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Welcome to Clifton Homestead Nursery

Clifton Homestead Nursery is a small wholesale nursery, located in South Otago, 21 kilometres south of Balclutha and 10 kilometres north of Clinton. The nursery started back in 1988 when we put up a small tunnel house and began to grow Chatham Island "forget me nots".

Aearil photgraph of Clifton Homestead Nursery
Not long after we started growing the Chathams the opportunity to grow Helleborus niger 'White Magic' came up and we started propagating these to supply local and export markets. As the nursery grew in size, so did the range of plants we grew. For a number of years we had an extensive list of perennials for sale, but the hellebores were also becoming a more important part of our operation. Now,apart from a few Trilliums we are growing solely hellebores.

We  grow 50,000 plants and have three large, purpose built shade-houses. The shade houses were designed specifically for growing hellebores.They are covered to keep out the rain, shaded, to control light and temperature and also quite high to enable us to keep the temperature down over the summer months. Having them covered does pose watering problems and we have installed capillary watering systems to negate the need for hand watering. In 2007 we added another shade-house. Originally a glasshouse in Balclutha, we relocated and retrofitted it using a  twin skin plastic roof. It has proved very successful and now houses all the seed plants.familyg.jpg

The Telford Family

2011 saw us convert approximately half the farm to a dairy unit, milking 750 cows.The remaining half now serves as a runoff to feed the cows over winter and provide supplementary feed. We only have 19 sheep now, and are pretty ineffective as a  “Road Gang”,but  their primary role is to keep the place tidy!!  Bryony has almost completed her PhD studies in genetics at Otago University. Thomas graduated from Otago University last year and is currently teaching water skiing at a USA summer camp in Maine!. Josh is now in his 2nd year at  Canterbury University studying Engineering.

Helleborus Classification

Helleborus classification has been the subject of much debate over the years with differing opinions concerning   H.orientalis and its hybrids causing most of the problems.

For more details click here for our Classification Table

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