Dicksonia Rare Plants
Situated in the heart of the Mount Macedon Township is one of Australia’s most unique nurseries, Stephen’s Ryans Dicksonia Rare Plants.
Dicksonia Rare Plants is open from Fridays to Tuesdays. Enjoy something to eat at the Trading Post then have a meander around the nursery and discover something special amongst the over 2000 rare plants to choose from.
Dicksonia Rare Plants also has a selection of Sneeboer Dutch hand made stainless steel garden tools and Haws watering Cans. Stephen’s books More Exceptional Plants and Dicksonia Rare Plants Manual are also available to purchase.
Dicksonia Rare Plants a history
I started Dicksonia Rare Plants in 1980 after spending my childhood and apprenticeship years in the family nursery further up the mountain which my father started in 1965. It was a large general nursery catering for both retail and wholesale clients with an emphasis on Rhododendrons and conifers but including a wide range of other cool climate plants. I always had a passion for unusual plants which dad thought a waste of time. So, when the property was sold in 1979 I needed to decide what I wanted to do.
The site behind the Trading Post General Store was offered to me by the then owner to start my own business and I immediately took up the offer and decided to make my passion for the rare and unusual my business, much to dad’s puzzlement as he could never see how I was going to make money!
Do Dicksonia Rare Plants was born and opened origionally only on weekends as I worked as a jobber gardener on some of Mt Macedon’s great gardens to earn a living and anything the nursery made went back into stock and infrastructure.
Things were starting to move forward with the nursery slowly able to pay me for an extra day a week and it looked like it was heading in the direction of being my sole income, until Ash Wednesday struck! It completely destroyed the nursery and most of the gardens in which I worked. After this glitch and a payout from the State Electricity Corporation, as it was called at the time, I got up and running again.
The nursery is now opend from Friday to Tuesday and has a huge collection of hard to find plants from pretty well around the world. if you want a high Andean palm, a rare New Caledonian conifer, or a neo tropical blueberry, Dicksonia Rare Plants is the place to visit. The nursery holds small numbers of over 2000 varieties of plants, many of which are only available here.
Botanical art by craig lidgerwood
A selection of botanical Originals and limited edition Fine Art Prints by Craig Lidgerwood are available for sale at Dicksonia Rare Plants. Craig’s illustrations have been used throughout the site and a small selection of them can be viewed below.
“The intricate study of plants and the illustrations botanists have used for centuries to identify different genera and species has fascinated me since I was a child when I remember copying drawings from my mother’s gardening books. As a young adult I began collecting old hand coloured lithographs and was fascinated by the detail and accuracy of colour, form and texture the artists employed.
Once I began studying botanic art some years ago this art form b my over-riding passion, interest and obsession. I now see the world in a completely different way. Varying degrees of blue in every leaf, pinks in the wings of insects, white petals can have yellow, blue, pink within them and nothing is truly black. Light reflects from where I used to see only colour.
I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to work in such a wonderful art form and one that explores the detail and beauty of the natural world that surrounds us.”