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Published June 16th 2016
Green thumbs up at Newman's Nursery
Are you a dedicated green thumb or do you enjoy simply wandering through garden centres either to gain inspiration or to dream and appreciate nature at its best? One of the better nurseries in Adelaide would have to be Newman's Nursery, situated just 30 minutes north-east from Adelaide CBD on North East Road at Tea Tree Gully.
Established for over 130 years and still a family run and operated business, Newman's is one of those places that should be on your list to visit for plant and garden inspiration. The location is easy to get to and is nestled in amongst the foothills, offering a wide range of trees, shrubs, flowers as well as garden art, supplies and tools. Wandering through the centre allows you to deviate along several different pathways, all leading to discover well sign-posted areas divided into themed groups of plants. Whether it be Australian native plants, flowering shrubs, ground covers or deciduous and evergreen trees, it is all there to view.
At certain times of the year, different plants are in season, including the beautiful Camellia, which puts on its own show of glorious colour and varieties from July through to September of each year. So stay tuned for one of nature's treats with an imminent trip up to Newman's. Samples of the varying types and colours are already on show that will help you decide what might be appealing for your garden. Once seen, you can understand why Newman's are known as the home of Adelaide's largest Camellia collection.
Newman's also specialise in Conifers and Azaleas, the latter being at their best in September and October annually. I couldn't fail to be also impressed by the magnificent Magnolia tree in bloom with its pink hues.
If you venture up to Newman's any time over a weekend, be prepared for the sheer numbers of people as I discovered recently attempting to negotiate the car park. However well worth the effort and as I hadn't paid a visit for some time, I wanted to see for myself what might have changed. Apart from the great signage everywhere I was quite impressed with the ideas presented by examples of some cultural gardens including Japanese and Tuscan. Although some of the themes may not suit your needs, there are some great ideas obtained by wandering through - with current technology you can take photos on your Iphone which will help you review and remember some viable options for your garden, including some of the tongue twisting botanical names.
If you are a serious gardener, Newman's offer a free garden advisory service, including running free soil tests, a plant sourcing service, identification of pests and diseases and helping you select plants to suit your garden. You can also sign up to their regular newsletter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
A venture into Newman's garden and gift shop present many good gift ideas and items which can really enhance your gardening experience, with a great range of tools, compost bins, decorator pots, gardening gloves, wall art and other outdoor knick-knacks.
Planning your garden or simply wandering around the complex can make you a little tired and a great way of recharging your fuel is to stop into the Topiary Cafe for some great food and refreshments. With an alfresco sandstone dining area, on a nice day, you feel like you are amidst a lush oasis, and some high tea certainly hits the spot. The cafe boasts of its support of local produce including Rio coffee roasted in Stepney and Tweedvale milk from Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills.
To experience the full high tea, cost will be $37.50 per person, minimum of two people, however that will include a good selection of sandwiches, as well as hand-made petit 4's together with tea or coffee. The high teas are available daily at either 10 am or 2.30 pm and the sittings last for a maximum of 2 hours.
The cafe, from June is now open on Saturday nights offering a Chef's Tasting menu, with 5 courses costing you around $75 per person or for 7 courses, $100 per person. If you want matching wines with the food, there is an extra charge of $40 for the 5 courses and $55 for the 7 courses. During the day all types of meals are available, including breakfast.
There are plenty of opportunities to pay a visit to Newman's as they are open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm and even on most public holidays. From a visit to Newman's Nursery, I think you will find it more of an experience than simply looking at a few plants in a garden centre.