For well over 20 years, The Secret Garden and Nursery has been operating down a little lane on the Hawkesbury campus. Featuring hundreds of species of plants; including rarities and natives the nursery is one of the best stocked in the local area and the community garden is a hive of activity.
Everyone is welcome to use the facility, volunteer your time in the garden, hold an event such as a wedding or children’s birthday party or just simply visit, enjoy the beauty and purchase some great plants for your own home. The nursery and ornamental gardens have also won many prizes at the Hawkesbury Garden Competition.
Set on 5 acres of land, The Secret Garden is also a ‘horticulture as therapy’ garden that offers training through the Food for Thought program; providing a supportive and educational environment for people with mental illness and disabilities, with the sale of plants helping to finance this project. Over 60 people a week currently participate in this program and it’s still growing! Many local schools also visit regularly tending to their own veggie plots.
The garden and nursery would also not survive without the hard work of a dedicated team of volunteers and Mutual Obligation workers (formally Work for the Dole). Garden Clubs from around Sydney also visit regularly.
One of the highlights of spending time in the garden is getting to know the locals – the pigs, the sheep, the goats, a gaggle of ducks, chickens and more...
The Secret Garden doesn’t receive government funding and relies heavily on the sale of plants to fund the important work it does. It hopes to be fully self-sustainable in the next couple of years if it receives more community support.
How to get to the Secret Garden
The Secret Garden and Nursery is located on the Hawkesbury campus of Western Sydney University. Enter via Vines Drive and follow the signs from Londonderry Road, Richmond. Please note that the Secret Garden and Nursery is not owned or operated by the University. For all enquires please contact North West Disability Services (opens in a new window) directly. For more information about volunteering or visiting please call NWDS on (02) 9686 4155.
Western Sydney staff and students, and our wider community, are encouraged to support the Secret Garden through a number of ways:
Visit – come over during your lunchbreak or call in on the weekend
Donate your used plastic bags or plant pots
Make a donation – all donations over $2 are tax deductible
Have your wedding or children’s birthday party there
Set up your own herb or vegie patch on site
Volunteer your time to help in the garden or nursery
Buy lots of plants! They have a huge range of plants including natives, exotics, herbs, succulents, cottage garden, water-wise plants, hedging, grasses, edging and trees. Wholesale prices are available to the public