WHEN nurseryman Allan Ross and his wife Elizabeth established Ross Conifers Garden Nursery in the Tarana Valley in 1976, there was nothing there but a bare block and a tin shed.
After closing his nursery in Sydney's Castle Hill, Allan had found what he considered to be the perfect cool climate for a retail nursery, even though there was much work to be done. The picturesque mountain setting was also a huge bonus.
Fast forward more than 40 years and the couple now have a devoted following of passionate Oberon gardeners who visit to fill their gardens with the nursery's signature, high quality local plants grown with love and care.
And it's not just locals who are in on the secret. Ross Conifers sells to gardeners across NSW who will often drive hundreds of miles to seek inspiration from its display gardens, and tap into the couple's extensive plant knowledge.
But after a long career serving keen gardeners across the Central West and beyond, it's the end of an era for the couple as they move into retirement in early May.
"It has been an absolute honour to serve the gardening community in Oberon over the past 50 years. We've held off retirement for as long as possible, because we absolutely love what we do," Mr Ross said.
"While it will be sad to close our doors, the rewards have been many. A customer told us recently that we have the most beautiful little nursery in the whole of Australia, which was so gratifying after all the hard work we've put in."
Those wishing to get their hands on plants from the last ever crop of famous Ross Conifers garden stock will have until early May.