The Garden of St Erth

Watching a recent edition of Better Homes & Gardens, a presenter paid a visit to The Garden of St Erth, about an hour from Melbourne.  It is nestled among the Wombat State Forest in Blackwood and now run by the popular gardening group – The Diggers Club.   

The St Erth that I know, is a village not far from Hayle in Cornwall. This got me thinking that this is too much of a coincidence not to have some sort of Cornish connection. 

The drive from Williamstown took about an hour and the location of the beautiful historic house and garden/nursery was certainly secluded but well worth a visit.  It was a lovely day and the garden showed off its magnificent autumn colours, lunch in the café was very much enjoyed and I couldn’t come away without buying something in the well stocked garden shop.

I was still on a mission to find the Cornish connection and in the booklet and book produced about the garden I found it.  I quote: -

In 1854 Matthew Rogers, a Cornish stonemason, left Sydney in pursuit of the gold discovered near Mount Blackwood in Victoria.  In the 1860’s he built a sandstone cottage, naming it “St Erth” after his birthplace in Cornwall. 

Rogers attached a wooden building to the western end of his stone cottage which served as a post office and store.  Behind it was a boot factory that formed part of a bustling town of 13,000 people.

Pulling out of the carpark, I noticed there was a car with a Cornwall sticker in its rear window.  Must be more people hunting down that Cornish connection!!

If you would like to know more about the history of The Garden of St Erth please go to The Diggers Club website - Link

Judy Wright

May 2024