Edna Walling was one of Australia’s best known landscape gardeners. Both a gardener, writing for the1920’s publication Australian Home Beautiful and an accomplished photographer, she was commissioned by many distinctive owners, including the Murdoch’s of Cruden Farm.
Last night we stayed in a cottage in the Dandenongs, one hundred kilometers from our own home on the Mount, surrounded by her signature garden features – walled gardens and sweeping stone stairways. It was a delightful stay. The cottage was charming and our hosts friendly and accommodating. The property, known as Mawarra is referred to in many publications as one of her greatest achievements.
Edna’s memoir recalls the eureka moment when she suddenly understood something fundamental about how to develop her design style. At this time stone walls as a design feature, had rarely been used in public or private.. She was to describe Mawarra as a “symphony in steps and beautiful trees” and predicted that it would “weather into greater beauty as the years went on – she was right.
(Harding, Sue. The Unusual Life of Edna Walling, 2005, Allen & Unwin, 72-3.)
She also incorporated sundials, rock gardens, garden seats, sculptures and garden rooms, to name but a few.
The beauty of the surroundings is enhanced by her garden features.
It was the stone walks which captured my interest as well as the stone steps which meandered throughout the property.
We both enjoyed this quiet and distinctive retreat. It made us appreciate what we also have in our garden – own own stone walls, garden rooms and flowering specimens.
A wonderful experience and what a historic garden to wake up to each morning – a sheer pleasure.