Archive for the ‘2012’ Category

Clare ‘Lelant’ Open Garden 15-9-12

September 18, 2012


We visited this garden after leaving Blackwood and headed for Clare which was only 20 minutes further. Our first impression of this garden was that it looked very interesting and had been well designed and the plants were generally well established. ‘Lelant‘ was named after a village in West Cornwall. Gardener is Gypsey Sandow.

We bought this bare block eleven years ago, and coming from another property “Trelawney” (opened for the Open Gardens Scheme in 1998) that was flat with delicious soil, we found that this was just the opposite. I wondered what I would do as I didn’t have a major plan and the topography of the site ruled my thinking…panic!! However several loads of loam and four ute loads of plants from the farm later and I began.

The back bank was the first to be attacked! Topsoil from the house base was put down and a full large bale of pea straw was rolled out and secured by Cyclone wire to hold the slope. I planted myoporum (creeping boobialla) with pigface along the top, some of which suffered from the farmer’s spray. Then I planted callistemon, eriostemon, correa, and a spiky grevillea that is a haven for the birds. A wily fox was seen there one early morning!

You will notice repetition, it being a fundamental law of design. Mass or repeated plantings can be effective when fllowing gracefully into another of the same species. If something grows, gives colour, loves its home and only needs rain then it is worth it.

The challenge I had at first was moving rocks, and more rocks! I didn’t opt for terracing, as some would have done. The larger shrubs that were first planted now hold the soil, and the pencil pines add a little bit of Tuscany.

I pack down home made mulch and pea straw every year and the blackbirds help spread it. Jack Frost and I have a battle every winter, but not the natives – they laugh at him!

Dry creek bed at Lelant Open Garden 17-9-12. 1 Waller Drive Clare

Lelant Open Garden 17-9-12

Lelant 17-9-12

The dam at Lelant. Even had frogs croaking!





Condowie ‘Blackwood’ Open Garden Visit 15-9-12

September 18, 2012


Visited an Open Garden at Condowie near Blyth owned by John and Helen Ashby. We went after closing the shop at 12 noon and it took about an hour to get there. Was a relaxing drive on a beautiful and calm day.

Unfortunately the garden was underdeveloped and naive. It had eight gardens supposedly put together with the owners’ grandchildren but it looked like they were thrown together the day before with just a few basic artefacts plonked around. Not very impressive but the Red Cross got the proceeds so all in a good cause.

The official intro from the garden flyer says the following:

The garden has always been a pleasure, a challenge and a forever-changing experience, developed in an area of 350mm rainfall.

Recycling and waterwise vegetation have always been very important. All water used in our home is recycled via an R.I (?) system and sprinklers around the perimeter of the Northern garden. The bark chips used are from the tops of the pine trees at the west side of the garden, cut to lessen the fire risk. The soil has been improved with tons of manure from our cattle feedlot and straw residue from our pea crops. The presence of worms is now indicating the health of the soil.

Hundreds of natives, predominantly eremphilas, and succulents have been planted in the outer garden areas. The cottage garden that surrounds our home has irises, roses, bulbs, salvias, lavender, herbs, petunias, stocks and natives.

The reason for entering the Open Gardens Australia was to share with you the gardens of our eight grandchildren…

The best spot was the most established section with the property name, see photo below.

The sign garden ‘Blackwood’. The most forward plot in the whole garden.

Blackwood Sign Garden from the house side.

Blackwood Sign Garden looking toward the car shed.

View of Blackwood Garden sign from the car shed entrance.





2012 Victorian Holiday – Yarra Ranges National Park

April 11, 2012

During our stay at Narbethong we made several day tours around the ranges. Some were to local towns such as Taggerty and Alexandra where we searched out the Op shops and we did find a lot of good stuff. The local theme seemed to be soap making. Never quite worked out why they specialised in soap! On one of these tours we wound through s remote road through the Yarra Ranges which was barely one car wide and these are the photos.


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2012 Victorian Holiday – Hobson’s Bay Caravan Park

April 11, 2012

The purpose of our trip was to visit the Toy and Hobby Fair. We went straight from Whipstick State Park to Hobson’s Bay near Laverton only 20mins from Melbourne Exhibition Centre where the fair was held. The caravan park was mainly full of permanent residents but was very cheap at 30 per night for a powered site. Facilities were quite reasonable.


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2012 Victorian Holiday – Buxton Trout Farm

April 11, 2012

We spent a very relaxed afternoon at the Buxton Trout Farm. Although it was a typical trout farm aimed at tourists and kids fishing we managed to get a tour of the commercial side during feeding. It was a revelation as the water boiled with 50,000 fish per pond. Fish in the fishing ponds were just as well trained but not so easy to hook, especially the big ones. We didn’t actually do any fishing as you had to take the fish you caught with you as well as pay per kilo for them!


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2012 Victorian Holiday – Whipstick State Park Near Bendigo

April 11, 2012

Our first stop on this trip was near Bendigo in the Whipstick State Park Camping Ground. We left home on the Yorke Peninsula at about 7am and arrived, 1000km later, at the camping ground at 6-30pm. Lucky it was daylight saving or we would have struggled to set up on time. It took us an hour to set up the camper, this being the first time in a few years we had used it. There were a few caravans on the far side of the camping area and unfortunately the peace was disturbed by one of them running a generator half the night. The kangaroos and birds did not seem to mind too much, nor the frogs in the pond at the edge of the ground. The large dam, which Pamela dubbed Pobblebonk after the frog calls which were a crescendo throughout the day and night.

One of the highlights of the region was the Bendigo pottery, well hidden but a maze of pottery by artists and sculptors with demonstrations. We spent a few hours there being inspired.


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2012 Victorian Holiday – Lake Mountain

April 11, 2012

Lake Mountain is an alpine tourist resort still under construction located a short distance into the National Park from Marysville. This area was completely devastated by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. In many of the bushfire affected areas the stringy bark is the predominant tree and it shows clear regeneration. However, at Lake Mountain the snow gums have been destroyed and three years later there is no regrowth and the fire sparked seedlings are only about 600mm high!


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2012 Victorian Holiday – Narbethong, Victoria

April 9, 2012

During Adrian and Pamela’s Victorian Holdiay we spent four nights at Narbethong Caravan Park and Camping Ground. This was an idyllic location also savagedĀ  by the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires. The park was operated by a chainsaw wood sculptor who carved magnificent figures from whole tree trunks. These feature in the slideshow at the bottom of this post. The park was inhabited by beautiful Crimson Rosellas and Kookaburras. We based most of our tours around the Yarra Ranges from here. Our camper was well trialled here and we had a very relaxing time.


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2012 Victorian Holiday – Bruno’s Garden at Marysville, Victoria

March 21, 2012

The slideshow below is of one of the highlights of Adrian and Pamela’s 2012 Victorian Holiday. We spent an entire afternoon visiting Bruno’s garden containing life sized scultpures of various figures inspired by fairy tales from across the world. Visited on 11th March 2012. Bruno’s garden is in Marysville, Victoria which was devastated in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria which killed 173 people. We were not prepared for the extent of the devastation caused by those fires in the Yarra Ranges.


All sculptures are life size, made from kiln fired clay.

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