1 November 2015


A decent drenching of rain - at last!

The first decent rain this Spring- and it's November.

The dam is half full (if you are an optimist) or half empty (if you are a pessimist) so every drop counts.

The sun quickly followed the rain so the puddles won't last long.

But the iris seem to revel in a dry winter and early spring- they have never been better.

30 August 2015


Gardeners, come up here now- the sun has just come out!  (see previous blog for details).

14 August 2015


What a treat we have in store for garden lovers!  Five beautiful gardens, their hidden secrets revealed in  late winter, the starkness softened by early blooms of daffodils, ipheion, anemone, hellebore and chaenomeles, to name a few of the plants in bloom.

And the five gardens are:

INDULGENCE Gooch Crt Wheatsheaf

A four acre masterpiece, where masses of daffodils shelter under the tall bare stands of birch.  A motley crew of water fowl toddle round the sweeping lawns that cascade into the lake.  Winter blooms peep from every corner.  Note the mature camellias and the banks of flowering indigenous plants.


WALLABY CREEK Matts Lane Coomoora

Wallaby Creek in Coomoora is elegance personified, with swathes of perennials and a wide array of mature deciduous trees sweeping down to the creek.  The knowledgeable observer will recognise some rare plants among them.  Note the fountain and the delightful sculptured 'fences' constructed from iron bedsteads.

 JENNY'S GARDEN 21 Moyston St Glenlyon

Jenny's Garden is one of the icons of Glenlyon.  Hidden behind a beautiful old house circa 1860's, this is a gardener's delight.  Packed with rare and unusual plants, the garden sweeps down the slope in graceful curves.


GREENLION Butlers Lane Glenlyon

Perched way above the Loddon River, the garden at 'Greenlion' has one of the most spectacular views in the district.  Curving paths around a circular garden lead into hidden corners where blooms of daffodils and anemones delight the eye.  The scent of daphne and Chinese honeysuckle pervades the garden.


And she's back!  Mrs Gooch's Garden sits proudly on top of Goochs Hill.  Designed in and around an old garden, this spectacularly modern approach to design delights the senses.  A huge ram flies above the bare stems of red and yellow cornus, while mischievous faces peep out of a sculptured trunk of an old pine tree. 



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12 August 2015


The following stallholders will be in the Glenlyon Hall during the Gardens of Glenlyon weekend.

Wombat Forest Care
Glenlyon CFA
Glenlyon Upper Loddon Landcare
Hepburn Wildlife Shelter
Susan C Clarke - photographer
Longinomus Plants
Made at Yandoit - Andy Kimpton (blacksmith and artist)
Goldfields Native Nursery
Morris Outside
Flora and Fauna of Glenlyon

8 August 2015

Who says winter is dull?

These pics were taken the other day in Mrs Gooch's garden. Winter can be so colourful.

19 July 2015

Gardens of Glenlyon - Winter flyer out soon

Tickets selling fast for dinner with guest speaker Simon Rickard - $45 pp three courses, byo, Glenlyon Hall, 6.30 for 7pm. Book here.

29 June 2015

Special dinner with guest speaker Simon Rickard

A special feature at this year's Gardens of Glenlyon - Winter is a dinner with guest speaker Simon Rickard.

Simon is a passionate gardener, garden communicator, botanical guide, author - and musician.

He recently published Heirloom Vegetables: A Guide to Their History and Varieties.

Simon's speech will focus on heirloom vegetables and their role in food sustainability and food politics.

Date: 29 August
Time: 6.30 for 7pm
Venue: Glenlyon Hall
Cost: $45

Secure online bookings can be made here.

3 June 2015

Great video on companion planting

Informative video on companion planting from the SGA website (Sustainable Gardening Australia - well worth subscribing to!)

2 June 2015


The bravery - to open our gardens in Winter!

But there's so much to see.  A garden reveals its soul, its core in Winter.

Gone are the glorious russet colours of Autumn that drape the trees.  Too early for the green explosion of Spring or the dazzling blooms of Summer.

The garden lies bare; each and every corner unclothed and visible to the eye.  Here is its skeleton.

Winter reveals the structure and design of a garden.  For without the distraction of foliage and blossoms, the architecture  is revealed.  The size and form of plants, their placement and relationship to each other and to their environment, becomes apparent.

Winter redefines the garden, revealing and extending boundaries that are hitherto hidden to the eye.  Hidden vistas come into view.  Paths and walls, steps and sculptures all become a part of the whole.

The minutiae in the garden are exposed.  The droplets of dew and the frozen puddles.  Moss on rocks and crevices.  The exquisite bark on the bare trees, and the long shadows that they cast in the winter sun.  The tiny birds bopping through the fallen leaves, still glowing with the colours of Autumn.

Rosemary Verey, the renowned British author and plantswoman, noted that:

"A garden in Winter is the absolute test of the true gardener".

The gardeners of Glenlyon have one special ingredient on their side; a cool temperate climate that is essential to some of the most beautiful winter plants.  The scarlet stems of Cornus Alba Sibirica, for example, the magnificent silhouette of the Japanese maples, the delicate blooms of the hellebores and the gentle scent of chimonanthus praecox.

Add to this the emerging bulbs of Spring, a backdrop of rolling green hills, rivers filled with winter rains and the blazing yellow of the winter flowering acacias and you have a picture of Paradise.

Ref: Rosemary Yerey (1988)  The Garden in Winter London Francis Lincoln Ltd 

21 May 2015


Winter's just around the corner.

Most of the Autumn leaves have fallen.

Cotinus Grace is the last to let go of her blazing colour.

The last vestiges of Autumn colour peep from beneath the bare trees.  Winter jobs become apparent- this weeping mulberry needs a Japanese tree prop to counter its lean to the East.

The hydrangeas put on their last shade of colour before they are chopped back for the Winter.

15 April 2015

Zelkova in autumn

Margret, whose garden Vizsla Lak, has been open for Gardens of Glenlyon, writes:

Daryl and I planted this tree, tube-stock from Bunnings, when we finished building the jetty in 2006. Red was his favourite colour, so that's why he chose the seedling.  I kept the label, which only had the botanical name, not the common name, Japanese elm.  I didn't know it was a Japanese elm till I looked it up recently.  It had grown to about a metre high by the time he died, but was quite lopsided.  It reminded me of ikebana when the branches were bare. So I pruned it every now and then to improve the balance. The notes say it is a medium to tall deciduous spreading tree with a rounded crown. Leaves turn bronze and red in autumn. Ornamental and shade tree - large gardens and parks.

When, in April, Zelkova serata blazes,
Flinging a scarlet cloak against the sky,
And, shrieking in the apple tree, cockatoos
Scatter fruit on the yellowing grass;
When cold stars blink between the clouds
And the Easter moon rises to silver the dam,
While kangaroos pause at the edge to drink,
Pressing footprints into the mud;
When chill air settles, weeping dew
To dampen daybreak's few falling leaves,
Swollen bean pods dry on the vine
And tomatoes linger in the weakening sun
Then the flame robin appears again
And wasps at last retreat from the rain.

8 April 2015

The Great Tornado of 28 February 2015 - or - It's an ill wind .......

We were in Christ Church, Daylesford, waiting for the Cologne Orchestra to perform when the Great Tornado raced through Daylesford, clattering the slates on the church roof and damaging the ridge capping. It was terrifying. After the concert we raced home to check for damage, peering around the garden by torchlight. Our worst suspicions were confirmed with two large trees down across the front garden beds and several massive manna gum branches across the fence near the creek - again.

We were devastated. This has happened so many times before, and our garden needed to be ready for Gardens of Glenlyon in August. So the next day, with helpers, son Josh and neighbour Mark, we rolled up our sleeves and cleaned up the mess. Plants were crushed, great yawning gaps left. What now?

Well, is it an ill wind that blows nobody any good? Because we suddenly saw new possibilities for the garden. The missing trees left views through the garden, opening it up. There were attractive things behind!

Ian made two rustic willow sculptures to "fill the gaps", one to be covered in sweet peas (please flower on time!), and one just abstract, built into the stump of the missing Robinia pseudoacacia.
When we moved the flamingo sculpture into that gap too, a kookaburra landed on its head and hunts worms from there now every night.

We then joyfully replanted the "gaps", necessitating many happy visits to nurseries and even the purchase of some bargain pots from a large chain store to create focal points in the garden ... more bird baths, happy birds!

Now we walk around the garden with new vision, reshaping old beds, joining others and having to plant even more areas.  I harvested bulbs to replant, scattered seeds with abandon and envisioned drifts of blooms where there had been only grass.
Who knows whether it will all grow as we imagine. It was probably time for a revamp after 12 years, but for the storm we may not have had the courage to be so radical.

In the end it has been heaps of fun.  Come along to Jenny and Ian's garden in Coomoora 29-30 August during Gardens of Glenlyon and see the results for yourself!