For years and years I’ve wanted a pink Nerine. Preferably, just like the ones that grow at `Nooroo’, Mt Wilson.
About four years ago I met Alan and Elsie who were disbanding their garden full of rare plants at Erina and I asked him if there were any pink Nerine amongst his treasures, and he said no only white. I got lots of beauties that day and I’m looking forward to this one opening, `cause it’s not white!
The winter garden makes you appreciate simple beauties. The winter honeysuckle perfume is so strong I can smell it at 30 paces. Daphne is in bud (the lemon scented white as well as the more often seen pink)
The snowflakes are flowering, oak leaves are the last to fall.
Bringing split timber inside might be tiresome – but it’s so good to have the house warm – and the smell of woodsmoke when I walk outside makes me glad to be alive.
While major renovations have been happening on the home – (architect Allen de Carteret) we’ve been cooling our heels, but now it’s all systems go and this week we begin working on the design of the garden on one of the most picturesque pieces of land we’ve ever seen.
With mature hoop pines, and old quarry, views over the valley and creek to heavily timbered hills and massive native cedars and a great vege garden by old silos this one is going to be one sensational long-term project we’ve eagerly anticipated .
First call this morning was to meet the Cornerstone boys who were working on this beautiful garden – as there were a few holes to fill with new plants. How this project has come along!
On small acreage there are a lots of individual styles and various microclimates within the more expansive space as a whole, but it all works so well. It isn’t hard to imagine a long lunch here next to the pizza oven – maybe playing a bit of petanque…
I’m looking forward to some warmer weather when we will see lots of new growth and I will ask the lovely Brigid to take some more photos (not that Mark did such a bad job of the images this time)
On top of things in the office Mark and I have been into the garden, and`Keeper’ hasn’t been a big help with the oak leaves…
My winter clean-up has begun (I try not to do too much summer `work’ preferring to swim in the pool)
This garden is established now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t improve on what’s here – these improvements are in a continual process of evolution. I encourage everyone whom I’ve designed a garden for to get in contact with me and make a time to get together and discuss how to keep moving forward.
By this I mean it’s often just simple things, like removing a branch, shrub or tree an unexpected view may be revealed, and as gardens are always growing, a place that may once have been sunny is now in the shade, and this gives me an opportunity to refine, improve the plants and increase the interest. When you look at a garden everyday it’s hard to see it yourself in a new way.
Around here there’s always new things that need to find homes, such as the `Seville’ orange that has to be planted – who knows where?
On our way from a project at Macmasters Beach yesterday we stopped at another of our gardens that I haven’t seen for a while – a weekender that backs onto the National Park.
Couldn’t resist taking some pictures as it’s so very Australian. A mix of local natives and the type of things you would expect to find in a holiday house by the beach on the East Coast.
Going through the archives this morning I found a garden that has changed hands since we did it.
It holds lots of memories for the previous family as well as for me, an easy unassuming garden with a fabulous outlook.
Whereas most owners in the street had removed their native trees to increase their water views, the endemic trees here were appreciated and revered, it made under planting tricky – shade and root competition are never easy, but hey, it looked great.
My garden is full of plants that mean something to me. Some may have been a slip given to me from a friend or a plant from a great aunt’s garden. This aloe outside the laundry door was a cutting taken from a plant growing on the headland at Gannet Beach near Bawley Point on the NSW South Coast. So a walk around the garden is a step back in time, a way to meet old friends and remember times past…
Growing as tall as me and as wide as it is tall, it’s a substantial shrub that wants for nothing. Food, water or maintenance.
Each morning I take Keeper down behind the dam after we check the orchard for ripe figs. This is an area that has space for new plants – it’s a bit wild and is planted with lots of natives.
It’s important in large gardens to leave a few areas to fend for themselves, it feels natural, and for me, there’s a sense of opportunity one day to do more – although I never will – there’s a sense that I could…
On the driveway I have a shrub that is rarely seen nowadays – the snowberry is hardy, and grows here with no irrigation as an under storey to magnolias. It suckers, so this means it pops up unexpectedly nearby and can form quite large clumps. It needs no maintenance besides controlling its size, and I snip bits of spent wood from it some Winters to tidy it up. Growing happily in cold climates it tolerates frost and snow and is great in wilder parts of the garden. Small pink flowers turn into impressive white berries that last longer here in my garden than red berries as the birds aren’t used to them.
This mornings first call was to see a mate that was building a very cool raised swimming pool in the front of his home, which is set on a quiet acreage estate. Rather than work from a plan this is one of those gardens that we work on together whenever time and finances allow, and I love working here in this way. A bit of give and take, a modification now and then, and one day in the not too far off future, a sensational garden.
So far we’ve worked on the shape and location of the drive and entry court, and the retaining walls that contain the ground behind the parking and turning area and these gabion walls – cages filled with sandstone rubble have been repeated throughout the garden spaces.
The offset tapered walls built next also in sandstone defined the entry.
A few months ago we added a curved bed to the side of the garage, and now the pool. This morning we nutted out bed shapes and what to plant. The trick is to not attempt to cover too much at once or we become swamped. Shapes are being repeated to add continuity.
It’s almost like working on my own garden. Well done Clay!