Ben Boyd National Park : Part 2 : Photo Essay

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Last week, I finished with a brief description of the Light-to-Light walk and while we have still to do the whole walk over 3 days, we have visited all the spots we can access by car, so I thought a photo essay with a few brief notes about each spot would give you an idea of this magical spot! The photo below is of the National Park board of the northern and middle section of the park:BlogBenBoydNP75%ReszdIMG_2423Northern End : Pambula River and Bar Beach

Pambula River mouth, extending up the river;

National Parks and Wildlife lookout;

Walking trail up the side of the river and an amazing swing !;

Interesting rock formations and lots of quartz veining;

Popular with daytrippers, holiday makers, artists and fishermen.

Always lorikeets in the trees beside the picnic area.

Bird hide and walks at Panboola Wetland Conservation Area, Pambula.

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Start of the walk up the river

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Panboola, Pambula

Middle Section :

Severs Beach

500m walk through old farming property to a beach and massive 4000 year old aboriginal middens near the mouth of Pambula Lake, 1km inland up the Pambula River;

Shifting sandbars, so the river landscape is constantly changing.BlogBenBoydNP50%ReszdIMG_2457BlogBenBoydNP50%ReszdIMG_2458BlogBenBoydNP50%ReszdIMG_2462BlogBenBoydNP50%ReszdIMG_2469BlogBenBoydNP50%ReszdIMG_2468BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2016-06-26 18.52.41Barmouth Beach

Can be accessed by road through tall open coastal forest or a track from Haycock Point.

Sheltered north- facing beach, overlooking Pambula River mouth and beach.

George Bass, who was in an open whale boat with 6 crew members, sheltered from a gale here in 1797. He named the river ‘Barmouth Creek’, after the large sandbars at the mouth of the river, but it is now known as ‘Pambula River’.

Beach is protected by a tall headland on the ocean side.

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Pambula River Mouth from the northern side of river; Barmouth Beach far right across river
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Barmouth Beach across Pambula River from Bar Beach

BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2016-06-26 17.58.14OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2016-06-26 18.20.45Haycock Point and Haycock Beach (North Long Beach)

Ten minute walk through old farmland with regenerating coastal wattle and the odd feral lily to Haystack Rock and purple red rock platforms and rock pools.

Ocean beach is 3 km long and can also be accessed via the North Long Beach road (Red Bloodwoods and Banksia forest).

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Long Beach, Haycocks Point looking south
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Cliffline Haycocks Point

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Northern end Long Beach, Haycocks Point
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Rock platforms at northern end Long Beach, Haycocks Point looking north to Haystack Rock
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Haycocks Point
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Haystack Rock, Haycocks Point

BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2016-06-26 17.15.06Long Beach and Quandolo Point

Wide isolated 1km long beach with colourful rock ledges.

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Looking north from Quondolo Beach to Long Beach and Haycocks Point
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Quandolo Beach
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Quandolo Point looking north
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Quondolo Point, looking south to Terrace Beach and Lennards Island
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Lennards Island from Quondolo Point
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Red rock platforms, Quondolo Point
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Quondolo Point

The Pinnacles

Also known as the Quoraburagun Pinnacles.

Eroded gully at northern end of Pinnacles Beach with colourful rock layers of sand, clay and sediment.

White pipe clay used by local aborigines for white ochre, an important trade commodity.

Feral pine trees.

Pinnacles Beach is 3km long and leads into Terrace Beach at the southern end.

Thick coastal scrub and steep colourful cliffs.

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Track through heath land, The Pinnacles
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Pinnacle Beach heading south to Terrace Beach and Lennards Island
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The Pinnacles are still actively eroding
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Lennards Island from the Pinnacles
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Feral pines at the Pinnacles
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Pinnacles Beach from Terrace Beach Car Park, looking north

The Terraces

One of our favourite spots. We spent New Years Day 2016 here and there were only four other people.

It is fun exploring the rocks at the end, and if you walk the other way, you will reach the Pinnacles.

The Terraces, Lennards Island and North Point are all accessed by the road to the Eden Tip, off the main highway.BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-12-28 14.29.20BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-09-25 14.03.01BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-09-25 14.24.20BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-09-25 14.25.03BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-12-28 14.58.40BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-12-28 15.08.29BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-12-28 15.48.29

Lennards Island

Can be accessed at low tide, but becomes an island at high tide.

We saw an a echidna on the beach and a pair of peregrine falcons last time we were here.

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Lennards Island from the Pinnacles
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Lennards Island from Quondolo Point

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Lennards Island

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Lennards Island
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Lennards Island

North Head (Warong Point)

My daughter loves this place for its wonderful geology and myriad of small shells.BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-12-28 16.57.17

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North Head from Aslings Beach, Eden
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Fisherman on rock platform, North Head
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Heavily folded layers, North Head

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Sleeping Dragon, North Head
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Hidden beach, North Head
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Narrow ridge to south of beach, North Head

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Rocks to north of hidden beach
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North Head
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View south from North Head towards Asling Beach in background

North Point looks across to Aslings Beach and the town of Eden, which separate the middle and lower sections of Ben Boyd National Park, so, even though they are not National Park, I have added a few photos in.

Aslings Beach (2km long)

Stretching round Calle Calle Bay and enclosing Curalo Lagoon and the main surf beach for Eden. Large sea pool at southern end. One day, we saw a dolphin pod catching the waves in.

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Aslings Beach looking north with North Head in background
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Aslings Beach looking south to Eden and Middle Head
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Northern end of Aslings Beach- note entrance to Curalo Lagoon on far left of photo

Eden

Home of the Killer Whale Museum (http://killerwhalemuseum.com.au/) and the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre (http://www.sapphirecoastdiscovery.com.au/).

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Middle Head, Eden from North Head
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View from Rotary Lookout, Middle Head over Twofold Bay, Red Point and Boyds Tower

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Rotary Lookout, Middle Head, Eden
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Rotary Park, Middle Head and Eden township from Boyds Tower
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Wharf, Eden

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Navy vessel, Twofold Bay

Southern End:

Quarantine Bay

Not in National Park, but worth a visit en route; Just south of Eden and Rixon’s Beach.

Lots of pelicans, seagulls, rays and even a friendly seal;

Boat launching ramp and fish cleaning tables.

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Rixons Beach, looking north to Eden and wharf
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Quarantine Bay
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Quarantine Bay with Mt Imlay in background

Boydtown Beach– 2km long- adjacent to site of Boydtown and historic Seahorse Inn.

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Boydtown Beach, looking north
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Seahorse Inn, Boydtown

Here is a National Parks map of the southern end of Ben Boyd National Park, encompassing the Light-to-Light Walk from Boyds Tower to Green Cape Light Station:BlogBenBoydNP40%ReszdIMG_5595Whale Beach and Davidson Whaling Station

Long isolated 2 km long beach protecting mouth of Towamba River and Kiah Inlet.

Once the site for onshore whaling operations at historic Davidson Whaling Station on Brierley Point.

This is a photo of an information board at the Killer Whale Museum.BlogBenBoydNP25%Reszd2015-05-15 11.17.08BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 10.36.42BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 11.20.31

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Large midden on the headland

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See post last week on Ben Boyd National Park for its history.BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5607BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5609BlogBenBoydNP75%ReszdIMG_5615BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5618BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5617Leatherjacket Bay

Isolated rock and pebble beach;

Granite boulders covered in bright orange lichen.BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5682BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5683BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5685BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5687BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5689

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Leatherjacket Bay
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Leatherjacket Bay

Saltwater Creek

500 m long beach bordered by 2 creeks and small lagoons

A lovely spot with an estuarine lagoons with reeds and rushes, melaleuca thickets, forest (rough barked apple and old-growth tall trees, full of hollows) and coastal foredunes, providing a variety of habitats for native flora and fauna and a veritable feast for the local aborigines, as evidenced by their middens.BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5768BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5781BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5785

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Southern end of Saltwater Creek
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Southern end Saltwater Creek

Hegarty’s Bay

Shrubby heath provides a habitat for the Ground Parrot, Pezoporus wallicus. We have yet to visit this bay, as it can only be accessed on the walk.

Bittangabee Bay

Aboriginal middens;

Old ruins of the Imlay’s ‘Bittangabee House’. The Imlays based their whaling operations here. Boats launched from Bittangabee Bay and Mowarra Point could attack northward migrating whales before the crews at Twofold Bay, giving the Imlays a commercial advantage. However, with their financial demise, the Imlays had to cancel the work on the house, and in 1848, Boyd took over the site on their departure.

Shed used to store supplies for Green Cape Light Station from 1880-1927. There was a horse-drawn tramway to the light station, 7km away.

The rocks provide homes for with limpets, chitons, snails, crabs and seaweeds. Sand Hoppers and Weedy Sea Dragons, Phyllopteryx taenolatus, live in the kelp beds.

Small white sand beach, backed by thick eucalypt forest.

Healthy Superb Lyrebird population.BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 13.33.50BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 13.35.01

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Bittangabee Bay with old storehouse ruins
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Swamp Wallaby, Bittangabee Bay
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Bittangabee Beach
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Storehouse ruins Bittangabee Bay

Pulpit Rock

Land-based game fishing, as it is very close to the continental shelf.

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Pulpit Rock
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Pulpit Rock
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Pulpit Rock

Green Cape

Deep water immediately offshore and sheltered sites in most wind conditions, making this a popular site for snorkelling and scuba diving.

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Looking towards Green Cape from Bay Cliff
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From the rock platform at light house, looking north to Lennards Island
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Rock platform at the end of Green Cape

Disaster Bay

From the road to Green Cape, there is a spectacular view over Disaster Bay, so named because Matthew Flinders lost 8 sailors, when they went ashore for water and were killed by aborigines in 1802. Nine ships were also lost in the area between 1862 and 1917.

Disaster Bay is a cove between Bay Cliff and Green Cape. Bay Cliff is a 350 Million year old rock formed by waves and it was an island 10,000 years ago. Since then, ocean currents have deposited sand to form parallel dunes and beaches.

Wonboyn River flows into Disaster Bay, just north of Bay Cliff.

Both are accessed by a road from the highway, further south of Ben Boyd National Park, and it is well worth spending a whole day there. It is one of the most stunningly scenic spots I have ever seen and warrants its own post later on in the year!BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 15.07.55BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 15.08.02

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

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BlogSunshine50%ReszdsunshineWhat a lovely idea and a great way to start Spring- at least for we bloggers (and gardeners!) in the Southern Hemisphere, that is! I have been nominated for this award by the lovely Lisa, from http://www.fromdreamtoplan.net. Lisa writes a great travel blog and is always so positive, enthusiastic and full of life! She also has a lovely singing voice and enjoys making handmade gifts, so if you love travelling, music and creativity, it is well worth following her blog!

The Sunshine Award is given by fellow bloggers to bloggers, who ‘are positive and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere’, so Lisa certainly deserves her award and it’s so lovely that she enjoys my blog too! I get so much joy from my garden, the beauty of our local environment and the natural world and from developing my creative side, and blogging has been a wonderful way to share that happiness, as well as meet some wonderful, positive, like-minded people from all over the world in the process! So thank you again, Lisa!

Here are the rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the eleven questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate eleven blogs to receive the award and write them eleven new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

Here are my responses to Lisa’s questions:

1.What are the challenges that you face in writing an article?

Keeping the word count down and being selective about the photos I use! Sometimes, I will post an article over 2 weeks, if it is more than 5000 words and can be divided into two logical parts. Trouble is, there is always so much to write about!!! The same goes for the photos and they are even harder! I hope that I am improving slowly!!!

2.What keeps you motivated?

I think that I may have already answered this question in my introductory blurb! I love my garden and seeing all the new growth, especially at this time of year, when the garden is very very slowly starting to wake up after a long Winter! The excitement of the first new leaves unfurling, the first daffodil opening, the first crab apple flower- I pop down into the garden at least 4 times a day to check on its progress, to help Ross out or pick flowers for the house. I love flower arranging- all the scents, colour, textures and forms- and easily lose myself in this other world! Nature, birds, our precious environment and beauty are also strong motivational factors for me!

3.What is your favourite travel destination?

This is a difficult one! There are so many wonderful places to visit and we have enjoyed all our holidays! This time, I might nominate Lord Howe Island off the east coast of Australia- well worth visiting if, like us, you enjoy bushwalking, beautiful natural environments, cycling, swimming and snorkelling and bird watching. It is a pretty special place! For more information, read my post on Landmark Birthdays: Part 1 at: https://candeloblooms.com/2016/05/31/landmark-birthdays-part-1/.

4.Do you speak any foreign languages?

I learnt French at school for 4 years and while I don’t get a lot of opportunity to practise it, I have used it at a very basic level on our two trips to France, as well as translating a book, written totally in French, about one of my favourite  Old Rose gardens in Lyons, which leads to my next question…!

5.List 3 things on your bucket list.

Given Lisa asked the question and is a travel writer, here is my travel bucket list!

  • To visit the Old Rose gardens of Europe, in particular the subject of the book, which required translation: Odile Masquelier’s wonderful garden, La Bonne Maison, in Lyons, as well as Eléonore Cruse’s blowsy rose garden ‘Roseraie de Berty’ at Largentière, Ardeche and of course, the Garden of Ninfa in Lazio, south of Rome, Italy.
  • To visit more gardens in Britain: Sissinghurst, Sarah Raven’s Cutting garden, Great Dixter, the Old Rose nurseries of Peter Beales and David Austin, the gardens of the Cotswolds: Hidcote Manor, Kiftsgate Court, Snowshill Manor, Barnsley House, William Morris’s Kelmscott and Prince Charles organic garden at Highgrove, Montisfont Abbey… the list is endless!
  • And finally, on the way home: the beautiful exotic tropical paradise of Tahiti!

6.What is the favourite thing about yourself?

Another toughie, but I would probably have to say my adaptability! We have lived in a number of different places and led a number of different lives, all involving fresh starts and lots of variety and interest! Life is never boring!

7.If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?

Probably the ability to time travel, as I love history, as well as visiting new places!

8.What is your favourite recipe of all time?

I love desserts! It’s the basis of my menu planning! And I love tropical fruit salad, so my choice would have to be: Fruit Salad with Ginger Mint, Served in a Carved Watermelon. I have made this dessert a number of times and love it for its variety of flavours, colours and creativity. It is great fun carving designs on the melon bowl and you can vary the fruits used, plus the syrup includes lime juice and orange flower water- always a winner!  See my post on The Sweet Spot at: https://candeloblooms.com/2015/10/01/the-sweet-spot/.

9.Which is your favourite movie of all time?

I love Mamma Mia: The Movie for its joyous music, beautiful Greek island scenery, fabulous dance scenes and just sheer fun! It always makes me feel good!

10.How long have you been blogging?

One whole year on September the 1st!

11.When did you start your first blog and if it’s not the current one, what was it?

Yes, this is my first blog and its a celebration of our new garden, other people’s lovely gardens, stunning seasonal plants, our beautiful local environment and creativity!BlogSunshine20%Reszd2016-08-14 10.51.17Now for my nominations:

  1. exploreadventurediscover.wordpress.com
  2. mybotanicalgarden.wordpress.com
  3. susanrushton.net
  4. afrenchgarden.wordpress.com
  5. bundleofbooks.org
  6. theirisandthelily.wordpress.com
  7. myhesperidesgarden.wordpress.com
  8. thenaturephile.com
  9. brilliancewithin.com
  10. sarahbrennanblog.com
  11. bitesize-bakes.com

And my questions:

  1. What inspired you to start writing a blog?
  2. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
  3. What are the most important factors for a happy life and why?
  4. What is the most beautiful place you have ever visited and why?
  5. What is your favourite book and why?
  6. What is your favourite movie and why?
  7. What are your favourite ways to relax and unwind?
  8. Name 3 people who inspire you and say why.
  9. If you could time-travel, which time period would you visit and why?
  10. What is your favourite garden, apart from your own of course! ?
  11. Before blogging, what did you do with your blogging time?!

I really hope my nominees enjoy these questions. It’s good fun and a great way of defining your own goals and values, as well as getting to know a bit more about your fellow bloggers! Happy Blogging and Much Love! Jane

 

 

 

Ben Boyd National Park: Part 1

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Covering 10,485 hectares and 47 km coastline, Ben Boyd National Park is comprised of three sections : a small area north of Pambula; a central section, north of Eden ; and a large area, south of Eden. Here is a map from ‘The NPA Guide to National Parks of Southern NSW’ by Peter Wright.BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2016-07-09 10.48.16 First gazetted in 1971, it was named after Benjamin Boyd, a larger-than-life, boom-and-bust entrepreneur of the Alan Bond variety, whose financial empire collapsed after only 7 years. Given that the local aborigines had inhabited this area successfully for over 3000 years, we feel an aboriginal name might have been more appropriate!

Ben Boyd National Park is significant for its old growth forests; extensive heath land; estuarine and freshwater wetlands; dune ecosystems; a large number of threatened native animal species and biogeographically significant plant species; aboriginal sites; and historical structures associated with whaling and lighthouses, including Boyd’s Tower, Green Cape Light Station and the ruins at Bittangabee Bay.

Ben Boyd National Park is a geologist’s heaven with two geological zones: sedimentary base rock in the north and middle section and much older metamorphic rock in the southern section.  The northern part of the park covers the southern section of the Merimbula Bay barrier dunes, which began accumulating 7000-8000 years ago and stabilized in their current form 5000 years ago. They are one of only four major stationary barriers in Southern New South Wales.

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Layers of sedimentary rock, Green Cape
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North Head
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Terrace Beach
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Quondolo Point
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Quondolo Point
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Quondolo Point
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Quondolo Point
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Leatherjacket Bay
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Leatherjacket Bay
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Quondolo Point
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Salt Water Creek

The southern section has some of the oldest rocks on the NSW coast, with more than 80 percent of the Upper Devonian rocks exposed along the coast of South-Eastern Australia found in Ben Boyd National Park. During the Devonian Period, sediments similar to those in the northern section of the park, were laid down in estuaries and were later compressed, heated, folded and twisted into arches and curves. The soft sediments hardened and formed new types of rocks : brown and green shales, sandstones, red siltstones, conglomerates and quartzites. These metamorphic rocks of the Devonian Merimbula group are exposed along the cliffs and coastal headlands north to Terrace Beach and west from Haycock Point along the Pambula Estuary. There are only small areas of Tertiary deposits in the Southern section of the park. Red Point below Boyd’s Tower (photos 1-3) and the rock platform, south of Saltwater Creek (photo 7), are excellent examples of heavily folded metamorphic beds.BlogBenBoydNP75%ReszdIMG_5615BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5618BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5617

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Cliffs to south of Red Point
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Leatherjacket Bay, looking north
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Leatherjacket Bay
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Southern end of Saltwater Creek
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Southern end of Terrace Beach
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North Head

During the Devonian period (345-410 Million years ago), forests did not exist, though a few land plants grew in local swamps and primitive fish swam in nearby seas. During this time, the drying out of one of the floodplains trapped a school of fish in mud, forming Devonian fish fossils. These extinct species include a plate covered fish and a previously unknown species of air-breathing lobe-finned bony fish, measuring up to 1.5metres long. Younger and softer Tertiary deposits of sands, gravels, clays, ironstones and quartzites lie on top of the Devonian strata in the central section of the park, as seen in the sandy ridges of Long Beach.

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Terrace Beach
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Terrace Beach
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Barmouth Beach
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Barmouth Beach

The Pinnacles are an erosion feature formed in the finely-mottled well-lateritized Pinnacle Lens of the Quondolo Formation with cliffs of soft white sand, capped with a layer of red gravelly clay, which was laid down in the Tertiary Period, which started more than 60 Million years ago.

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The Pinnacles

Below are more photos of the erosion process.

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Rock bridge/ arch forming, Quondolo Point
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North Head
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North Head

The sandy soils support a wide variety of coastal habitats from open forest and woodland; dune dry scrub forest; small pockets of warm temperate rainforest; closed heath land and scrub land;  estuarine and floodplain wetlands; and perched swamps.

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Flowering gums, The Pinnacles

In the central section of the park, Red Bloodwood (Corymbia gummifera) and Blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis) grow on the Devonian strata, as well as Rough-barked Apple (Angophora floribunda), Brown Stringbark (E. baxteri), Mountain Grey Gum (E. cypellocarpa), Coast Grey Box (E. bosistoana), Swamp Gum (E. ovata), Ironbark (E. tricarpa), Manna Gum (E. viminalis) and Woollybutt (E. longifolia), with an understorey of Black Sheoak, Large-leaf Hopbush, Coast Tea-tree, Port Jackson Pine, Black Wattle, Coast Banksia and Grass Tree. Silvertop Ash (Eucalyptus sieberi) predominates in the south.

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Green Cape
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On the road to North Head, December
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North Head

The Dune Dry Scrub Forests of the northern section include Red Bloodwood; Blackbutt; Woollybutt and Forest Red Gum. Moist gullies, next to Disaster Bay, support Warm Temperate patches of rainforest species including Lillypilly, Sassafras, Scentless Rosewood, Cabbage Tree, Smooth Mock Olive, Sweet Pittosporum, Bolwarra, Sandpaper Fig, Muttonwood, Smilax vines and tree ferns.

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Lennards Island
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The Pinnacles
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Leatherjacket Bay

The closed heath land on the headlands and cliff lines, typified by the vegetation at Green Cape, includes Dwarf Sheoak, Silky Hakea, Coast Westringia, Common Heath, Coral Heath, White Kunzea, Daphne Heath, Native Fuchsia, Boronias, Croweas and Hibbertias. The heathland is significant, not only because of its restricted distribution, but also because it provides important habitat for threatened species like the vulnerable Striated Field Wren.

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Green Cape
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Boyd Tower
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Boyd Tower
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Pulpit Rock
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Pulpit Rock

Closer to the coast, the closed scrubland/ woodland includes Giant Honey Myrtle (Melaleuca armillaris), Large-leaf Hopbush, Coast Banksia and Sydney Green Wattle.

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North Head
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Terrace Beach
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Haycocks Point
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Barmouth Beach

The estuarine and floodplains at Pambula are important habitats for salt marsh and mangroves.

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Quondolo Point
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North Head
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North Head

The perched swamps of Woodburn and Bittangabee Creek support Bauera, Melaleucas, Sprengelias and Mimulus.

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Terrace Beach
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Lennards Island
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Barmouth Beach
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Barmouth Beach
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Lennards Island

Ben Boyd National Park is also significant, because it contains plants at the limit of their natural distribution. For example, it is the southernmost limit of Blackbutt (middle section of park and on track to the Pinnacles) and Plum Pine and the northernmost limit of Brown Stringybark and Furze Hakea.

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Mushroom in the sand, Haycocks Point
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Red Point
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North Head
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Lennards Island
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North Head

The wide variety of habitats are home to 150 species of birds, of which 48 species are water birds; 50 native mammals; 15 reptile species and 2 frog species.

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Goanna, Bittangabee Bay
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Hiding, Lennards Island
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Echidna, Lennards Island
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Wombat hole, Green Cape

These include :

1 critically endangered bird species : the Hooded Plover (only 50 left in NSW);

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Seabird trails, Haycocks Point
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Sea Eagle, Green Cape
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Peregrine Falcon, North Head
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Pied Oyster Catchers, Pambula River
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Sooty Oyster Catchers, North Head
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Sooty Oyster Catcher, Barmouth Beach
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Silver Gull, Severs Beach
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Pelicans, Quarantine Bay

BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-06-12 12.38.25BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-06-12 12.38.054 endangered animal species : Southern Brown Bandicoot: important for the dispersal of fungi; green and Golden Bell Frog; Regent Honeyeater and Gould’s Petrel.

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Welcome Swallow, North Head
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Wrens on Rixon’s Beach
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Eastern Yellow Robin, Salt Water Creek
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Wonga Pidgeon, Whale Beach
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Currawong and female Bowerbird, Tryworks, Davidson Whaling Station
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Little Wattlebird, Haycocks Point
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Gang-Gang Feast on Hawthorne berries, Panboola, Pambula

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The Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo feeds on the seeds of Casuarinas and Plantation Pines, Boyds Tower
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Superb Lyrebird, Bittangabee Bay

25 vulnerable species including the Ground Parrot and Striated Field Wren of the coastal heathlands; the Powerful Owl, Sooty Owl and Masked Owl and Yellow-Bellied Gliders of the tall open forest; Glossy Black Cockatoos; Tiger Quolls, Koalas, Long-nosed Potoroos and White-footed Dunnarts; Pied and Sooty Oyster Catchers; and Providence Petrels and Wandering Albatrosses.

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Swamp Wallaby, Bittangabee Bay
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Roos fighting, Pambula Beach

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Eastern Grey Kangaroos sunbaking at Haycocks Point
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Chez Roo, Pambula Beach

The sea life is amazingly abundant too.

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The littoral zone, Quondolo Point
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Cunjevoi, North Head
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Sea Tulips, Terrace Beach
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Kelp, North Head
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Hungry Ray, Quarantine Bay
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Fisherman’s friend, Quarantine Bay
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Patiently waiting for dinner, Quarantine Bay
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How could you resist?! Quarantine Bay

There are also a significant number of feral weeds and pests including: pine trees; bitou bush; blackberry; bridal creeper; sea spurge; wild dogs; foxes; deer; rabbits and cats (especially round the Eden tip, which is the gateway to Terrace Beach, Lennards Island and North Head). The pines are remnants of Forestry plantations from the 1940s.

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Feral arum lilies, Severs Beach
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Feral pine trees and white pipe clay  used for white ochre by local aborigines, The Pinnacles

Ben Boyd National Park has a long history of aboriginal occupation with more than 50 sites, most of which are on headlands, including middens and artefact scatters, campsites and rock shelters, scarred trees, stone arrangements and possible axe grinding grooves. In South Eastern New South Wales, there were 2 aboriginal nations, the Monaroo and the Yuin, and within these 2 nations were a number of tribes and language groups. The aborigines of Twofold Bay, the South Coast and the South Monaro Tablelands included the Dhurga; Dyirringan; Bidawal; Dthawa; Maneroo; Kudingal and Ngarigo language groups and clans. There were well-established trade routes for trade and exchange of white pipe clay used for white ochre, quartz crystals and twine, and large groups would congregate for celebrations and the exchange of marriage partners.

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Midden, Severs Beach
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Oysters in the shallows, Severs Beach

At Severs Beach on Pambula River, there is an occupation site dating back 3000 years and there are a number of middens on the headlands and banks of estuaries, including Lennards Island, Haycock Point, Pambula Estuary and Severs Beach.

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Midden on north bank, Pambula River
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Oysters on rocks, Pambula River

The middens are basically giant rubbish heaps and contain :

: the shells of oysters and mussels, collected from the rock platforms, reefs and estuaries;

: fish bones. Fish were baited with pieces of crayfish, sea eggs or cunjevoi or stunned by biodegradable poisons, then caught with spears, grass nets and fish traps;

: the bones of sea mammals. From 2300 years ago, increasing population and pressure on fish resources led to the expansion of dietary resources from fish to marine species, enabled by the use of canoes;

: the bones of kangaroos and wallabies; potoroos and bandicoots and possums and gliders;

: charcoal;  and

: bone tools and artefacts : cores, flakes and resharpening fragments.

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Midden, Lennards Island

The midden near Boyds Tower was used as a source of lime in the construction of the tower. An Aboriginal Cultural Camp has been established at Haycocks Point. The photos below show dolphins surfing at Aslings Beach, Eden.BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-06-12 13.27.30BlogBenBoydNP60%Reszd2015-06-12 13.27.30 - CopyBlogBenBoydNP75%Reszd2015-06-12 13.26.18 - CopyAborigines played a major part in the early whaling history of Twofold Bay, working for the Imlay, Boyd and Davidson families. The men crewed whale boats for rations, tobacco and whale products, while some of the women worked as servants in the houses of the whaling families.The aborigines had a unique relationship with a pack of Killer Whales (Orcinus orca), who returned to their base in Leatherjacket Bay every June to November between 1843 and the 1930s to hunt for migrating whales, including Finback, Right Whales and Humpbacks. Every June, whales migrate north to the tropics to give birth and in Spring, return back south to their Summer feeding waters in the  Antarctic. Up to 36 orcas would split into 3 packs and herd whales into Twofold Bay. Their leader, Old Tom, whose skeleton can be seen in the Killer Whale Museum in Eden, would swim to Kiah Inlet, where he would leap out of the water and splash to alert the whalers that a whale was in the bay and then, he would lead them to the whale. After the men had harpooned and killed the whale, its carcass was anchored to the seabed and marked with a buoy and the killer whales would eat the tongue and lips, after which they disappeared to look for more whales.

Twofold Bay is the third deepest natural harbour in the Southern Hemisphere and has 6.5 square miles of navigable water with safe anchorages. Captain Thomas Raine opened the first shore-based whaling station here at Snug Cove back in 1828. The Imlay brothers were the first to settle the area in 1834, exporting pigs, sheep, cattle and whaling products from Cattle Bay. By 1840, the Imlay Whaling Station was producing 200 tuns ( 1 tun is equivalent to 252 gallons or 1150 litres) of whale oil from 50-60 whales. The whale oil was used to lubricate engines and for lighting, the clear smokeless flame far superior to that of tallow and far cheaper than beeswax candles. The baleen strainer plates of the upper jaws, used by the whale to sieve plankton and krill, was used to make stays for corsets and hooped skirts. By 1845, up to 27 whaling boats were operating out of Twofold Bay. Competition between rival whaling stations was fierce. The Imlays built an unfinished house at Bittangabee Bay to catch the northbound whales before the crews at Eden, but by 1847, they were bankrupt. This is a photo of an information board at the Killer Whale Museum, Eden. See: http://killerwhalemuseum.com.au/.BlogBenBoydNP25%Reszd2015-05-15 11.17.04Benjamin Boyd, a London stockbroker, arrived in New South Wales in 1842 with the dream of creating his own empire, based on trading, shipping, grazing and whaling. By 1844, he was one of the largest land owners in the colony with huge properties in the Monara and Riverina and a whaling station at East Boyd, managed by artist Oswald Brierly. Boyd established Boydtown as a port to serve his Monaro properties, using coastal steamers to export his cattle, wool, wheat and whaling products.BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5877 At one stage, the depot at Boydtown held 9 ocean-going vessels and 30 whale boats for deep sea and offshore whaling. In 1846, he built a lighthouse at Red Point on the southern shore of Twofold Bay, also known as South Point. Pyrmont sandstone was shipped from Sydney, unloaded at East Boyd and hauled to the building site by bullock teams, where it was worked by master stonemasons into a tower with 5 timber platforms and etched with Boyd’s name on the top. A dispute with the government meant it could not be used as a lighthouse, so the tower became a whale watching lookout. Boyd’s empire collapsed within 7 years and he left Australia, his businesses in liquidation, in 1849. Two tears later, he went ashore at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands and was never seen again.BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5608BlogBenBoydNP20%ReszdIMG_5655Alexander Davidson emigrated from Scotland with his wife and 6 children in 1842 and initially worked as a carpenter in Boydtown. In the 1860s, he bought whaling boats and operated a try works at Kiah Inlet.BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 12.28.41 The business was continued by son John, then grandson George, who built a cottage with his wife Sara at ‘Loch Garra’ on 17 acres of freehold land on Kiah Inlet in 1896. The family were self-sufficient in fruit, meat, vegetables and dairy products. This is a photo of the National Parks map at Davidson Whaling Station.BlogBenBoydNP40%Reszd2015-03-31 12.41.22BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 11.40.35BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 11.09.48 The Davidsons used Boyd’s Tower to watch out for whales. The minute a whale was spotted, a gun was fired and the resultant puff of smoke alerted waiting whalers to launch their boats, then row within 8 metres of the huge beast, which would then be harpooned. At the height of their operations, the Davidson family were catching 10-15 whales each year. In between sightings, life would have been very cold and boring for the watchers and they often whiled away the time with board games like draughts (photo below).

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Boyds Tower from Rotary Lookout, Eden

BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 11.02.37 The try works below the house was housed in a 10 m shed with cutting tables, brick furnaces, try pots for boiling down the blubber and storage tanks for cooling the whale oil, after which it poured into casks and shipped across the bay to Eden. A capstan was used to winch the whale carcass into position and to remove the blubber as it was cut away with a sharp boat spade. George Davidson continued to use the capstan, even after steam-powered winches became available to whalers, thus preserving the history  and integrity of the 19th Century whaling station. Large flensed blanket strips of blubber were winched up to the try works, then cut into manageable pieces and sliced finely before being dropped into the try pots to boil them down for oil. The blubber scraps were used to fuel the fire. This is a photo of the National Parks information board at the Tryworks at Davidson Whaling Station.BlogBenBoydNP40%Reszd2015-03-31 11.23.23BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 11.21.19 It was a very smelly business and I wouldn’t have fancied being Sara, looking after all those men! Life was hard and tough in those early days and the Davidsons had their fair share of tragedy. Son Jack (1890-1926) drowned, trying unsuccessfully to save his children Roy (10) and Patricia (3) after their dinghy capsized, though his wife Ann and 8 year old daughter Marion survived. Apparently, a film called ‘The Law of the Tongue’, chronicling this event, is in the offing.

As whale oil was replaced by coal gas lighting, kerosene, mineral oils and electricity and the fashions changed, the demand for and income from whale products decreased dramatically  and by the 1920s, the family had to supplement their earnings from other sources. Only 2 whales were taken in 1925 and the last whale was caught in Twofold Bay in 1929 and the Davidson Whaling Station was closed, thus ending the longest continuously operating whaling station, run by 3 generations of the same family, in Australia. George and Sara moved into Eden in the 1940s, though family members continued on at ‘Loch Garra’. The present garden was established by Dr and Mrs Boyd between 1954 and 1984, then the 6ha property was acquired by the Coastal Council of NSW, before being taken on by National Parks and Wildlife Service as an historic site in 1986. Even though it has a fairly gruesome history, it is well worth visiting ‘Loch Garra’ as an example of early pioneer life in coastal NSW, as well as being an incredibly beautiful spot!BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 12.24.18 Ironically, when my husband was a young schoolboy, he and his classmates were taken on a school trip to see Tangalooma Whaling Station on Moreton Island off Brisbane before it closed in 1962. Little wonder, that he turned into a keen environmentalist! The photo below is the National Parks and Wildlife map of Green Cape Light Station.BlogBenBoydNP50%Reszd2015-03-31 14.57.53BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 14.50.05The other site of major historical significance in the southern section of Ben Boyd National Park is the 29m high Green Cape Light House, built in 1883. It is a very early example of the use of mass concrete and was the largest mass concrete structure in New South Wales at that time. The lighthouse was designed by Colonial architect, James Barnett, and has an octagonal tower on a square base, corbelling, a domed oil store and a distinctive balcony railing.BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 14.44.57BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 14.45.51

The light station complex also includes 2 cottages for the Head and Assistant Keeper; several sheds including a generator shed, a former telegraph office and a signal flag locker; a quarry; a garden/ tip site  and old stables, later used as a workshop and garage.BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 14.43.13 Nearby is the Cemetery, housing bodies from the Ly-ee-Moon shipwreck in 1886. The steamer struck an offshore reef on its journey from Melbourne to Sydney and only 15 of the 86 people on board survived.BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-03-31 14.42.07The lighthouse was manned all night, every night in four-hour shifts from 1883-1992, after which it was replaced by an automated light tower (now powered by solar panels). The National Parks and Wildlife Service took over management of the historic site in 1997 and now rent out the cottages for holidays. It would be lovely to stay there for a few days to enjoy all the natural history and atmosphere of the place.

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Heathland Green Cape
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Rock platform Green Cape

It is a wonderful spot for whale and dolphin watching, October and November being the best months to see Southern Right and Humpback whales, as well as observing the annual migration of Short-Tailed Shearwaters, Puffinus tenuirostris, which travel from the Northern Hemisphere to their breeding burrows on islands in Southern waters from late September to early November. I remember watching this spectacle from Coffs Harbour years ago – there was a long, low, endless black cloud of migrating birds. Other birds of note seen at Green Cape include the Yellow-Nosed Albatross (late Winter/ Early Spring), gannets and the Southern Emu-Wren, which loves to hide in the coastal heath.

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Windswept Green Cape looking out to sea.
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Green Cape

I remember visiting Green Cape one day and seeing what appeared to be the burnt-out broken carcass of a rowboat off-shore… except, it kept moving! On careful inspection through the binoculars, we discovered it was in fact a ring of bachelor Fur Seals, Arctocephalus pusillus, who commonly exhibit this behaviour!BlogBenBoydNP20%Reszd2015-06-28 13.24.02The lighthouse is now the bottom end of the 31km Light to Light walk, which starts at Boyd’s Tower and takes 3 days to complete. There are camping grounds along the way at Salt Water Creek (14 sites)and Bittangabee Bay (30 sites) and it is also possibly to drive into these spots. Here is a photo of a map of the Light to Light Walk, taken from an information board at Green Cape. BlogBenBoydNP30%Reszd2015-06-28 13.01.23 Next week, I will post a photo essay on Ben Boyd National Park, with a few brief notes about all the wonderful spots to explore, but in the mean time, more information can be found at : http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/planmanagement/final/20100979BenBoydBellBirdCreek.pdf

P.S. The feature photo is Terrace Beach, one of our favourite spots!

Camellias: August Feature Plant

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Camellias are indispensable to the Winter garden and bloom generously from late Autumn through to mid Spring. They are long-lived, evergreen ornamental shrubs and small trees (up to 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide) with glossy, dark green leaves.Blog LateWinter20%ReszdIMG_9079Their blooms exhibit great variability in :

Colour: Pure white to deep dark red; Bicolour combinations

Form: Single; Semi-Double; Irregular Semi-Double; Formal Double; Informal Double (Peony); and Elegans (Anemone). For a description of each form, see: camelliasaustralia.com.au/cultivation/camellia-types/camellia-flower-types/

Size: Miniature: less than 6cm; Small: 6-7.5 cm; Medium: 7.5-9cm; Medium-Large: 9-10cm; Large: 10-12.5cm; and Very Large: more than 12.5cm;      and

Flowering period (these times refer to Australia and Southern Hemisphere):

Early: Autumn: March to June; Mid: Autumn to Winter:Mid June to August; Late: Winter to Spring: Late August to October.BlogJune Garden 20%Reszd2016-06-01 16.50.16Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_0695BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-08-03 12.53.30My only reservation about these beautiful flowers is that most of them have no scent, but I have named a few fragrant varieties later on! Despite that, it doesn’t seem to worry the bees! The fruit of the camellia is a globe-shaped capsule with 3 compartments (locules), each with 1-2 large brown seeds.

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Our huge old camellia at the entrance

Blog LateWinter20%Reszd2015-09-01 14.06.41BlogCamellias20%ReszdIMG_0693Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_0696BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-07-10 11.53.13BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-08-03 12.53.21We were lucky enough to inherit a huge old camellia tree right at our entrance and its white, pale pink, striped pink and deep pink double blooms sustain our spirits all Winter. They look beautiful against the dark green foliage and their fallen blooms form an attractive carpet underneath, interspersed with violets and hellebores.BlogCamellias20%ReszdIMG_8681Blog Mid Winter20%ReszdIMG_8674 Their seeds strike well, producing many tiny seedlings beneath the parent plant.BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-07-02 11.29.53 Up until now, I went along with the suggestion that it was a multi-graft camellia, since it bears flowers of a number of different colour combinations, but during my research for this post, I came across an article (www.gardenclinic.com.au/how-to-grow-article/australia-s-first-camellia) by Graham Ross about an early Australian variety: C.japonica ‘Aspasia Macarthur’, which also throws blooms of a number of different colours. It has flowers of variable colour from a pale flesh or cream colour with pinkish/ red splashes, reverting to pure pink and pure red flowers. It also has a number of sports including ‘Lady Loch’ 1889, which has medium to large pale pink peony flowers, and ‘Otahuhu Beauty’ 1904 with medium informal double rose pink blooms. For photos of all the sports, see  : http://www.camellias.pics/mutations-gb.php?langue=gb#ANC-ID1106  and https://humecamellia.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/850/ .BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-08-03 12.54.16 I have strong suspicions that my old plant might be ‘Aspasia Macarthur’ or at least related to it, as its flowers are very similar to all of these varieties. Graham Ross states that his plant dates from 1920 and our plant could well be the same, as our house was built in 1925. There is also a useful site for camellia identification: www.camellias.pics/index-gb.php?langue=gb, though I was a bit confused as to which flower to include in their search facility!BlogCamellias20%ReszdIMG_0692Blog Mid Winter20%Reszd2015-07-31 07.27.13BlogJune Garden 20%Reszd2016-06-17 14.20.50BlogJune Garden 20%Reszd2016-06-18 18.19.54BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-07-16 12.24.16I have also planted some new camellia plants along the fence line:

C.vernalis ‘Star above Star’ :  I first saw this beautiful camellia at my friend’s place at Black Mountain, NSW (1st photo below) and on the way home, I found a plant at a nursery. It has just bloomed for the first time,  its creamy-pink bloom ageing to a lolly-pink (2nd and 3rd photos below);

Blog Mid Winter20%Reszd2015-07-28 13.52.31BlogJune Garden 20%Reszd2016-06-17 14.22.34BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-06-28 13.21.09C.japonica ‘Nuccio’s Gem’: I was thrilled to discover a tiny specimen at our local hardware store, as its exquisite, formal double white flower has always been a favourite of mine; BlogCamellias25%Reszd2015-08-24 16.26.18

And C.japonica ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ : It has had a number of eye-catching, pretty, pure red formal double blooms this year.BlogCamellias20%Reszd2015-10-09 09.03.28BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0331BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-07-16 12.13.05Camellias belong to the order Ericales, which includes azaleas and blueberries, and the family Theaceae, which also contains Stewartia and Gordonia, all plants having serrated glossy leaves (mostly evergreen), flowers with multi-stamens and fruit in capsules or seedpods. The genus Camellia, named after the Jesuit priest and botanist, George Kamel (1661-1706), has between 200 and 300 species. Here are some brief notes about some of the main species:

The most famous species is Camellia japonica, from which thousands of cultivars have been developed. It hails from the forests of Japan, as well as China and South Korea (300-1100m altitude), where it is pollinated by the Japanese White Eye bird (Zosterops japonica). It grows best in partial shade.BlogJune Garden 20%Reszd2016-06-18 18.20.35Camellia sasanqua is also very well-known. It is a smaller shrub with denser, smaller, rounded foliage and smaller flowers with a similar form and colour to the Japonicas. Unlike the blooms of the latter, which fall intact, sasanqua flowers shatter on impact, carpeting the ground below with petals rather than flowers. They also tolerate more sun than C.japonica, ‘sasanqua’ being the Japanese word for ‘sun’. Sasanquas are native to Southern Japan and the Liu Kiu Islands.Blog Early Winter20%Reszd2015-06-14 12.43.36Camellia vernalis is a cross between C.japonica and C.sasanqua and its blooms do not shatter easily like the sasanquas.‘Star above Star’ is an example.BlogJune Garden 20%Reszd2016-06-17 14.22.50Camellia reticulata is also grown as an ornamental shrub in many gardens and has larger, showy flowers and leaves with distinct veins. It also tolerate a fair amount of sun. There are a number of hybrids, which have been produced by crosses between C.reticulata and C.japonica/ C.sasanqua.

Camellia sinesis, from China (as well as Japan and the rest of South East Asia), is a very important commercial plant, as it is the source of all our black and green tea and Camellia oleifera is harvested for its oil, which is used in cooking and cosmetics. I have just bought a plant of C.sinensis at our local hardware store for its lovely little white flowers and novelty value, as well as in deference to our family’s huge consumption of tea! It has very small, simple, semi-fragrant , white flowers with a boss of gold stamens from late Summer to early Autumn. Bees and butterflies love the flowers, while humans prefer the leaves!BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-07-02 13.57.56BlogCamellias25%ReszdIMG_8770BlogCamellias25%ReszdIMG_8768 Tea leaves were used as medicine in the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BCE) and have been consumed as a beverage since the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BCE).  In green tea, the leaves are dried and steamed, while in black tea, the leaves are dried and fermented. We enjoyed an informative visit to the Nerada Tea plantation on the Atherton Tableland, Queensland. (http://www.neradatea.com.au) in 2008.BlogCamellias25%ReszdIMG_8786BlogCamellias25%ReszdIMG_8757 We learnt that C.sinensis can reach a height of 5-10 m if left untrimmed (see old tree in the first photo below) and that it takes up to 7 years before the leaves can be harvested for tea, after which the plant will produce leaves for tea for 100 years! We also had a guided tour of the processing factory (2nd photo below).BlogCamellias25%ReszdIMG_8763BlogCamellias25%ReszdIMG_8781Other species have smaller leaves and miniature flowers and a few are even scented like C.lutchuensis, C.transnokoensis, C.fraterna; C.kissi; C.yuhsienensis and C.grijsii. The japonica cultivar ‘Kramer’s Supreme’ is slightly fragrant, while the fragrance of the sasanqua cultivar ‘Daydream’ is more intense, but not sweet. Other fragrant hybrids, using C.fraterna, C.yuhsienensis and C.grijsii as breeding stock, include : ‘ Cinammon Cindy’; ‘Cinammon Scentsation’; ‘Fragrant Joy’; ‘Fragrant Pink’; ‘Helen B’; ‘Hallstone Spicy’; ‘High Fragrance’; ‘Sweet Emily Kate’ and ‘Scentuous’.

Camellias originated in Eastern and Southern Asia from the Himalayas to Japan and Indonesia. Camellia japonica was portrayed in 11th Century Chinese porcelain and paintings, usually as a single red bloom. The oldest camellia in the world, at the Panlong Monastery in China, dates from 1347. The camellia was introduced to the West by the Dutch East India Company surgeon, Engelbert Kaempfer (1651-1716), who discovered them while in Japan. On his return, he described the details of more than 30 varieties. The oldest camellia trees in Europe were planted at the end of the 16th century at Campobello, Portugal.

The first camellias in Australia were planted by Alexander Macleay in 1826 at Elizabeth Bay House. The history of the camellia in Australia is recounted in http://www.gardenclinic.com.au/how-to-grow-article/australia-s-first-camellia. One of the early pioneers was the Waratah Camellia, C.japonica ‘Anemoniflora’, planted in the Sydney Botanic Garden in 1828 and by William Macarthur in 1831 at Camden Park Estate to be used in his breeding program. Other varieties imported in the same 1831 shipment were: ‘Alba Plena’, ‘Camura’ (Syn.’Incamata’) ‘Myrtifolia’, ‘Rubra’ and ‘Welbankiana’. In 1850, Macarthur listed 62 hand-bred varieties, the first of which was C.japonica ‘Aspasia’ or ‘Aspasia Macarthur’, as it is now known. By 1883, the leading nursery in Australia, Shepherd and Company, listed 160 varieties of C.japonica, but by 1891, the number of varieties had dropped to 53 and in 1916 to 16.

BlogCamellias20%Reszd2015-06-16 14.46.48
Similar to ‘Aspasia Macarthur’
BlogCamellias20%Reszd2015-06-16 14.42.43
Similar to ‘Lady Loch’

BlogCamellias20%Reszd2015-06-16 14.45.00BlogCamellias25%Reszd2015-08-26 16.47.45The revival of the camellia industry in Australia owes an enormous debt to Professor EG Waterhouse, a world authority on camellias,who researched and wrote 2 books about these lovely plants and propagated them between 1914-1977  at his home ‘Eryldene’ (17 McIntosh St Gordon, North Sydney) and nursery, Camellia Grove Nursery, based at St. Ives from 1939 to 2004 and now at Glenorie, 8 Cattai Ridge Rd., Glenorie (http://www.camelliagrove.com.au/). ‘Eryldene’, an Art Deco house built in 1914, is listed on the National Estate and the NSW Heritage Register and is open to the public on selected weekends during Winter. The next open day is 13th and 14th August 2016. See: http://www.eryldene.org.au/ for dates and further information.

Camellias can also be viewed at the EG Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens, 104 President Ave, Caringbah South, near Cronulla. They were established as a Captain Cook Bicentenary project in 1970 and they are only one of 40 International Camellia Gardens of Excellence in the world and the only such garden in New South Wales. They showcase 400 cultivars and species from Autumn to Spring. Camellia sasanqua blooms from Autumn to early Winter or early Spring; followed by Camellia japonica, from late Autumn right through Winter; and Camellia reticulata in bloom from mid-Winter to September/October. The gardens are open from 9am-4pm on weekdays and 9.30am – 5pm on weekends and public holidays. See: http://www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/Outdoors/Parks-and-Playgrounds/Parks/Camellia-Gardens-Caringbah-South  and  http://camelliasaustralia.com.au/gardens/e-g-waterhouse-national-camellia-gardens/.

The Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne (https://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-melbourne/attractions/plant-collections/camellia-collection  also has a large collection of camellias, with 950 species and cultivars, some dating back to 1875, while Araluen Botanic Park, Western Australia (http://araluenbotanicpark.com.au/) has 450 cultivars. The Mount Lofty Botanic Garden in South Australia (http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/botanicgardens/visit/mount-lofty-botanic-garden) also has an important collection.

All the states have their own camellia societies, affiliated under an umbrella association called Camellias Australia Inc.(See their website: http://camelliasaustralia.com.au). It also hosts a project called the Camellia Ark, set up to conserve some of the very rare early species in Australia, which are now disappearing. It includes 75 endangered cultivars and species and can be accessed at : http://camelliasaustralia.com.au/gardens/camellia-ark/.BlogCamellias20%Reszd2015-05-30 09.15.22Camellias are best selected when in bloom. They should be planted (and transplanted) during Autumn and Winter. Their ideal site is:

  • Partial shade. Full shade reduces the amount of flowering, while full sun will burn the foliage; White and light pink varieties prefer more shade; C.sasanqua and C.reticulata will tolerate more sun than C.japonica.
  • Organic, slightly acidic (pH 6-6.5), semi-moist but well-drained soil.

The site should be prepared prior to planting with generous amounts of peat moss, compost or old manure mixed in with the soil. The hole should be twice the diameter of the root ball and 1½ times the depth. The planting depth is critical, otherwise if the root ball is set too deep, the plant may refuse to bloom. Plant, so that the root ball is 1 inch above the existing soil level to allow for settling. Water heavily and keep well-watered until the plant is established. A thick layer (2-3 inches) of mulch (leaf mould or shredded bark) will help to retain moisture. Having said that, make sure the soil is well-drained, as camellias hate wet feet, as too much water results in root rot.

Camellias are very easy, minimal care plants, which seldom require pruning, except for weak, spindly, or dead branches. For a more upright growth, the inner branches can be thinned out and the lower limbs shortened. If you must prune, do it immediately after the blooms fade or in mid Summer. They are not heavy feeders, but if growth is weak or the leaves are yellowing, a slow release Azalea and Camellia Fertilizer can be applied sparingly around the drip line of the plant in December, after which the plant should be watered well. Avoid the use of mushroom compost, fresh chook manure and lime (all too alkaline). A few handfuls of sulphate of potash can be beneficial just before flowering.BlogCamellias25%Reszd2015-06-19 09.03.41Diseases are mainly fungal and algal, including;

  • Spot Disease – round spots and upper side of leaves silvery, leading to loss of leaves
  • Black Mold
  • Leaf Spot
  • Leaf Gall
  • Flower Blight – flowers brown and fall
  • Root Rot
  • Canker – caused by fungus Glomerella cingulata, which attacks through wounds.

Physiological diseases include:

  • Salt Injury – high levels of salt in soil
  • Chlorosis – insufficient acidity in soil prevents the absorption of essential soil elements
  • Bud Drop – loss and decay of buds due to over-watering, high temperatures and potbound roots
  • Bud Balling – treat with 2 tsp Epsom salts to 10 litres water; a good feed of Azalea and Camellia fertilizer or move to a different place.

Camellias  can also suffer from oedema and sunburn.

Pests include :

  • Fuller rose beetle Pantomorus cervinus
  • Mealy bugs Planococcus citri and Planococcus longispinus
  • Weevils Otiorhyncus slacatus and Otiothyncus ovatus and
  • Tea Scale Fiorinia theae
BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-07-02 11.34.43
All 4 stages of the camellia life cycle: Flower bud, flower, seedcase and seedling
BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-07-02 11.32.04
Closeup of previous photo with seedcase and seed on dying leaf and new seedling

BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-07-02 11.29.44Camellias can be propagated by :

  • Seed: Hybrid plants may be sterile; Seed is not necessarily true to its parentage; Seeds should be soaked in warm water for 24 hours and sown indoors in Spring and Fall in a 70-75 degree growing medium until germination (within 1-2 months). Our old camellia does not seem to have any trouble producing seedlings under its skirt, without any help from us!
  • Softwood cuttings:  From new growth in early Summer, but is a slow process; Each cutting should have more than 5 nodes; Remove the lowest leaves and trim the other leaves by half. Insert into a mix of sand and peat moss.
  • Air Layering: Produces larger clones and can be done at any time of the year, but best in Spring during active growth. It is the easiest propagation method and is described in : http://camelliasaustralia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Camellia-Propagation_Garnett-Hunt.pdf    and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqJ1onrFfR4
BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-07-02 11.30.19
Closeup of seedcase with seeds
BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-07-02 11.36.28
I love to collect the empty seed cases. They look like tiny wooden flowers.

Camellias are lovely specimen plants and can also be planted as massed plantings and in mixed borders. Sasanqua camellias planted close together make great hedges and screens. They can be espaliered and trellised, as well as grown in containers and planters on patios, porches, pathways and gazebos. They can even be used in bonsai and topiary or grown as standards.BlogCamellias20%Reszd2015-06-14 12.43.29BlogCamellias20%Reszd2015-06-14 12.46.01They are the food plant of some Lepidoptera, including the Engrailed Ectropis, Crepuscularia. In China, camellias are lucky symbols, exchanged as gifts during the Chinese New Year (their Spring), and promising prosperity and a long life. They also have a superstition that Chinese women should never wear a camellia in their hair or they won’t be able to bear sons for a long time. In the language of flowers, a white camellia means ‘exquisite loveliness’, while a red camellia means ‘unpretentious excellence’.BlogCamellias20%Reszd2015-06-14 12.45.04Camellia foliage is used in floristry as a filler. I like to float their flower heads in a shallow bowl of water, though I use a pottery bowl these days! I once had a lovely glass shallow bowl, but it had a small lip, which led to its downfall and a very memorable dinner party! Filled with floating flowers and tea lights, the candles floated under the edge of the lip and started to heat the glass. I dismissed a small ‘ping’, only to have the whole bowl literally explode a few minutes later, the water pouring all over and even through the dinner table! Very dramatic and certainly a conversation stopper! These are my latest camellia blooms.BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-07-16 12.30.16 They can also be used in corsages, wedding bouquets and funeral wreaths. Care should be taken when handling the flowers, as they bruise and brown easily. Flowers last 5-7 days in floral work and may need wiring. Preservative is optional. Here is a photo of a beautiful vase of ‘Star above Star’ in our bedroom, when we visited out friends in Black Mountain. Thank you, Jane  xxx
Blog Mid Winter20%Reszd2015-07-28 14.09.27For more information on camellias, which you can enjoy over a pot of China Tea, please see: https://simplebooklet.com/camelliaquide.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Painting and photograph by Caroline Stephens

 

 

 

 

 

Favourite Private Gardens: Historic Gardens: Part 2

Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 064

Last month, we visited private historic gardens from the late 19th century. This post describes the work of garden designers and keen gardeners in the early 20th century: Joan Law-Smith at Bolobek; Edna Walling at Bickleigh Vale Village and Mawarra at the Grove and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch at Cruden Farm.

Bolobek        1911

370 Mt Macedon Rd, Mt Macedon    3.6 ha (9 ac)   Less than 1 hour drive from Melbourne

http://bolobek.com.au/

http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s4034491.htm

https://vimeo.com/abodetv/review/124387849/30b995a54b

One of the finest and most visited, documented and photographed private gardens in Australia and another beautiful old garden in Mt Macedon, established over 100 years ago and made famous by a subsequent owner, Joan Law-Smith. It is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. Their site has an excellent map of the garden. See: http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/133719/Bolobek.pdf. The garden is 450 metres above sea level with frequent frosts and snow and 750 mm rain, temperatures ranging from 0 degrees in Winter to 40 degrees in Summer and a grey loam soil on a clay base, tending towards acidity. Unfortunately, the day we visited Bolobek for the Spring plant fair was very grey and rainy, so the photos are all a bit dark, but they still will give you an idea of the garden layout and beauty. For photos in Summer, see: http://aggregata.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/visit-to-bolobek-gardens-in-mt-macedon.html

History

The land, on which Bolobek was settled, was originally Bolobek Swamp, which provided food for the Wurundjeri aboriginal people, but the swamps were drained in the 19th Century. Bolobek means ‘undulating’ in the local aboriginal dialect. Between 1910-1914, Oswald Syme, the youngest son of David Syme, the founder of the Melbourne Age newspaper, bought more than 900 acres in adjoining parcels of land, which were parts of 2 former pastoral runs, Turitable and Wooling. Wooling, an aboriginal word meaning ‘nestling of many waters’, was originally settled in 1839 by William Robertson and included a 9 acre orchard, a 4 acre kitchen garden and Victoria’s first sawmill, as well as fish ponds, the first breeding grounds of brown trout and English salmon trout on the mainland, the ova being imported from Tasmania in 1862. Oswald and his wife, Mildred, built a three-storey Edwardian mansion in 1911 and lived there for over 60 years. Mildred was a keen gardener and laid out a 5 acre garden, including a 0.5 acre orchard. Many trees (rows of lindens, poplars and oaks) and shrubs have survived from the original garden plan. They built a dam (Syme’s Lake) over the original trout hatchery ponds, supplying reticulated water to a garden tank by gravity for the garden and stock troughs. Oswald was a member of the Royal Agricultural Society and ran a Romney Marsh sheep stud, a Friesian stud and a huge dairy complex on Bolobek, the latter destroyed in the 1952 fires, after which 270 ha on Hamilton Rd were excised. They also had a nine-hole golf course, a croquet lawn, a tennis court and a swimming pool.

In 1969, Bolobek was bought by Robert and Joan Law-Smith. Robert was a director of Qantas and BHP and a grazier and ran 400 Herefords and 1000 first cross ewes. They demolished the old house and many outbuildings, then built a smaller single storey house on the original site. It was designed by Phyllis and John Murphy and made of white bagged brick with a grey slate roof and large low windows looking straight out into the garden.Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.22.30 Joan was a talented gardener, artist and writer. She removed many trees, including the prunus and the bedding plants, and simplified the design, creating geometrically-shaped compartments, with 3 main axes paths, radiating from a central square lawn adjacent to the house and allowing a grand vista, framed by Italian Poplars, towards Mt Robertson. She loved old roses for their scent, floral arrangements and painting and created a walled garden for them from old bricks, sourced from an old demolished house. She also loved soft pastel colours and the garden has a very romantic dreamy feel with its emphasis on green and white.Blog PHGPT2 30%Reszd2014-09-20 10.29.32In 1990, the Law-Smiths sold Bolobek and it passed through a number of hands, the garden gradually going into decline. A further 70 ha land was subdivided in the late 1990s. Greville and Jill Egerton bought the property in 2002 and started renovating the garden and property. They sold to the current owners, Hugh and Brigid Robertson, in 2006. They spent the next two years observing the garden through the seasons and then started a major rejuvenation program in the garden. Since 2008, restoration works have included :

Replacing the old watering system;

Replacing the cypress and pine avenues, which were dying from old age and the drought, with oaks;

Replacing the crab apple and Lombardy poplar walks;

Repaving and regravelling paths and replacing the pergola;

Planting a new middle storey in the garden, which was lost from the neglect in the late 1990s;

Replanting the orchard and planting native trees around the farm; and

Designing and planting a large vegetable garden and picking garden, next to the original Syme vegetable garden.

Because of the micro-climates in the garden, affording pockets of shade, moisture and protection from the prevailing NW winds, in 2008 during the peak of the drought, the Robertsons were able to open the garden to visitors for the first time in 20 years and they had 6000 visitors. The property is now 550 ha and runs 1000 Border Leicester X Merino ewes and a self-replacing herd of 500 Angus cattle. There is self-contained accommodation at ‘The Cottage’, the original station hand’s house beside the garden. Open Garden Plant Fairs were held in 2008 and 2011, with over 10 000 visitors over the 4 days. Today, the garden is used for weddings, concerts and many fund-raising events, as well as hosting the Mt Macedon Horticultural Society Annual Garden Lovers Fair, which we attended in September 2014. The next fair is on 17 and 18 September 2016. There are many stalls selling rare and unusual perennials, trees and shrubs, bulbs, succulents and Australian natives, as well as sculpture and specialist tools. Entrance to the garden is $10 pp.Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.17.16Design

Modern formal garden style in 2.5 ha inner garden, with larger informal areas in the outer garden and park.Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.13.40Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.19.51 A main axes leads from the house to a distant view of Mt Robertson and there are 2 shorter axes parallel to the main axes, which are lined with weeping birch.Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.25.37Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.22.00

Cross axes contains a pergola and a sculpture of a girl  at the end of the apple walk.Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.20.33Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.18.46Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.19.04Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.22.46Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.24.11 The colour scheme is very restrained with an emphasis on a variety of green foliage and white, complementing the white house and courtyard and the grey roof and silvery-grey timber fence. White flowers include: white lilies, white nicotiana and white daisies with white watsonias along the poplar walk and a white wisteria, underplanted with double white violets, over the pergola.Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.21.53 A hedge of white Iceberg roses complement the white bark of the silver birches behind, the leggy rose stems hidden behind box hedges.Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.15.09Formal design elements include :

Lime, Lombardy poplar and crab apple (Golden Hornet) walks, the latter underplanted with English primroses and aquilegas.

Wisteria pergola and dovecot;Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.21.13Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.21.00Walled rose garden; Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.16.04Herbaceous borders;Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.16.34Woodland plantings including shrubs, bulbs, hellebores, columbines and Soloman’s Seal (Polygonatum multiflorum);Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.22.57Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.23.08Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.23.35Sweeping lawns with mature shrubs, deciduous trees and naturalized bulbs;Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.13.05Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.20.08I also loved seeing the Flowering quince shrubs in full bloom- white, pink-and-white and red forms and the exquisite magnolias.Blog PHGPT2 30%Reszd2014-09-20 10.29.55Blog PHGPT2 30%Reszd2014-09-20 10.30.58Blog PHGPT2 30%Reszd2014-09-20 10.31.04Blog PHGPT2 30%Reszd2014-09-20 10.31.25Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.23.12Blog PHGPT2 30%Reszd2014-09-20 10.28.28Blog PHGPT2 30%Reszd2014-09-20 10.28.35Statuary including a sundial and a marble statue.Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.23.43 Ornamental lake and a pool with a figure;

Rows of silver birch and Bhutan cypress and Laurustinus and Lilac hedges;Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.22.12Stone-lined channels and paths;Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.23.58Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.12.54White gravel courtyard and curved undulating gravel driveway and an avenue of Southern Mahogany (Eucalyptus botryoides).Blog PHGPT2 30%Reszd2014-09-20 10.28.10I loved the walled garden with its espaliered pear trees and climbing roses ( including Wedding Day, Constance Spry , Souvenir de la Malmaison, Souvenir de St Anne and Felicité et Perpetué) over the brick walls.Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.16.21Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.16.10Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.15.00Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.14.35Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.13.46 There are 4 symmetrical beds, around the central sundial, separated by mellow brick paths.Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.14.01Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.15.20Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.13.50Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.14.27 Other Old Roses include Madame Hardy, Charles de Mills, Maxima, Celeste, Boule de Neige, Mme Pierre Oger and Reine des Violettes.  The roses are underplanted with blue cranesbill, Alchemilla mollis, dianthus, wild strawberries and lambs’ ears.Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.15.37Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.15.43Bickleigh Vale Village  1920s

Bickleigh Vale Rd and Edna Walling Lane, Mooroolbark     3 ha

http://www.bickleighvalevillage.com.au/

The foothills of the Dandenongs, west of Melbourne, are the other famous area for beautiful old gardens and were the canvas for prominent garden designer Edna Walling.Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1898

History

Originally, Edna  bought 3 acres and built her cottage, ‘Sonning’, in 1921 out of local stone, timber and recycled materials. Later, she bought 18 adjoining acres, which she subdivided into 1-2 acre lots, creating an English-style village with country laneways, deciduous trees and hedgerows. She named it ‘Bickleigh Vale’ after the village, where she grew up in England. Edna’s goal was to create an environment, in which the houses and gardens related harmoniously with each other, as well as the natural environment, a key tenet of the Arts and Crafts movement. She was also an early advocate of Australian natives. Prospective owners had to agree to have their future cottage and its garden designed by Edna and she supplied all the plants. The properties are all linked by side gates, allowing easy access into each other’s gardens and creating a communal atmosphere.Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1825Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1871 The cottages were small and simple with rustic stone on the lower levels, dark shingles on the upper gable ends, simple low-set multi-paned casement windows, dormer windows in high-pitched roofs, stone and brick chimneys and French doors and patios.Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1836Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1835Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1894 All the gardens bear Edna’s signature trademarks of : densely planted trees and shrubs; stone walls and steps; stone and timber pergolas; low front fences of timber, stone and wire; paths linking garden rooms; ponds and arbours; mossy lawns; and the use of exotic and native vegetation.

Between the 1920s and 1940s, 16 cottages were built, each one different in size and character, but still relating harmoniously with each other, as well as the natural environment. A subdivision in the 1950s created more than 30 properties. Edna moved to ‘The Barn’, built in 1951 and then Buderim, Queensland in 1967.

Today, the village is managed by the Friends of Bickleigh Vale, a group comprising of all the owners. The trees are now fully mature and their shade has changed the nature of the gardens. Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1843Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1846Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1845Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1853The cottages have been adapted to suit modern needs. They were described by the National Trust as a Classified Landscape in 1978 and were included in the Victorian Heritage Register in 2005. See: http://www.onmydoorstep.com.au/heritage-listing/1856/bickleigh-vale.

In 1988, Devon Lane was renamed Edna Walling Lane. We were lucky enough to visit Bickleigh Vale in May 2012, as the owner of Badger’s Wood, Anna Beesley, was a fellow student in my garden design course and she organized a class visit. See: http://www.bickleighvalevillage.com.au/badgers-wood.html .

In Spring later that year, 7 Edna Walling gardens were open to the public : Badger’s Wood 1937; Devon Cottage 1956; Downderry; Mistover 1930; The Sheilan; The Barn 1928; and Wimbourne 1940.Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1863Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1859Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1885Design

Edna Walling’s  design principles included:

Garden rooms, in which the bare rooms are visible in Winter;

Green is the most important colour, with texture and foliage playing an important role;Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1844Trees are planted in copses and ground covers are allowed to take over; andBlog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1852Gardens should be mulched and not over-watered. They should be allowed to grow naturally and should be left alone with minimal pruning;Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1856Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1839Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1878Plantings include : old remnant gums (Eucalypts and Corymbias) and indigenous blackwoods; exotic conifers including cypress, pines and cedars; exotic deciduous trees including oaks, elms, poplars and aspens, birches, beeches, hornbeams, ash, Japanese Maples, Liquidambars, Crepe Myrtles, Hawthornes and crab apples. The woodland gardens were underplanted with hellebores and naturalized bulbs (freesias, bluebells) in the grass, as well as lots of her signature plants including azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, roses and  jasmine.Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1890

Local stone was used to create dry-stone walls, footpaths, patios and steps.Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1841Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1831Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1821Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1826Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1850Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1822Blog PHGPT1 50%ReszdIMG_1837Mawarra at The Grove  1932

6 Sherbrooke Rd. Sherbrooke   Dandenong Ranges, close to the Alfred Nicholas Gardens and next to Sherbrooke Forest                           1.2 ha (3 ac)

https://www.vrgetaways.com.au/accommodation/sherbrooke/mawarra/

A beautiful temperate mountain garden designed by Edna Walling and considered to be one of the finest examples of her work. She described it as ‘ a symphony in steps and beautiful trees’.Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 030Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 028History

Originally, the property was called ‘The Grove’ and the house was built in 1932 by Phyllis Mc Millan for her mother Flora May Marshall and her unmarried sisters. It was named after their uncle’s home at 31 The Grove, Boltons, Kensington, where the sisters often stayed when visiting their wealthy bachelor uncles in London.Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 026 Edna Walling was employed to design and develop the garden from 1932-1935, but abandoned the project after an argument with Phyllis over a minor sum of money (20 shillings), compared to the overall cost of the stonework (7500 pounds, equivalent to $750 000 today!). The garden path named ’20 Shillings’ was created to show where Edna stopped working and others began. Edna had employed Eric Hammond to do much of the stonework, so after Edna left, it fell to Eric to complete the task.Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 063Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 067In 1936, he also built ‘Wendy’s Cottage, based on the Marshall sisters’ uncles home ‘Nalderswood’ in Surrey, England, with the help of his friend H Roy Langley. The life-sized doll’s house was enjoyed by all the sisters’ nephews and nieces.Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 044Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 037In  1960, Mr and Mrs Frank Walker and Mrs Carol Sallah became the second owners and renamed the property ‘Mawarra’, an aboriginal word meaning ‘a peaceful place’, the original name taken by the sisters to their new abode in Mornington. Later, the name was returned to the property by Norman Marshall, the grandson of Flora May, so the house was called ‘Mawarra Manor’. Mr Jess Exiner and Mr Peter Harris bought the property in 2002 and restored the house over 2 years and the garden over 5 years. It is now owned by John Champion , who has continued to restore the garden over the last 8-10 years. Erigeron is a major problem, its roots damaging the rock walls and stonework. It is possible to stay in both ‘Mawarra Manor’ and ‘Wendy’s Cottage’. There is even a heated indoor pool, sauna and gym in the main house.Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 031Design

Italianate Terrace style due to the steep slope of the site;Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 075Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 071

Large scale with many long walkways and avenues, secret paths and many surprises;Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 076 Driveway is long, dark and narrow and opens out into bright light around the house;Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 023Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 024Grand stone staircase with broad shallow steps down to an octagonal reflecting pond;Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 027Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 065Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 068Mossy low stone walls, flagged fern-lined paths and terraces;Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 069Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 032Croquet lawn surrounded by birch;Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 055Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 054Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 051Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 053Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 050Lots of mature exotic trees: weeping cherries, oaks, elms, birch, maples and European beech trees,  underplanted with bluebells;Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 064Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 060Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 056Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 057Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 052Exotic shrubs : azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons;Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 025Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 062Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 072Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 078Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 066Wendy House with its own garden;   andBlog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 045Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 040Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 042Miniature Tudor village.Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 043Blog PHGPT1 25%Reszdgrampians 1 047Cruden Farm  1928

60 Cranbourne Rd Langwarrin, VIC, 3210          8ha (20 ac) garden, 54 ha farm ;                50 km from CBD Melbourne (1 hour drive)

www.crudenfarm.com.au 

Very famous old garden, developed over 80 years by Dame Elisabeth Murdoch. It is featured on Monty Don’s Round the World in 80 Gardens. See: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xwzd7r_around-the-world-in-80-gardens-2-australia-and-new-zealand_lifestyle.   (26 minutes into the video).

Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 132History

Originally a 90 ac orchard and farm, Cruden Farm was bought by Sir Keith Murdoch in 1928 as a wedding present for his bride, Elisabeth Greene (1909-2012). The small cottage was significantly extended by architect, Harold Desbrowe-Annear.Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 113Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 075 The original garden was also small and simple and the only survivor from those early days was a camphor laurel on the northern corner of the house. Over the years, a further 45 ac adjoining property was added to the farm. Percy Meldrum designed the stables and dairy complex, which were built out of stone from Moorooduc Quarry. The ironwork was rescued from the  demolished Caulfield stables and had originally been imported from England.Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 111Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 094In 1930, Edna Walling was employed to make 2 walled gardens for fruit trees and roses, but they are now used for herbaceous borders and a swimming pool respectively.  Elisabeth was responsible for the design of the majority of the garden and did much of the planting, along with her Head Gardener, Michael Morrison, who has worked there since 1971.

In 1944, a huge fire through the NE corner of the property burnt a large number of trees and shrubs, including some of the iconic avenue of Lemon-Scented Gums (Eucalyptus citriodora), planted by Elisabeth down the driveway. The missing trees were replaced and linked to existing Melaleuca stypheloides with other native plants. The plantings and layout were simplified. In 1987, a lake was added in the undulating paddock east of the house. A deep dam was created to supplement the water supply in 1997 and both bodies of water attract lots of birds and are surrounded by daffodils in Spring.Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 116 A variety of oaks surround the lake and were planted from acorns collected by Elisabeth’s grand-daughters.Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 126Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 127

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch died in 2012 at 103 years old. The 54 ha estate was transferred within Cruden Custodian Limited in 2014. It is used for a large number of community and charity events, including jazz concerts, family fun days and open garden days twice a month from 10am-2pm. The next open days are on 23 – 24 June and 28 – 29 July 2016. See:  Groups and individuals can also visit the garden for $20 pp.Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 118Design

Temperatures vary between 20 and 45 degrees Celsius, 762 mm rain and sandy loam soil;

Lemon-Scented Gum avenue, planted in 1930s by Elisabeth;

Lawn dotted with mature trees including oaks. National Trust has classified a giant weeping oak; andBlog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 082Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 095Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 083Herbaceous borders and shrub walks including magnolias and azaleas, wisteria and blossom trees.Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 076Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 078Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 080Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 079Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 131I loved all the mature old climbers, wreathing the buildings;Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 115Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 119The vegetable garden;Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 090The picking garden: for roses and perennials for the house: reds, pinks, mauves, yellows and creams, including the yellow and crimson Dame Elisabeth Murdoch rose (photo 2);Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 088Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 122Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 086Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 091Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 120Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 085

The walled gardens

: the walled garden, originally designed for fruit trees, was too hot for them and now contains twin English-style herbaceous borders of pink, mauve and yellow perennials and climbers lasting 4-5 months, as well as a statue ‘Dancing Brolga’ by Lesley Bowles. One espaliered apple remains from the original garden.

: the lower walled garden, which was originally designed for roses, is now a swimming pool;

Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 099Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 104Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 098Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 105Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 110Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 097and the sculptures

: Daedalus : Edwin Fabian : just inside the entrance

: Pisces : Douglas Stephen : 2 dolphins embracing: corner to east of walled garden

: Shiva 4 : Lenton Parr : on edge of native garden near the tennis court

Ibis : Phil Price, NZ : on peninsula jutting into the lake : gift from her children to Elisabeth on her 100th birthday.Blog PHGPT2 50%Reszddec 2009 117

Next month, I will be featuring some beautiful private country gardens in Victoria.

 

The July Garden

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A quiet month in the Winter garden, but still plenty of garden tasks from pruning roses to transplanting shrubs and sowing seed for the Spring. We have had quite a mild Winter, with fewer frosts, which are lighter than last year and clear sunny days, which invite you out to the garden away from the fire! It has been so mild that the little oak tree still has its leaves as I write! Here is a view from our front verandah on a typical July day this season.BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-02 10.21.22BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-02 10.21.33BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-16 12.03.48 All the bulbs are also peeking their heads out, including the lost Delft Blue hyacinths and miniature Tête-a-Tête daffodils (see below) in the rockery bed with the grape hyacinth and the bluebells under the crab apple tree.BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0375BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-09 18.07.26 I have yet to find the fritillaries and the erythroniums, though I have a rough idea of where I planted them! The new tulips are growing madly- the little species tulip, Tulipa clusiana ‘Cynthia’ (foreground), is so different to its hybrid cousin, Bokassa Tulip Gold, behind it!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-16 12.10.35 The snowdrops, Galanthus, (1st photo) and snow flakes, Leucojum, (2nd photo) are flowering, though I am impatient to see them multiply and naturalize in the grass!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.33.32BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.28.45And my Dutch crocus (Crocus vernus ‘Remembrance’) are up! I was so excited to see my first splash of purple, as I had no idea where they were! They look so dramatic in front of the red camellia!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-22 14.50.17BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 17.07.59BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 17.07.54The hellebores are now starting to open their buds – in order, Helleborus x ballardiae ‘Pink Frost’ (1st 2 photos); single form of Oriental Rose, H. orientalis; and my double forms of oriental roses, given to me for my birthday two years ago by my Mum. BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-07 12.48.03BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-09 13.45.50BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.41.10BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0373BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0374BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0332BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-24 10.48.14BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.34.23BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.31.40 The wallflowers and forget-me-nots love the Winter, providing a splash of colour in an otherwise grey and green Soho bed!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-06-27 17.56.08 The thyme is thriving around the sundial.BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-13 12.51.49 The violets are a sea of purple under the maple tree and up the path.BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-19 08.54.23BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-14 13.16.52 The pink violets are blooming less vociferously up the sweeping entrance path and are matched by the first pink flowers of the begonias further up the steps.BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-16 12.05.49BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.39.22BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-19 08.59.53 The camellia continues to delight with its deep pink, pale pink and white blooms.BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-07-16 12.17.09BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-07-10 11.53.13BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.43.25BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.42.33The Red Riding Hood camellia is also in flower and really attracts the eye in the garden.BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0331BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-19 08.56.26 The sweet scent of the opening daphne flowers and Winter honeysuckle blooms make me glad to be alive every time I go out the back door!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-07 13.33.19BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-16 12.00.04BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-19 09.24.08BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-12 16.43.35BlogTinyTreasures20%Reszd2016-07-10 11.39.55 The latter is a perfect home for my gift bird feeder, though we are using to hold water for the little birds instead!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-12 16.43.46 The currawongs are dominating the bird bath at the moment, holding group seminars of up to 5 birds at a time! Huge flocks roost in our tree overnight.BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-08 09.15.15BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-06-29 15.04.32BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-06-29 15.05.14BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-06-29 15.06.07BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-06-29 15.06.16BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-06-29 15.06.22 The little birds don’t stand a chance, but the currawongs don’t seem to worry the larger birds: the magpies, king parrots, crimson rosellas, galahs and female bowerbirds, all of which are revelling in the vegetable patch! Even the male bower bird has made a brief appearance to supervise proceedings (last 2 photos)!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-06-29 14.55.50BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-15 09.46.37BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-15 09.47.32BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-17 17.27.46BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-17 17.28.09BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0366BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-10 17.32.28BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0371BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0363BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0359

BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0347
The Broccoli Burglary!

BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-06-29 14.53.01BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0356

BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0350
The Godfather

They loved all the soil disruption, as Ross weeded and dug in manure around all the shrubs, ready for the new Spring growth.BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-23 17.35.25Meanwhile, a pair of White-faced Herons had a long sunny grooming session in the branches overhead. They are such beautiful birds!BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0419BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0403BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0437 Ross has also been busy in the vegetable garden, with lots of weeding, hoeing and preparation work, but he has planted rainbow chard and shallots. The growth is all a bit slow at the moment, but we are enjoying the fresh organic broccoli heads!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-14 13.24.11BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-09 17.40.10 We finally harvested our first crop of cumquats for the season to make marmalade and splashed out on our first lemonade fruit! Only 2 kg cumquats for this first picking, but there is more unripe fruit on the tree.BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-14 13.26.22BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-14 13.30.27BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-16 13.03.53BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-16 13.51.51BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-17 16.58.04 The loquats are also forming fruit and it looks like it will be a bumper crop!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.41.43 Ross also dug up all the tough, tenacious roots of the old Kiwi vines, which were resprouting and threatening to take all the nutrients from the new citrus trees. We pruned the David Austin bed, rather vigorously this first season to encourage a good bush shape, though will probably be more lenient in future years. Here are before and after photos of their haircuts!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-13 12.29.54BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-13 13.57.08 We turned another rose (York and Lancaster) on the shed fence, then planted out 3 Albertine roses, struck from cuttings, along the back wall of the shed.BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-08 12.12.45BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-08 12.12.53 We also planted a Camellia sinensis, the tea plant (photos 3 and 4), next to the Native Frangipani (photo 2) in the corner of the flat, shading the grave of our old dog, Scamp. He always did enjoy a long chat and a cuddle over a cup of tea!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-10 11.51.29BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-06-27 17.44.33BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.38.53BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-14 13.28.35 The Lady X grevillea behind them is positively glowing at the moment!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-10 11.51.07 The chaenomeles are all coming into bloom back in the main garden and the transplanted shrubs are coming into fresh leaf. I love our flowering quince corner of white and ‘apple blossom’ (pink & white) varieties, in front of the white-pink blooms of our Star-above-Star camellia.BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.32.00BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.33.14BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-22 14.50.42BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.32.58We have a red flowering quince on the bottom fence , still in bud.BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 17.09.29We even have a few daisies in bloom – some sweet little paper daisies, Rhodanthe anthemoides (photo 1 and 2), the colour of their buds mirroring the blooms of the Coconut Sundae dianthus behind- serendipity at work! ; a single white marguerite daisy (photo 3); and a spoonbill osteospermum with its metallic blue centre (photo 4). BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0439BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-14 13.35.23BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.29.10BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-09 18.08.22 The diosma (2nd photo) is also flowering, so we may have to wait a little before moving the tank plants. They compliment the fine mauve blooms of the westringia (1st photo) behind.BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-24 10.44.41BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.31.09 We also transplanted the Linum from the egg cartons and sowed fresh seed (Linum on the left and Ladybird Poppies on the right) in the cutting garden beds.BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-09 18.04.31BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-09 17.59.49 Ross  sowed the peony poppy seeds, which has already come up in their thousands! See the fine rivers of green in the 2nd photo. Lots of seedling thinning ahead!!  I cannot wait for all the colourful Spring blooms!BlogJulyGarden30%Reszd2016-07-04 15.49.15BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.37.01 Having said that, I am impressed by the number of Winter flowers we have and the fact that we can still enjoy a few vases in the house. Even the last of the rosebuds pre-pruning were beautiful!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-14 10.23.23BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-14 10.22.52BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-06 17.32.37BlogTinyTreasures20%Reszd2016-07-06 17.33.14BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-07-16 12.30.16BlogCamellias20%Reszd2016-07-16 12.24.16 We also planted a succulent in this lovely shell for the kitchen window sill.BlogJulyGarden30%Reszd2016-07-09 15.17.18To finish, here are some lovely sky photos from July! Snowy blustery clouds as a cold change comes through and the sun struggling to get up for the day! Must have been a bad case of Monday-itis!!! Till next month…!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-06-28 19.05.02BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-15 09.48.09BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-15 09.48.16

Favourite Private Gardens: Historic Gardens: Part 1

Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 200

There are some beautiful old historic gardens in Victoria, some of which we have been lucky enough to visit through the old Open Gardens scheme (Dalvui, Ard Rudah, Glenrannoch and Mawarra at the Grove),  individual open days in Spring and Autumn (Cruden Farm), plant fairs (Bolobek) and finally, my garden design course at Burnley (Bickleigh Vale Village) . These are only a small sample of the diverse array of private gardens in Australia.

All the gardens in this post are wonderful examples of past times from Australia’s early squattocracy (Dalvui) to Summer hill retreats (Ard Rudah, Glenrannoch and Mawarra) and gardens developed by influential garden designers (Bickleigh Vale, Mawarra, Bolobek and Cruden Farm).  With the exception perhaps of Bickleigh Vale, which was more a communal affair, all garden owners were incredibly wealthy, which enabled them to develop their gardens on a grand scale with lots of stonework and paths, ponds, sweeping lawns and dense plantings of exotic trees and shrubs and herbaceous borders of rare and unusual plants and bulbs. They could afford to employ gardeners to maintain their vast gardens and travelled extensively, garnering lots of new ideas and exotic plants in their travels. Their gardens were showpieces, in which they could indulge their passion for collecting, as well as entertain, and often included tennis courts and pools. All gardens have reached full maturity, while some have required extensive renovation from a declining state with new replantings, judicious tree surgery  and/or removal of dying trees and reconfiguration of boundaries and /or design. All these gardens are still incredibly expensive to maintain and are owned by wealthy private individuals, who have a passion for old gardens. Because this post is so long, I have divided it into two sections according to the age of the gardens :

Part 1 : Ard Rudah 1870, Glenrannoch 1873 and Dalvui 1898

Part 2 : Bolobek 1911, Bickleigh Vale Village 1920s, Mawarra 1932 and Cruden Farm 1928

Part 1 : Favourite Private Gardens: Historic Gardens: 1870-1900

Ard Rudah 1870

49-51  Devonshire Lane, Mt Macedon     2.4 ha (6ac)     45 minutes west of Melbourne

Classic 19th century hill station and 1 of 11 Mt Macedon gardens recognized by the National Trust for its historical significance. The National Trust considers the Macedon Ranges to be one of the most important collections of 19th Century gardens in Australia.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 178History

Originally part of an apple orchard, Ard Rudah was owned by prominent industrialist, William MacGregor, in the early 1870s. He named the property ‘Ard Rudah’, using the Gaelic words for ‘High Promontory’. The garden was developed by Professor Herbert Strong and  Ferdinand Von Mueller, who lived nearby and was the 1st Director of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens (1857). George Patterson was the first permanent gardener. They also built an early irrigation system from Ferny Creek, which runs through the property.

In 1900, a lawn tennis court was built and was played on by prime ministers and distinguished guests- such a lovely location to play tennis!Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 093Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 088Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 192Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 195 I loved all the established plantings surrounding the court. There were 3 permanent gardeners and the historic glasshouse produced 2000 seedlings, which were planted out each year. The front lawn was dug out by hand by 7-8 gardeners.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 090Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 172The two-storey house was designed and built in 1934 by renowned Melbourne architect of the day Christopher Cowper (1868-1954) for his own use and  to accommodate his six daughters in luxury style. It had 7 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a separate studio and a six-car garage.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 176 Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 145He also designed a sunken walled Italianate garden with a reflection pond after a trip to Italy. The house was then bought by Walter Meyer, once a personal valet to Winston Churchill, who ran it as a guesthouse until the late 1990s.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 179Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 181Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 185Ard Rudah is on the Historic Buildings Register. It featured in Fred Schepisi’s film ‘The Devil’s Playground’ and was recently refurbished by draughtsman, Stephen Akehurst. When we visited in October 2009, it was owned by Tony Dortimer, who had hired help with the garden once a week.  It was sold in September 2015.

Design

Entrance from Devonshire Lane is via a grand driveway lined with cherries, rhododendrons and azaleas, underplanted with masses of bluebells.Blog PHGPT125%Reszdgrampians 4 080Blog PHGPT125%Reszdgrampians 4 081Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 196Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 149Blog PHGPT125%Reszdgrampians 4 083Blog PHGPT125%Reszdgrampians 4 084Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 106Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 180 A camellia walk leads to the house. At the end of the driveway, a path leads to the sunken garden and a formal pool, punctuated by cypress and surrounded by a wall edged in box. From there, vistas stretch up to the house.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 186

In front of the house are large beds, edged in box, holding massed peonies, tulips and other bulbs and forget-me-nots, and a huge circular lawn.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 170Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 169Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 099 The lawn is studded with a huge mature trees including a copper beech, 100 feet high, lindens and European ash and a rare laburnocytisus. In Spring, masses of naturalized daffodils fill the lawn.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 103Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 089Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 091Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 164Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 158Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 156Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 157Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 182Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 087Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 188 A series of terraces down the hill hold banks of scented azaleas and dense plantings of many unusual shrubs and perennials, as well as stone steps, providing vistas of the different levels.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 159Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 183Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 132Behind the house are huge rhododendrons, massive oaks and a fernery walk with hostas, whose new leaves emerge in early November.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 133Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 160Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 134Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 144A maple walk leads to the bottom of the garden, where there is a fern-lined creek, crossed by two moss-covered stone bridges and  a tree-fern gully.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 184Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 153Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 112Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 108Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 111Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 107Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 113There is also a woodland of giant oaks and sycamore trees, underplanted with bluebells, which flower in Spring, and a sheltered lily pond.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 110Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 124Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 123Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 119Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 122Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 118 It is a lovely garden to visit in any season. Hellebores peep through the snow in Winter; bluebells, daffodils and flowers bloom in Spring and the deciduous trees put on a beautiful display in Autumn.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 142Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 173Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdgrampians 4 129Glenrannoch   1873

84 Devonshire Lane Mt Macedon                                              2.8 ha (7 ac)

Another very old beautiful hill station garden in Mt Macedon and one of my favourite gardens.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 169History

The 3rd oldest property in Mt Macedon, Glenrannoch was settled in the 1880s by Mr George Gordon, an engineer from Aberdeen, Scotland. He named the property using two Scots Gaelic words: ‘Glen’ meaning ‘between ridges’ referring to its position and ‘rannoch’ meaning ‘bracken’ or ‘fern’. The house was built in 1873. Glenrannoch was George’s country property and he developed the steeply sloping block in the style of the Indian hill gardens around Poona.

The Ash Wednesday fires in 1983 destroyed many of the old yew trees, which have since regenerated. Stephen Ryan was the Head Gardener for 2 years after the fires. In 2005, extensive wind damage demolished 7 large blackwoods. John and Penelope McBain have owned Glenrannoch since 1996 and have been slowly restoring the garden under the direction of Trish Zdrzalka of Raintree Cottage. Dead and dying trees have been removed and replaced or pruned by tree surgeons and blackberry removed to reveal the bones of the garden, the stonework and steps and ancient banks of miniature and fragrant rhododendrons, Japanese maples, dogwoods and Spring and Autumn bulbs.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 263Design

Glenrannoch is a very steep garden in 4 levels joined by 4 paths and over 500 steps. It has formal and informal elements- formal, closer to the house with mass plantings of perennials and shrubs and well-clipped box hedges, and informal, further away from the house down to the creek, fern gully and bushland. Entrance is via the lower gate along a ferny walk or up 177 stone stairs to the residence or via the main gates and driveway higher up Devonshire Lane.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 154 Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 171The turning circle in the lane has 5 Chinese birches and 2 large weeping Nootka cypress tower above the gates on either side.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 245Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 247 The driveway is lined with a variety of conifers- old Atlantic cedars, Douglas fir and cypress and new plantings of larch enhance the Scottish theme. The upper side of the driveway is covered in daffodils in Spring and native daisies in Summer and hydrangea blooms in late Summer and Autumn. The lower side of the drive is lined with yellow, cream and lemon rhododendrons and stewartia.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 258Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 255A turning circle in front of the house has 4 round-leafed berry hollies (Ilex menzeii ‘Crenate’). Around the house is a large holly ‘Golden King’. As well as a number of very large old trees, of which the first two are included on the National Trust Register of Significant Trees : Monkey puzzle tree, Araucaria araucana, from South America; Western hemlock Tsuga heterophylla; deodar cedars; a silver poplar and huge rhododendron trees. A large hoheria behind the house is also included on the National Trust Register of Significant Trees.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 266Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 271Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 172Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 173Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 175 A pair of Acer palmatum, one green, one bronze grace either side of the front steps leading down from the house.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 177Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 180 The front wall of the house is covered with a red Chilean bellflower.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 181

Two paths, a high road and a low road, which lead from the driveway  to the left and up to the stables, are lined with primroses on the right and dark hellebores on the right and are shaded by a large beech tree.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 262 Several paths off the stable path lead to a developing collection of different types of beech trees. A stand of blackwood, Acacia melanoxylon, and manna gums lies behind the stables.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 259The Woodman’s Path leads from the stables up to the tennis court at the top of the garden.Below the path is a huge hemlock and 2 liriodendrons with an under-planting of lily-of-the-valley bulbs, while the upper slope is covered in rhododendrons.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 218

Halfway up, steep stairs lead to a large water tank for carp. It also serves as a backup supply for fire-fighting.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 229Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 230 To the right of the tank are new plantings of birch, larch and Scots pine. Steps lead to a lookout, from which you can see the You Yangs on a clear day. It is backed by towering conifers- pines, cedars and Douglas firs.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 226Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 217Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 228

The Woodsman’s Path leads to a large weeping beech and steps up to the tennis court area, surrounded by a large blackwood, a huge ponderosa pine, flowering cherries and rhododendron trees, as well as a new herbaceous border.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 184Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 216Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 233 A concrete winding staircase leads to a maple walk.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 220Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 182Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 231Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 223Below the cottage on the eastern side of the house are two herbaceous borders separated by a path, which leads to a large sweet chestnut, one of five in the garden and under-planted with masses of hellebores.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 187Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 200Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 186 The upper border contains a Crane’s Foot maple and a Japanese snowball tree, young hazelnuts and a variety of cotoneasters, while the lower border contains a large green cherry and golden elm, under-planted with hellebores and bluebells.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 199Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 235Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 203Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 202Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 208Below the lawn at the rear of the house, the Spring Walk leads to the fast- flowing Turritable Creek in a deep gully with several waterfalls.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 212

A Dutch medlar, magnolia and cherry trees and a Prunus padus, under-planted with snowdrops, lie below the path, while the upper side has a viburnum, a shad bush, an aspen and a Hookerii maple. There are also magnolias, lilacs, witch hazel and lily-of-the-valley. The path leads past eucryphias and a Nothofagus collection , including Myrtle Beech (N. cunninghamii) and New Zealand Black Beech (N. solanderi) to the creek and a temperate rainforest of forest redwoods. Oak, beech and scented rhododendrons ‘Princess Alice’ and ‘Balantray’. There are 3 smaller paths off the Spring Path, which lead to the lower garden.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 215Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 213Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 205Below the house is a croquet lawn on the southern side. Below the croquet lawn is a newly developed terrace of mollis azaleas and an oak hill, under-planted with daffodils. Two paths lead below and to the west from the azalea terrace to rhododendrons and the bottom gate.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 178Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 194Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 267Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 268From the lower gate, there are 2 routes:

The mossy Creek Path, screened by tall tree ferns and large blackwoods, which lead to the start of Turritable Creek, a small waterfall and the lower part of the Spring Path. New Nothofagus and Wollemi pines  have been planted on the slope above the path.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 164Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 236Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 241Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 238

and     177 Steps up to the house, lined with maples, magnolias, a dove tree, dogwood, Norwegian fir and enkianthus on the left on the way up and rhodendrons, mature larches, an Irish strawberry Tree, a chestnut, an oak and a parrotia.Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 166Blog PHGPT1 50%Reszdapril 167

While the Australian Open Garden Scheme has closed, the baton has been taken up by the newly formed Open Gardens Victoria and it is still possible to visit these gardens. They are running a Mt Macedon coach tour of 3 hill station gardens on 1st September 2016 and I recognized photos from both Ard Rudah and Glenrannoch. For details, see : http://www.opengardensvictoria.org.au/companies/34/62/.

Dalvui     1898

431 McKinnons Bridge Rd, Noorat   Close to Terang, SW Victoria    2.45 ha (6 ac)

One of Australia’s most significant gardens and an excellent example of Guilfoyle’s private garden designs. William Guilfoyle was the second Director of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens in 1873.Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1857History

1839 Niel Black, the 35 year old son of a Scottish Argylle farmer, arrived in Victoria, looking for land and he bought 50,000 acres of land at Glenormiston in partnership with 2 other men. In 1847, he built his first home, which is now Glenormiston Agricultural College. The partnership dissolved in 1868 and the land was divided into 3 lots- he lost Glenormiston and drew the southern portion on the southern foothills of Mt Noorat, an extinct volcano with rich red volcanic soil, where he built a new mansion just to the north of Dalvui.Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_2044 At 53 years old, he returned to Scotland, where he married, had 3 sons and died in 1880. The property eventually passed to his youngest son, Niel Walter Black, who obtained Dalvui, formerly part of the 6000 acre Mt Noorat estate.

Niel Walter Black commissioned William Guilfoyle to design a garden around his future homestead and the garden was laid out in 1898. By the time the house was built, the garden was well-established and much of the original design is still intact today. A two-storey brick Tudoresque Queen Anne style homestead was designed by Melbourne architects, Ussher and Kemp, and built between 1904-1908. The Federation house has a polygonal candle-snuffer roof, a Tudor bay window of banked gothic lights, which looks out to the garden, a grand sweeping staircase, Jacobean plaster ceilings and many Art Nouveau features.Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1899 In 1909, Niel Walter Black set off for Scotland in the Waratah to find a bride, but unfortunately, the ship disappeared between Cape Town and Durban, the wreck only discovered off Durban in 1999!

In 1911, Dalvui was sold with 560 acres of land  to Claude B Palmer and he lived there until his death in 1941. His wife and then son, Neville B Palmer, inherited the property, then Neville sold Dalvui in 1974. It was sold again in 1985 to Ray Williams, who began refurbishment of the house and garden. Since 1998, it has been owned by Peter and Pam Habersberger. Originally a Romney sheep stud and dairy , the property now runs 150 Murray Grey and Angus cows, though there are still some stud sheep from the original bloodlines.Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1906

Design

Originally 5 acres with another 2.5 acres added during Ray William’s tenure, the garden still conforms to Guilfoyle’s 1898 design with sweeping lawns, rockeries, ponds, mature trees (now over 100 years old) and curved herbaceous borders of shrubs, perennials and bulbs. Essentially an inward-looking garden, it provides glimpses of the surrounding countryside, from which it is separated by a rock ha-ha wall. We were lucky enough to visit Dalvui on an open day held in October 2013 and knowing this was such a famous garden, we were first cab off the rank and able to enjoy the gardens on our own at the start.Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_2101Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1824Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1826Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1856Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1878The driveway , bordered by poplars initially, then silver birches in the garden, curves across the paddocks to the garden, passing the original cypress-lined driveway on the east side.Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1839Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1831Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1834 The birches are underplanted with shrubs and perennials with an emphasis on shades of green and grey foliage, blue flowers and soft colours, providing a very restful atmosphere.Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1866Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1868Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1869Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1829Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1830Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1828Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1845Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1847Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1854Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1851To the north-west of the house, the old tennis court has been converted to a series of garden rooms, created by box hedging with persimmon trees in the middle.Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1879Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1871Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1880Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1881Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1872Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1874 Beautiful sweeping lawns surround the house.Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1916Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1898Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_2040Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1920 Paths lead to a massive rockery garden (created by Guilfoyle to disguise a natural volcanic rock outcrop), a chain of ponds and a spectacular lake .Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1976Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1911Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1917Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1914Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1924Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1925Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1930There are some beautiful old trees, one even supported by props (see 3rd photo below!) and interesting features like espaliered trees and topiary.Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_2045Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1850Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1954Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1985Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1886Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_2011Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1885I loved the herbaceous borders and garden beds.Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1964Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1965Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1953Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1942Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1982Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1895Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1943Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1945 However, my heart was captured by the hedged kitchen garden just beside the house. This delightful small section of the garden was reason alone to visit Dalvui!Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1997Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_2072Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_1999Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_2000Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_2018Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_2016Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_2090Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_2088Blog PHGPT2 20%ReszdIMG_2093