Formed upon the alluvial flats of the aptly named Plenty River since 1819, the gardens of Redlands are of the greatest scientific and botanical interest. Established by the merchant nabob banker and supercargo, George Frederick Read at the then westernmost frontier of Tasmania, Redlands was to leap from a tidy farm to a model landscape in 1841 with the visit of Count Strzelecki. Strzelecki advocated the systematic and complete irrigation of 300 of the then 800 acres. A series of water rooms were formed (paddocks bounded by moving water) , divided by hedges of pink and white hawthorn and approached by great avenues of rare oaks, elms thence serviced by roads bordered in Lombardy poplars. It was timely and commercial. The Convict assignment system (slavery by any other name) came to an end in 1843, and the vast lengths of sluiced aqueducts were complete. They survive and irrigate today.
From thence forth comes agricultural paradise in the remotest corner of an island prison: hops for grog, nicotiana for smoking and trading, hemp for hanging the hops, gardens of improbable fercundity. And so was born the first fully irrigated model farm in Australia. Robert Cartwright Read and the
brilliant young naturalist Morton Allport extended the dream with the introduction of the ‘Salmon Ponds’ to the upper irrigated paddocks in 1864.
Bequeathing to Tasmania permanently both a public pinetum of rare trees and the origin of all Tasmanian fishing industry and sports. Supplying over a million fish to tables to this day.
The landscape was to grow buildings for the many who would work there: row housing, a shop, octagonal hop drying kilns, pickers huts, barns, stables for 18 horses and a great communal garden. This seminal landscape was purchased by
Peter and Elizabeth Hope in 2008. The Hopes, like the Plenty are aptly named. Since their purchase a great team of specialist conservators of timber, stone and soil have brought
back the original scientific purpose of the farm and garden.
The purpose is your good health: From the legumes watered
by mountain springs, rotated annually in the grid of alluvial paddocks comes wheat and barley resulting in Redlands Single Malt Whisky and a batard bread that preserves the purity of pre-Industrialized food.
You are invited.