Sugarloaf Cottage is the HQ for Botanical Trader and Sugarloaf Eco Wilderness Retreat [coming soon]. Nestled in its own private valley at the foothills of the Snowy Mountains Australia, the 130-acre property is home to a diverse and abundant population of Australian flora and fauna.
Many of the ingredients found in Botanical Trader are grown in the organic gardens or wild-crafted from the property.
We have learned over the years that we can't tell the land what to grow, instead we must listen to the land and allow it to create its own flourishing gardens and circle of life. Gardening in the extreme weather patterns of the high country can be challenging, however we have found that if we surrender and listen to nature - she certainly knows best.
Our gardens are intertwined with Australian natives such as Grevilleas, Bottle Brushes, Native Mint Bush, Mountain Tea Tree, Wattle, White Correa, Mountain Pepperberry and Eucalyptus [mostly Snow Gum, Ribbon Bark, Candle Bark and Black Sallees]. In-between the native's various species of lavender and rosemary thrive along with roses, violas, pansies, dahlias, billy buttons, gladioli, irises, tulips, daffodils, cosmos, aster, Japanese box, olive trees, magnolia trees, mandarin trees, lime trees, cherry cherries, nectarines, quince and crab apples.
We have found that lavender, rosemary, roses, and dahlias love the soil at Sugarloaf and thrive with very little nurturing. Hence, we grow and use these botanicals abundantly.
Mullein grows abundantly; even though it is a weed in the Snowy Monaro region, it does have many healing elements, which is why we wild-harvest it off the property and use it in many of our infusions.
All our decor, stationary, clothing, jewellery and books are Australian designed and curated in Sugarloaf Studio - our little place of inspiration. At the moment, the studio is a small sunny humble room that overlooks Sugarloaf creek, Sugarloaf Mountain and all the life that calls it home. Claire's husband Eric has been collecting and storing old materials to build a she-shed, potting and drying room plus a creative studio out of all recyclable materials.
Sugarloaf Cottage runs a rehabilitation and release program for injured and orphaned Australian wildlife, part-takes in an on-site Koala monitoring program and invests time and money into planting more trees on the property to create new habitats for local wildlife.
In 2021 the property spent $60 000 on two wombat soft-release enclosures and feeding stations, $20 000 was received through a grant and the other $40 000 was helped raised through sales of Botanical Trader - as all profits from Botanical Trader are currently being put into preserving local wildlife and flora. By June 2023, Botanical Trader hopes to raise $100 000 to build a kangaroo soft release enclosure, a bush baby nursery/orphanage and plant an acre of eucalyptus trees for the koala population.