John Brett

John Brett (visionary):

John Brett has loved the Heathcote area since travel there was by single carriage railmotor.

After living in NSW country towns from Bega to Bourke, he returned to the area in 1980 bringing with him his dream of a plant nursery in Heathcote.

Houses with bare areas for front and back yards were being built and John felt that a local nursery would encourage the residents to beautify their own places and at the same time the streetscape.

Approval for the establishment of a nursery on his Veno Street site was realised when planning permission was obtained from Council in 1981 and his vision was realised when Sydney Wildflower Nursery Heathcote opened in April 1983, with an opening sale of plants at $1 each!

While the first name for the nursery Heathcote Gardens Nursery suggested its purpose, the trend towards gardening with natives was eventually chosen so that it would tie in with the Rose family's ambitions to establish nurseries, north, south and west, of Sydney. Native plant enthusiasts themselves, their vision was parallel one with the subject plants, Australian.

John has provided a photographic record of improvements over the past twenty years .The nursery is an open aviary, birds fearlessly feeding on plants for sale and, down the back, a Bower Bird has made this his domain.


From a Dream To Reality

The original theme retained -
"Cottage garden nursery - beautiful Australian plants - a haven for birds, frogs and insects."

With John's encouragement, the nursery is an oasis in the heart of suburbia. Somewhere customers can browse at leisure with information in front of them and helpful staff on hand. If you see a gentle man wandering around, taking photos or just sitting in the rainforest area hearing water trickling into the pond - watching the birds - and enjoying the tranquility, it might just be our very private but enthusiastic patron himself.

Visit us at Sydney Wildflower Nursery, Heathcote

Wander down the back, see the Bower Bird's nest. On the right of this picture is the "bower" in which he performs his courting dance. The various bits of blue plastic have been brought here by the male bird to decorate his bower. They would have been taken from people's gardens, clothes lines and rubbish from around the Heathcote area.


Ceratopetalum gummiferum 'Alberys Red' - NSW Christmas Bush

H: 3-4m

W: 2m

Red bracts at Christmas make this a stand out in the garden. Water and feed well while establishing and prune after flowering to maintain a bushy habit. Mulch well for summer heat.