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!)

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