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.