Belrose Nursery: end of an era

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Display garden at Belrose Nursery

In the late 1980s I was first made aware of Belrose Nursery, when a gardening friend visited it and reported back that it was one of the most delightful nurseries she had ever been to. With its rambling paths set amidst garden beds filled with thriving plants, a structure of mature trees, quaint buildings and the many chickens, cats and dogs which populated the place, it was the antithesis of the soulless modern 'garden centre'. Best of all, it sold plants which were unusual and desirable. At this time, the nursery was run by Michael Cooke.

Tagetes lemmonii at Belrose Nursery

The nursery soon became a favourite destination for me, and I have very many happy memories of outings spent in these delightful surroundings with dear gardening friends. Twelve years ago, Rob and Felicity Willis took over the nursery, and it went from strength to strength, becoming known as 'the' nursery in Sydney to source the sorts of uncommon plants which grew well in our climate. The potted plants were beautifully arranged in inspiring combinations of form and colour, and extensive display gardens showed what wonderful effects could be achieved with plants such as Salvia, Dahlia, ornamental grasses, Canna, succulents, semi-tropical foliage plants and the many rarities which Rob and Felicity introduced to the gardeners of Sydney. They were very happy to give advice to their customers, and their passion for plants always shone through. Many plants in my garden were obtained at this nursery and I don't think I ever left the place without a car-boot full of exciting purchases.

Salvia involucrata x karwinskii at the nursery

Very sadly, Belrose Nursery is closing down soon and they are having a sale from now until 14 June, with 20 percent off all plants. However, all is not lost, as Rob and Felicity will in future be conducting a mail-order business via their website www.belrosenursery.com and through a quarterly plant catalogue. You can put your name on the mailing list to receive the catalogue, when you visit the nursery. Rob will continue on with his garden design business, Woodside Design.

One of the inspiring displays of potted plants at Belrose Nursery

The nursery can be found on the corner of Bundaleer Street and Linden Avenue in Belrose - access is via Crozier Road. The nursery is open seven days a week during the sale and the phone number is currently (02) 9450 1484. For inquiries about the design service, phone (02) 9986 3519.