The Smith's Nursery Vegetation and Landscape Management Plan was written in 2018 by Context for Heritage Victoria and the owners of 721 Kilmore Road Riddells Creek, the Liebich family. The plan was prepared as part of Heritage Victoria’s permit requirements for the subdivision and development of the property. It applies to the actual site of the historic plant nursery and adjoining ornamental display garden located along Riddells Creek which will form a public reserve and be managed by the Macedon Ranges Shire Council in the future.
In past years, vegetation management within the Reserve area has been carried out by Greening of Riddell, who with a grant from Melbourne Water’s Stream Frontage Program have undertaken weed removal, some planting of the creek frontage and the removal of tree suckers.
Do Trees Talk to Each Other?
Scientific research shows that trees communicate underground: roots converse with fungi sending chemical messages through the soil.
Trees support their neighbouring trees by their roots exchanging sugars and minerals. They message their distress in electrical signals via their roots and across fungi networks to others when they are under attack by chewing insects. Underground symbiosis of roots, fungi, bacteria and the supply of nitrogen forms a living forest network.
heritage Victoria: Victorian heritage register
Smith's Nursery, one of Victoria's earliest plant nurseries, was established in 1863 at Riddells Creek and consists of an area of land to the south of Riddells Creek with the remains of nursery rows, a display garden and pond, landscape features including a drive and paths, remnant brick walls that once formed the base of the propagating house, remains of a stone building of unidentified use and archaeological features associated with nursery use of the site.
John Smith trained as a professional horticulturalist in Edinburgh and London, and worked at the Fairfield Nurseries in Liverpool. He came to Victoria in 1852 and managed the Smith and Adamson Nursery in South Yarra. Smith and his sons founded their nursery on the banks of Riddells Creek, about 50km north west of Melbourne....
The Former Smith's Nursery is of historical and archaeological significance as the second oldest known plant nursery in Victoria with substantial remaining physical evidence. Archaeological material on the site demonstrates the early use of the site. There is potential for further archaeological investigation to reveal information about the early operation of the nursery and mid-century nursery practice in Victoria...
The Former Smith's Nursery is of historical significance for: its role in the development of the fruit and horticultural industry in Victoria; and early involvement in the trade in Australian native plants and trees, both cultivated and existing plants, sourced from the slopes of Mt Macedon. It is of scientific (horticultural) significance for its collection of rare plants.
The above is an excerpt from the Victorian Heritage Register: Statement of Cultural Heritage Significance. Click the button above to view the full Statement.