30 November 2012

Crosspatch from then to now.

We built our first weekender dwelling about 1996.

Maxwell [in foreground] was a puppy and his brother MacTavish was foreman in charge.
We prefabbed the frames off site and the whole structure appeared in one weekend.
Inside was a bed and kitchen cupboards. Cooking was outside.
This was a big improvement on our two-person tent.

A lot has changed since then.

December is a great time to wander in the forest  surrounding our place and seek out native lilies and orchids, like our favourite below:

What to eat during a garden tour?

Ellender Estate Winery are joining in the activities during Gardens of Glenlyon.

Just for the weekend of 8-9 December, they have created a special delicious menu to complement the good work of our gardeners.

They've covered all bases - you can either order a picnic box to go or linger at the winery while you enjoy a regional platter.

It is probably a good idea to order in advance. Phone Jenny on  03 5348 7785.

Gardens of Glenlyon Lunch at Ellender Estate

The Gardener’s Picnic box = $15.00
Baguette with Istra Ham and Garden Salad or Vegetarian option
Cheese and quince paste
Something sweet


Stay for awhile and enjoy a Regional Platter for two = $32.00
Wood-fired pizzas with a garden salad = $22.00
Leek and gruyere quiche with a garden salad = $15.00
Jock’s Icecream with strawberries = $8.00

28 November 2012

More fabulous raffle prizes

Gardens of Glenlyon has been organised by a small group of volunteers, with no financial support, no slush fund, no external contributions to meet costs.  In fact the organising group, at the moment, is carrying quite a financial burden - hoping that the weekend is a success and they can recoup some of their outlay.

Which is why we need people to buy raffle tickets!  We've got some great prizes, so come along to the Glenlyon Hall and buy buy buy.

And for our gardeners' sakes - because they've been working so hard over the past few months - we hope that the world turns up to view their gorgeous and very different gardens.

So far, our wonderful sponsors have provided the following items for raffle.

Morris Outside
Pair oilskin boot guards
Pair The Wicked Weeder gloves
Pair Goat Leather cuffed gloves

Goldfields Revegetation
Grafted grevillea

O'Shea and Murphy
Six bottles of O'Shea and Murphy wines

Mary Ellis
Bonsai box

Melbourne Museum
Four adult museum passes, each giving free general admission to three museums (Melbourne, Immigration and Scienceworks)

Seneca Textiles
Set of queen-sized Egyptian cotton 500 thread count cream sheets.

The Works (Purveyors of Fine Homewares, 275 Burwood Road, Hawthorn)
Two pairs Morgan and Finch jarmies

Two sets of Morgan and Finch quilt covers  
This pic doesn't do justice to the prettiness of the prizes
Citizens of Glenlyon
A hamper of delicious goodies

23 November 2012

Crosspatch News

Lots of native animal visitors at the moment, a Kookaburra family, Koalas, and Wombats and Wallabies eating the silverbeet. Time to put some netting over the veges, sigh!

The garden is coming together ready for the BIG DAY.

22 November 2012

Mrs Gooch's Garden

This garden sits on the high point of Glenlyon, with rich red volcanic soil, but ferocious winds and frost.  In 2004 a start was made on the seriously overgrown garden. One third of the property was cleared of an impenetrable buddleia thicket revealing the magnificent arbutus uneda and the large apple on the west boundary.

By 2006 the dilapidated cyprus pines had become dangerous, so 16 were removed, opening up the garden but exposing it to the constant southerlies.  Now the densely planted casuarinas, and blackwoods provide excellent cover.  They were watered in, mulched very heavily and from then on received no help.  Within three years, the red volcanic soil had done its work and the trees are 2.5 m high! They are lopped annually to maintain thickness and retain the skyline.

Having provided shelter, the planting of shrubs and herbaceous perennials began, using very hardy plants like hazelnuts, artichokes, saltbush and berberis. By 2008 the shelter was sufficient to remove the artichokes and some hazelnuts to a less hospitable area and replace them with more tender plants. Unfortunately the  saltbush, having been topiarised for some years, succumbed to the cold and wet.

In the West Garden you will find various viburnum, philadelphus, berberis, cistus, correa, sambuccus, crab apples, crataegus, parrotia persica, pomegranates, buddleja, leucadendron, leptospernum, kolkwitizia, camellia, sarcacocca, santolina, rosemarys, sages, lavenders, ceratostigma, ribes, wood strawberries and lots of other things! Among them a new sculpture by Stephan Guber, a German sculptor.

The Ram Paddock was the old orchard, with only a few trees left.  In an effort to overcome the depredations of wind, ‘stepover’ apples are being trialed here! The Ram sculpture (Dave Dando 2010) leaps into a sea of cornus alba siberica and cornus flaviramea and is backed by a magnificent walnut. The dogwoods are underplanted with spring bulbs and autumn flowering chrysanthemums for seasonal interest. All very tough and able to withstand the gales!

The South 40 is the propagation area. Currently bearded iris, cornus, garlic, hazelnuts, christmas lilies, and belladonna lilies are being grown. Also asparagus, onions and potatoes for the table.  Interestingly, the plants thrive in this exposed position and it’s good for ‘growing on’.

The veggie beds are set to the north to avoid the worst of the southerlies and catch the best of the sun. The Owl is another Dave Dando piece.

The OK Corral, fenced in willow (Jason Jones 2007) with three manchurian pears, is a wonderful showcase for bearded iris and an entertaining area with shelter from the winds.  And last but not least, The Nanna Garden provides shelter for the elderly lemon and many less hardy old fashioned plants.

Andrew Kimpton has also contributed to the sculpture collection.
Deep blue echiums reach for the bright blue sky

(Pics to come - too many from which to choose!)

21 November 2012

Guided river walk

During Gardens of Glenlyon there will be four guided walks along Loddon River. This rare opportunity to walk the river and learn about it's history and regeneration is not to be missed.

The Guided River Walk departs from Greenlion (75 Butlers Lane, Glenlyon).

Times: 11.15am and 3.15pm Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December 2012. 

Come on the river walk at 'Greenlion' with Brony Love, an experienced conservationist with extensive experience in revegetation. 

The walk will take approximately 40 minutes and is moderately hard; i.e. a steep climb up from the river, but there is the opportunity to return on an easier path. 
A very flooded river in 2011
See the beautiful river, the wildflowers, ferns and grasses. 

See the extensive revegetation of the riparian zone and the prolific growth following the drought. Observe the sleepy kangaroos, the myriad of birds and with some luck, an echidna.
Landcare volunteer working along the river

19 November 2012

Guest speakers and topics

On Saturday (8 December) and Sunday (9 December) we'll have a range of guests speaking on their special topic, in the Glenlyon Hall.

Fireguarding the garden
Owen Gooding
Saturday 1.30pm – 2pm
Wildlife in the garden
Gayle Osborne
Saturday 2pm – 2.30pm
Bees & pollination
Peter Adams
Saturday 2.30pm – 3pm
All about worms
Jean McClymont
Sunday 1.30pm – 2pm
Improving impossible soil
Rod May
Sunday 2pm – 2.30pm
Growing things
Ray Robinson
Sunday 2.30pm – 3pm

Free entry and lots of interesting stalls and displays.

Wombat Forest Care
Saturday & Sunday
Saturday & Sunday

Saturday & Sunday
Aesops Books

Saturday & Sunday
Slow Food
Saturday & Sunday
Indigenous History

Saturday & Sunday
Friends of Wombat Botanical Gardens

Saturday & Sunday
Goldfields Native Nursery

Saturday & Sunday
Morris Outside

Saturday & Sunday
Flora & fauna of Glenlyon

Geological profile: Glenlyon

Saturday & Sunday

16 November 2012


One of the guest speakers during the Gardens of Glenlyon sustainability expo is Eric Dando who will be speaking at 1.30pm on Sunday in the Glenlyon Hall.

But if you'd like to get in early - just in case you have any questions to ask on the day - have a look at this site; great info.

14 November 2012

Raffle prizes

We're starting to put together a fabulous range of prizes for the raffle (tickets will be available at the Glenlyon Hall on 8 and 9 December).

There will be four adult passes giving general admission to three museums - Melbourne Museum, Immigration Museum and Scienceworks.

And of course there'll be a basket of local produce.

Keep an eye out for more prizes as we successfully target donors!!

7 November 2012

Cross Patch 11 visuals

These photos were taken at Cross Patch II a month ago by Susan Clarke.  I wonder what the garden will look like in another month?

5 November 2012

The Gardening Gene

I inherited my love of gardens from my maternal grandmother.  As small children we spent our summer holidays at Nowa Nowa in East Gippsland, setting out from Melbourne before dawn so that the car radiator wouldn’t boil in the summer heat.

Nana had a large rambling garden with a long winding driveway.  The air smelt of roses, especially the scent of the climbing Black Boy beside the kitchen window.   
Circa 1948
Nana hated housework, preferring instead the creative pursuits of cooking and gardening.  When cooking, she managed to get flour on her glasses, down her front and in her hair as she whipped up the most amazing scones and cakes.   

The kitchen had emerald green linoleum on the floor, with a bright coloured block pattern. When Nana did get around to housework, she would wash the kitchen floor, rub it with bees wax and get us to be the polishers.  We would don old socks and her huge bloomers and skid around on our bottoms till the floor gleamed.

One of our favourite spots in the garden was the raspberry patch.  We could climb under the brambles unseen, and pick the berries to our heart’s content.

One day we were caught.  Nana spied us there and with a roar, she descended on us, grey hair flying, laundry prop held high above her head, like Boadicea attacking the Romans.  Luckily we saw her in time to run for our lives and hide in the chook house.

Nana’s garden was ambitious - large, beautiful and untidy.  In a letter to my sister dated October 1965 she writes “For some weeks I have worked from 6am to 8.30pm to bring the garden to as near perfection as I can.  It has been the work for two men.”  Of course, she did have God on her side.   

She was a member of the CWA and the ladies were invited for lunch.  At age 85 she decided that the front garden needed a fishpond.  None of the males in her life would build her one, so in order to have a fishpond before the CWA ladies arrived, she started to dig one herself.  After suffering a mild stroke that day, she returned from hospital to a garden with a fishpond.  The males of the family had completed the task.

We have several plants in our family that have been handed down over the generations.  My favourite is Nana’s pink violet.  The wonderful thing is that the gardening gene seems to have been passed on to a couple more generations, as children and grandchildren, on arrival at Greenlion, embark on the family’s traditional stroll around the garden. 

Jill at Greenlion

1 November 2012

Crosspatch II update

We at Crosspatch have an annual wager of a cherry ripe for the first person to see the kingfishers returning from their over winter in the Daintree. They come home to nest and raise their young, feeding on the bountiful supply of small creatures in the Loddon and our dam.

Robyn wins every year.

We have extended this to a virtual award to the first rose  in our garden to flower, and this year it was Queen Elizabeth, just edging out Blackboy. [ think it is still OK to use this name!]

Watch out for the next update coming soon.