Amanda MackinnonLambley Nursery

Just outside of Ballarat is a hidden gem. A beautiful garden appears much like an oasis of delight in the middle of the Victorian goldfields. A picture perfect farmhouse sits nestled amongst some simply stunning displays. Lambley Nursery is David Glenn’s labour of love.
David and his artist wife Criss Canning have molded the property into what it is today. Open to the public, you can wander amongst a variety of gardens and easily find something that will ignite some inspiration.

Lambley Nursery

The dry garden is an example of just what can be achieved in waterwise gardening. Through considered plant selection and preparation this large garden is only watered four times a year at most. Within its walls lie a plethora of species to choose from. Some have a reputation for their waterwise qualities and others would surprise you. David says he’s learnt not to fight the climate but rather work within in its boundaries.

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David Glenn at Lambley NurseryDavid is also a plant breeder. He’s invested many years in the trial and development of a variety of species usually with excellent waterwise qualities. The flagship of his breeding program to date is the well known Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’. This beautifully variegated selection has proven itself time and time again and in doing so winning over the European and USA marketplaces. It is so popular due to the wide range of conditions it will tolerate. From the cold northern hemisphere winter, it will sit calmly under the snow – through to the soaring heat of lengthy summers. ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is incredibly dry tolerant. It is however just beautiful in its colour displays.

PMA Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'

PMA Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’

The foliage of ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is in lovely tones of cream, green and blue which merge into stunning reds and pinks throughout the cooler months of the year. I am sure nearly every garden can find a space for this little beauty.

It’s also well worth a visit to David’s cut flower and vegetable garden. This section of the property is watered with bore water, and it serves a variety of purposes.
You can enjoy stunning displays of all kinds of plants throughout the seasons. From mass plantings of zinnias, salvias and ranunculus through to all manner of vegetables. Pockets of corn, tomatoes, capsicums and pumpkins were all in evidence recently.

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The vegetable garden is used to feed the family. But this entire garden in itself is largely a trial to determine those varieties best suited to the local conditions. This place is simply a gem if you live in the area- and can save you years of trial and error in your own patch. Come and see what David’s learnt and adapt it to suit your own place.

The gardens at Lambley are visited daily by locals seeking advice and inspiration. David and his crew certainly offer valuable hands on advice as to what will thrive in the central highlands of Victoria. Here where frosts hit from April through to November, and the summers can bring driving heat – it can be challenging to say the least.

David Glenn at Lambley Nursery2Over the years David has built up a successful mail order business, supplying seeds, plants and bulbs to a loyal following. David Glenn is well known in the world of plant collecting and he is often sourcing unusual varieties for himself and his colleagues to add to their gardens. If your looking to add something a little different to your garden, check out and peruse his catalogue. Lambley also offer a selection of DVD’s featuring non other than David himself in his beautiful English tones. For those of you addicted to gardening blogs, David also publishes regular ‘Gardening Notes’ on his site so you can follow the progress of his garden online.

If you’re passing by Ballarat a detour to Lambley Nursery is a must for garden lovers. Pack a cut lunch and park yourself under a tree for a couple of hours and drink in this little piece of paradise.

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Amanda Mackinnon

About Amanda Mackinnon

Amanda's career has taken her on a remarkable journey through science, education, international business and communication. Living in a busy male dominated household – chasing around 2 noisy boys, one friendly golden retriever, a cheeky ginger cat and her husband, it’s no wonder she finds solace in the quiet beauty of plants! Amanda writes regularly for a variety of publications and is passionate about all things happening on the little island at the edge of the world.

5 thoughts on “Lambley Nursery

  1. It is worth more than a visit, it should be a pilgrimage.

    David is unique in this country and those that derive great cultural succour from the language of gardens and gardening are all the more richer for his work.

  2. Thanks Amanda. I am off to the Lambley catalogue toute de suite as I heard of three new plants yesterday ( at the hairdressers) that I cannot find here.
    Hoping David can help me.

    The dry garden at the nursery is an inspiration and I am already plotting sites of that rainbow euphorbia at my place.

  3. I love Lambley being a local Ballarat person and have many plants in our garden from there…I love the fact that I can see them growing and know they suit our climate….Lambley is an absolute must for all garden lovers… 🙂

  4. Thanks Amanda for your article. I buy plants regularly from Lambleys mail order service and they always come so lovingly wrapped it always makes me smile. When their catalog arrives in my letter box I flurry around the house setting myself up with a cup tea on the couch to pour over the plants within it.
    Then I spend way too much time wondering where I can fit all the new plants I want into my garden! It’s a fun dilemma to have.

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