Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
The stately Heronswood house is beautifully surrounded by gardens and is also home to The Diggers Club and Fork to Fork restaurant. It's in a picturesque location overlooking Port Philip Bay in the seaside town of Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula.
I haven't been for the last ten years, which is bad as I don't live far away, however it was my daughter's suggestion to visit after she had been to Heronswood with her school a few weeks ago and was desperate to show me around the gardens, in particular the sand pit and the 'pizza garden' which is a vegetable garden.
Heronswood's garden is on a large allotment, approximately the equivalent of 25 house blocks and has stunning bay views. I wouldn't mind taking up residence in this beautiful location, however the gardens would be more than a full time job, which is currently attended to by 3 full time gardeners.
The garden consists of many different sections and features a dry garden, sub-tropical garden, cooks herb garden, children's garden, vegetable paterre, mini plot, food border, modern herb garden, evergreen grey garden, duck pond, tile garden, summer perennial garden, climber walk, edible hedges and the kitchen garden.
The historic Gothic revival house was completed in 1871 for William Hearn, the first law professor at Melbourne University. William enlisted Edward Latrobe Bateman in 1866 to design a 5 bedroom home for his family.
The first garden at Heronswood was planted in the 1870's, remnants can still be seen today, with the big Morton Bay Fig registered by the National Trust as a significant tree.
The buildings of Heronswood were classified on the National Trust in 1973 and placed on the register of the National Estate in 1978. The house is open during festivals, with the next opening being the spring festival 9-10th November.
Buying plants at Heronswood:
One of the great things about visiting Heronswood for both novice and experienced gardeners is nearly every plant in the garden has its name and drought tolerance sign next to it. This makes choosing the same plant in the nursery easy and also allows you to see what plant combinations work together to provide the best colour, contrast and highlights in the garden.
When we visited on Sunday, Fork to Fork was very popular. I really liked the outdoor eating area which has a great big wooden table filled with plants in the middle, a children's sand pit and mini maze gives it a really nice family feel. I have never been into the restaurant so I can't say what the food or coffee is like, maybe a reader out there has been and can share their thoughts?
If you would like to visit Heronswood, it's open 7 days a week 9am -5pm (closed Dec 24-26 & Good Friday).
Garden entry is $10 per adult, members and children are free.
Membership is $49 for 1 year or $69 for 2 years. Membership gives you free entry to St Earths and Heronswood, 30% off plant purchases and 8 free packs of seeds throughout the year.
Lovely piece Lorraine nice balance of history and your personal history surrounding visits to Heronswood. Gorgeous photos. This is one of my must visits every time I am on the Peninsula. Not just the gardens and coffee shop but am fasinated by the thatched roof. Cheers Nadine.