-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Monday, March 08, 2004

dry gardening and interesting gardens in Australia

As part of researching the kinds of gardens that might be possible at Amherst, I came across a lot of books and websites which I sent to Mum. Here are some of them:

Markdale is an 8000 acre sheep station, but has a 5 acre garden around the house. If you look on this page you can see a few photos of the garden, including one great aerial shot. http://www.markdale.com/garden.shtml It is interesting because it shows how you can have lots of buildings, actually reasonably close but all would feel quite separate. This was designed by Edna Walling.

Redesdale in Heathcote http://www.redesdale.com/home.html is a winery with gardens and olive plantations. It's in goldfields region apparently and describes itself as a "dry climate garden". I thought it might be nice to see to get ideas on what could be possible. The gardens are part of the Open Garden scheme but they offer accomodation as well so perhaps we could stay there and see the gardens that way even if it wasn't an official time? e.g., see the picture of gardens and the cottage here http://www.redesdale.com/auberge.html

Bringalbit is another big property not far from Kyneton http://www.bringalbit.com.au/bringalbit_a_brief_introduction.htm which is open every day. It's 410 acres in total but has a big lake and a very traditional 10 acres garden, so about the size I was envisioning for ours. Here is the page on the garden and it sounds a bit similar in climate to Amherst: http://www.bringalbit.com.au/bringalbit_garden.htm except perhaps it gets a little wetter in winter?

Chesterfield house http://www.chesterfieldhouse.com.au is an upmarket B&B in Talbot, which is about 5 minutes drive from our property. They've obviously got really nice gardens so perhaps if you're visiting our property you might fancy popping in here to look too? Perhaps you might even be tempted to stay over, it definitely sounds like a lovely spot. It also gives me hope that we'll be able to have some of these English plants because they wouldn't have survived as long as they have there in similar climate conditions... although of course, they've got access to town water!

this lists lots of historic gardens in the macedon area and it says that Sept - Nov is the best time to visit so it actually fits in well with when we're thinking of coming back.

This is a NZ site, with an article about how to design gardens in a variety of styles that can withstand drought. It also has some pictures of Beth Chatto's own dry garden in which she's used gravel as mulch and for paths, etc

I just stumbled across this when looking for information about landscape design in Australia on Amazon. I'd never even heard of her before! I really like the style of her gardens if you have a look at the pictures... it's the kind of feel that I want to create. Best of all, apparently Bickleigh Vale is in Mooroolbark and according to http://www.opengarden.org.au/regions/vic.htm it says that the gardens will be open to the public on April 18th (just the one day). Do you want to go along? If you take lots of pictures for me and upload it to ofoto, then I'll pay yours and a friend's entry fee. Bickleigh Vale Village, Bickleigh Vale Rd & Edna Walling Lane, Mooroolbark (park in Pembroke Rd), OPEN Sun. 18 April, 10am-4.30pm. $20 for 7 gardens

Apparently this is a book she never had published (and I can understand why, it's not very well written...) but it is interesting. I especially like the description of digging out a level area for the lounge room and finding a big stone... and deciding rather than move it to use it as the base of an armchair! I think they must have been a bit made though. It also doesn't explain at all why they decided to leave it, unless it was only ever meant to be a summer house?

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