodlines of Sharon Drinkwater. Her father, Graeme Grosvenor, started Rainbow Ridge Nursery in Dural on the outskirts of Sydney in 1970. The nursery is Australia's largest specialist iris and daylily nursery and has won multiple awards for its world-class hybrids. The nursery recently relocated to a picturesque paddock outside Orange and right now it's overflowing with a rainbow of iris blooms.
2005 marked the tenth Collectors' Plant Fair, a fixture on garden-lovers' calendars. Peta has been there from the beginning. Today we salute the history of Australia's Most Treasured Gardening Event and how it came into being.