Blooming great at Formosa Gardens Nursery & Cafe

March 20, 2020 BY

Open for business: There’s always something new at Formosa Gardens Nursery & Café. Photos: ALISTAIR FINLAY

There’s always time for another look at Formosa Gardens Nursery & Cafe

CHANGE is a big part of any nursery. Different seasons means new stock, emerging trends is about keeping up with the latest.

So while the opening hours might have recently changed at Formosa Gardens Nursery & Cafe in Leith Street, their dedication to bring you the latest and best is unaffected.

There’s still a huge range of seasonal and year-round indoor and outdoor plants, as well as decorative pots, garden features, furniture and accessories, along with their great coffee, food and free gift wrapping.

What’s a bit different is the family owned and run nursery and café that’s been operating for almost 43 years are seeking to strike a better work/ life balance.

“Our trading hours have changed recently and that’s due to family health reasons,” said co-owner Katie Richardson.

“We want to reinforce to customers that from Wednesday to Sunday, we will be here, and that business is still going strong. We just need to make time for our family.

“We call it the plant work/ life balance.”

Ms Richardson is the third generation of her family to run Formosa Gardens Nursery & Café.

Since Formosa Gardens’ establishment 43 years ago things have been jumping. That continues to this day with constant additions and more planned in the future.

“We very quickly became a retail nursery and garden centre, and 20 years ago we added the café and gifts shop, then the car park and new buildings,” Ms Richardson said. “We’re looking at renovating soon.”

Indoor plants are all the rage right now with Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook highlighting how great they can be in any space.

When it comes to indoor plants, Formosa Gardens has a huge range, and it’s not just about ferns and ficuses. Colours beyond green are a big part of the trend both for the plants and what you choose to put them in.

“Indoor plants are huge,” Ms Richardson said. “Indoor is probably our biggest focus at the moment.

“There’s a lot of exotics and things that maybe don’t grow in our climate but do quite well indoors.

“A lot of people are not gardeners and don’t have the backyards like they used to. It’s become quite a fashion to have indoor plants. People are using accessories like pots, plant stands and hangers to get different heights.”

Once you’ve found the perfect plant, pot or accessory, there’s always Formosa Gardens free gift wrapping service.

But just how do you gift wrap a plant?

“It’s easy,” Ms Richardson said. “You start at the base and work your way up! We’re not wrapping the top, just the pot. We’ve had free gift wrapping ever since we’ve been here.”

As you’d expect when dealing with plants, things at Formosa Gardens are seasonal.

Right now it’s all about replacing the flowering spring annuals with autumn colour, and getting ready for the post-winter season – and that means bulbs.

“We’ve got begonias, hollyhocks and foxgloves, all the older traditional plants ready to go,” Ms Richardson said. “Now is also the time we have a lot of bulbs coming in. You plant them for springtime in autumn. We have all the tulips, daffodils and crocuses that people will be looking for.”

Find Formosa Gardens Nursery & Café at 104 Leith Street, Ballarat Central.

The nursery is open Wednesday to Sunday between 8am to 5.30pm, while the café serves up great coffee and tasty food between 9am and 5pm.