A garden lookout

Record rainfall over the last few months have prevented me from spending time in the garden. We have had snow, wind, hail and low level flooding! What a winter!

I guess this little fellow is waiting patiently for my return. Shortly, I will be able to show off my new veggie patch and restored chicken house – now a potting shed! Waiting for the sun and some warm weather. Look out for my posts soon.

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A Garden Odyssey

November is the time when all the magnificent Open Gardens are on display. I visited one such garden this morning in its splendour. Set on eleven acres and around one hundred and forty years old, Dreamthorpe, is a woodland wonderland with unique garden architecture and, my favourite, the wistful, wisteria walk!

Of course, my interest is stone walls, as I described in my last blog on the Edna Walling cottage garden. As I entered the property, a magnificent stone wall welcomed me beside manicured green paths.

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A unique garden also displays unique garden architecture. This garden was no exception: terracotta urns, classical statues, wildlife habitat and some modern pieces.

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This one is reminiscent of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and good times. This garden revels in its own beauty!

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Fancy a new home for your bird life?

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Yes, I did promise some modern garden pieces – which do you prefer?

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However, it was the design layout and the plants themselves which stole the show. Here are but a mere snapshot of their breathtaking beauty….

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A wall of pink rhododendrons.

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a hedged narrow path – leading where?

To a lake, of course!

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My favourite was this spectacular lavender wisteria walk – magical, secluded and other worldly!

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This property is more notably recognised by its row of gothic ancient cedars which, on a cold, foggy night, are eerie sentinels watching over the garden.

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Dreamthorpeis a must see in autumn and in spring. Open gardens give us inspiration and preserve the magnificence of nature in all its variety and possibilities – an odyssey any garden lover would like to undertake.

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Edna Walling Cottage

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.

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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.)

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She also incorporated sundials, rock gardens, garden seats, sculptures and garden rooms, to name but a few.

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The beauty of the surroundings is enhanced by her garden features.

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a delicate, pink clematis

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It was the stone walks which captured my interest as well as the stone steps which meandered throughout the property.

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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.

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A wonderful experience and what a historic garden to wake up to each morning – a sheer pleasure.