A great succulent nursery in McLaren Vale.

A great succulent nursery in McLaren Vale.

Today I visited a nursery in Mclaren Vale, (south of Adelaide, South Australia).  I was told they sold Succulents as well as herbs.  I was a bit dubious as to how many Succulents they would have as the name of the nursery is ‘Hillside Herbs’.  The entrance sign does not mention Succulents either.

However, I was pleasantry surprised as they had the most Succulents I had seen in one site.

Hillside Herbs& Succulents

They have a many rows of different succulents.

Succulent Nursery - Hillisde Herbs

Lucky for us it is under cover because it was raining heavily.

Hillside Herbs

There are many different varieties.


The nursery is 30 years old and they have been growing Succulents for 22 years.  Pretty impressive.  They also sell Cacti as well and have an impressive range of Chillies.. (as well of herbs of course, but I must admit I didn’t even look at the herbs!)

Hillside Herbs & Succulents

They sell larger pots/plants as well .

Hillside Herbs & succulents

Crasula Ovata and Echeveria


A few more larger pots.

Hillside Herbs & Succulents

They have an area outside the nursery where Succulents have grown with only annual rainfall.


These amazing cacti would have taken years to grow.


Its interesting to see how well they survive with only rainfall.

The address is 43 Sand Road, McLaren Vale, South Australia.  They have a facebook page but I couldn’t find a website.  The only negative I could say is that the Succulents do not have identification tags on 95% of the pots. This does not bother me but I know it is important for some Succulent enthusiasts.

The main part of the nursery have small pots which are all $5 each for any of the different varieties.  Some of the bigger pots were $10 -$20.  All very reasonable compared to Bunnings prices!

If you do not live down south or within easy driving distance to McLaren Vale.  A few months ago I visited Virginia Nursery in the Northern suburbs of Australia.  It does have a Succulent area but was quite disappointing as the one row they had only had a handful of different varieties with about 30-50 pots of each.  Not what I would expect a “nursery’ to have,  At least it is an alternative to your local hardware store though.



Virginua Nursery, Virginia, South Australia

If you do not live in South Australia and know of some great Succulent Nurseries in your State let me know in the comments below.

Succulents in an Australian Garden.

Succulents in an Australian Garden.

As per my previous post, I started out with Succulents as I wanted/needed a drought resistant garden.  I’ve seen many photos on Pinterest and Face Book pages of Succulent gardens which look amazing. These are usually in Mexico or San Diego in North America.  As per the photos below.

  Succulent Gardens succulent-garden-2 succulent-garden-1

I have not seen many Succulent gardens in Australia as yet.  So I thought I would show you the start of mine.  I decided to start in a small raised bed outside my lounge room window.  The sun hits it around 11 am and it has full sun for about 5 hours in the Summer but a lot less sun in the Winter due to the neighbour having tall gums in their front garden and the sun being lower in the Winter.

Succulents in the garden not potsStarted off a bit bare.


Succulent Garden - Australia

Gradually I  have added plants that should be able to survive with Winter rain and 40C heat waves.

Succulent Garden not Pots

This Cotyledon has doubled in size in one year despite a hail storm and the wettest winter on record in 50 years!

Australian Succulent Garden img_1010 Ausralian Succulent Garden

If you look closely you can see there is still hail damage on the majority of plants. I am unsure how large some of the plants will grow.  So it is hard to decide where to place them.  However, I think that they are easily transplanted so if they are in the wrong spot then I can move them.  I still have some non Succulent plants in the bed but they are gradually being removed as the space is required.  I think it will be a while until the entire space is covered in Succulents and looks amazing like the photos above.

img_1012 Succulent Garden img_0595

It seems that a lot of the Succulents that are available overseas are not readily available in Australia, well not in Adelaide anyway.  So I will be working with the plants that I can easily access and survive in the conditions.

Photos of Succulents in my garden….photos taken by me.

Photos of Succulents in my garden….photos taken by me.

Aeonium photo

This photo was taken after the latest storms in Adelaide in my back garden…Aeonium Aboreum.

Aloe Photo

Aloe I bought from a garage nursery stall in my local neighbourhood.





Echeveria Photo

I bought this Echeveria at the South Australian Succulent Society fair in 2015.

Echeveria photo

I bought this Echeveria at a home show.



My Succulent Nursery

My Succulent Nursery

I started to accrue a lot of Succulents in pots.  They were all small.  I was impatient to make them larger so I could plant them in the garden. This was, after all, why my fascination with them started, to plant them in my garden.  Mr Google told me that Americans and many other countries grew Succulents in pots????  Why?  As I was still a newbie at the Succulent business I thought I had better follow suit. At least for the time being……  I needed a sunny area to start a succulent nursery.

Succulent Nursery

First attempt at nursery.

My first idea didn’t really work, they didn’t get enough sun and were hard to reach. Then I had an idea to solve two problems.  Cover the water tank and make my nursery.

Succulent Nursery Australia

Succulent Nursery

Succulent Nursery

The beginning of my nursery.

Succulent Australia Nursery

Vertical Garden Pots

I have had my nursery now for over two years.  It is ideal because if the Succulents do not do well in the full sun I can move them around the side of the tank where they get more shade.  This gives me an idea of where to put them in the garden when they get big enough.  Shade?  Why do they need shade I hear you ask!!!! Well, see my next post for a few myth busting information about Succulents.

Note: I do not profess to be an expert on succulents and do not have a horticultural qualification. My blog is simply my opinion and details my experience with succulents in my garden. All photos are taken by me. If there are photos of Succulents not taken by me this is mentioned.

Please feel free to comment on anything and/or ask questions. You can do so by registering in the site admin section of this page.

Where to buy Succulents …… Bunnings???????

Where to buy Succulents …… Bunnings???????

Hmm, where to buy Succulents?  I always purchase plants at Bunnings,  In Adelaide there are not a lot of nurseries in the Southern suburbs, so the only places that have a large range of plants are hardware stores. So off I went.  I hadn’t really noticed a Succulent section before so I was dubious they had one.

They did have one but it was very small. It was in a shady part of the garden section and the plants were very wet.  It seems they water them daily.  Strange, considering they thrive without water.  In one Bunnings store I saw a few dying from root rot. Which means they have been overwatered. See below photo!

Echeveria Succulent Overwatering

This Echeveria died from me overwatering.

If you buy any Succulents from Bunnings make sure you do not water them for a while – at least a week. Also, its possible the nursery where they were propagated were grown in partial shade and then kept in a shady area in Bunnings so do not place them in full Summer sun for a week or they will surely wither somewhat and possibly even die!

The plant identifiers are mainly generic:  ‘Succulent – does not need much water.  Do not detail the species of Succulent.  Not helpful to Succulent beginners.

So where to buy Succulents?  Bunning’s range, although limited, is better than no range at all.  Other Hardware chains have similar ranges.  Prices range between AU$4.79 – AU$7.99 for small pots to $17.99 for larger pots.

Bunnings Succulent area

Succulents under shade at Bunnings

Bunnings Succulents

Small Succulents – $4.91 – Bunnings


Medium Succulents $4.91-Bunnings


How I was Introduced to Succulents.

How I was Introduced to Succulents.

We have lived in our house for 20 years.  When we moved in the garden was 80% roses and the rest cottage garden.  This equals a lot of hard work.  Pruning, watering, bug spray and more pruning.  Summers in Adelaide are harsh, with 40ºc + every year.  Heat waves go on for weeks. Rain is minimal.  I have found a few Australian Native ie hardy plants and bushes and she (the garden) copes very well most Summers.  As we get near retirement age we want to travel.  This means leaving our garden to fend for itself.