Victorian Foraging

In late March, we had a short minibreak for a few days to celebrate my friend’s birthday and revisit Victoria, our first trip back in three years! We crossed the Snowy Mountains through Dead Horse Gap, stopping for a picnic lunch on the upper reaches of the Murray River at Tom Groggin (first photo) and a spectacular view of the western fall of the Main Range at Scammell’s Lookout (second photo).BlogVicForaging2518-03-17 12.04.48-1BlogVicForaging2518-03-17 13.35.42By late afternoon, we reached our first destination, The Witches Garden, deep in the Mitta Mitta Valley (http://thewitchesgarden.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/TheWitchesGarden-Brochure.pdf and http://thewitchesgarden.com/). I had wanted to visit this garden for years, as the owners, Felicity and Lew, grow many herbs and medicinal plants. It’s a delightfully informal spot with many interesting corners and features, including a Lake and Monet Bridge, a Gallery, full of Felicity’s beautiful oils and pastels, a huge covered Vegetable Garden and a Witches’ Cottage, of course, complete with an extensive collection of broomsticks, lots of dust and cobwebs and a weird and wonderful assortment of magical accoutrements!BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0363BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0370 We particularly loved the Parterre Garden with its Islamic design, its bright colours and all its arches covered with huge old climbing roses and the blowsy, romantic and informal Flower Garden, overflowing with bright colours and Autumn abundance.BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0373BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0387BlogVicForaging2518-03-17 17.02.07 I was able to identify my Clerodendron bungei, which I grew from a cutting from my sister’s garden (first photo below) and was happy to see that the Abutilon (second photo below) could still be grown in a frosty climate.BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0396BlogVicForaging2518-03-17 16.54.10 The chooks and dogs accompanied us on our rounds, then we had a long chat to Felicity and Lew at the end. They very kindly gave us some seeds for orange cosmos (second photo) and the delightfully named Polygonum, Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate (third photo).BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0410BlogVicForaging2518-03-17 17.02.18-1BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0395The next day, we visited the Bendigo Art Gallery to view the Marimekko Exhibition, which proved to be one of the most relaxing and enjoyable gallery experiences we have ever had. See: http://www.bendigoartgallery.com.au/Exhibitions/Now_showing/Marimekko_Design_Icon_1951_to_2018. The bright colours and bold designs of the huge fabric panels, clothing and homeware were wonderful!BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0505BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0487 Being three weeks in for a three month exhibition, there was only a small audience and having booked a one-hour time slot, we were able to take our time and really appreciate it all, revisiting each section at least three times.BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0501BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0428 We were also allowed to take as many photographs as we liked, so long as we didn’t use a flash, an added bonus! I adored these two panels!BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0472BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0514After lunch, we visited Frogmore Gardens (https://www.frogmoregardens.com.au/), an amazing boutique mail order nursery at Lerderberg in the Central Highlands of Victoria. Their perennial display gardens are only open in Autumn from the 9th March to the 30th April each year and are well worth exploring!BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0539BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0525 The Sunset Borders were jam-packed with dahlias and zinnias, calendulas and yarrow, coreopsis and rudbeckias, and celosias and lobelias, with tall red hot pokers, cannas and verbascums at the back.BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0540BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0543 The garden beds were bursting with colour: hot oranges, rich golds and bright reds, which contrasted well with the purple self-sown verbena, the formal green hedges and paths, and the serene backdrop of the Wombat State Forest behind.BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0531BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0530 The Bishop’s Border was a study in deep purples and velvety reds, soft pinks, blues and mauves with berberis, amaranth, dahlias, zinnias and asters.BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0565BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0551 I was quite taken with the Succisella inflexa ‘Frosted Pearls’. BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0563The ethereal Pale Garden was dedicated to white and lemon blooms: Gaura and white Cosmos and Centaurea americana ‘Aloha Blanca’, Beach Sunflowers Helianthus debilis ‘Vanilla Ice’ and a variety of asters and gysophila.BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0570BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0568 The informal Prairie Garden was just wonderful and full of beautiful wavy grasses and structural teasel!BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0578BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0585 The owners, Jack Marshall and Zena Bethell were so generous with their time and chatted with us long after closing time! For more about this beautiful garden, please read: http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/a-cornucopia-of-colour/9435514.

The following day, after a quick visit to the inspiring and highly imaginative and creative Winterwood (https://www.winterwoodtoys.com.au/), where I investigated the different types of Steiner wool felt and drooled over the toys, books and other craft supplies, we celebrated my friend’s birthday with an equally inspiring visit to Alowyn Gardens (http://www.alowyngardens.com.au/).

BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0609BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0613BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0643I adored this place from its long shady Japanese Wisteria arbours (first photo above), formal Parterre (second photo above) and French Provincial Gardens (third photo above) to its Prairie Display Gardens, Birch Forest with its underplantings of bulbs, cyclamen and hellebores and succulent dry creek bed, and beautiful perennial borders, as can be seen in the photos below! There’s Birthday Girl, blending in with the amaranth!BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0630BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0647BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0709BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0721 However, the highlight for us was the bountiful Edible Garden with avenues of olive trees, underplanted with rosemary; quinces (first photo below) and persimmons; apples and pears; and crab apples, including the gorgeous Golden Hornet (second photo below),BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0680BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0663BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0704 sunflowers (third photo above) and fantastical gourds; and vegetables of every kind, including some rather  stunning Royal Purple and Danish Jester chillies.BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0666BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0674BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0676BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0653BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0654 Here are some more photos of the entrance area.BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0734BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0601BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0599The next day was a planthunter’s heaven with a driving tour of the nurseries beyond the Dandenong Ranges. First up, a visit to the wholesale tube stock nursery,  Larkman’s Nursery (http://www.larkmannurseries.com.au/www/home/), which fortunately sells to the public through the mail order nursery, Di’s Delightful Plants (http://www.disdelightfulplants.com.au/), from which we purchased a range of tiny lavender tubestocks, future parents of lavender plants for our future Lavender Bank: English Lavender L. angustifolia ssp angustifolia; and Dwarf English Lavender L. angustifolia ‘Hidcote’; French Lavender L. dentata ‘Monet’; Mitchum Lavender L. x allardi and a range of lavandins: L. x intermedia ‘Grosso’, ‘Seal’ and ‘Super’.BlogVicForaging2518-04-07 08.43.52It was wonderful to acquaint ourselves with all the nurseries in this area, as we had missed out on them during our time in Victoria as we were renting at that stage, so gardening was not on the agenda! We called into my favourite source of bulbs,  Tesselaars (https://www.tesselaar.net.au/);  the Wishing Well Nursery (https://wishingwellmonbulk.wordpress.com/) and Yamina Rare Plants in  (http://www.yaminarareplants.com.au/) before finishing the day with an interesting visit to the Salvia Study Group Display Gardens at Nobelius Heritage Park, Emerald.BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0753BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0739And then,  it was homeward bound, calling into the wonderful rambly Jindivick Country Gardener Rare Plant Nursery, at Jindivick, south-west of Neerim South, en route (http://www.jindivickcountrygardener.com.au/)! Specialising in rare plants, David Musker and Philip Hunter will be moving the nursery to their home at the beautiful Broughton Hall nearby. See: http://www.jindivickcountrygardener.com.au/broughton-hall/ and their Instagram photos at: https://www.instagram.com/thegardenatbroughtonhall/.

As they share my love of Old Roses, I will definitely try to visit their garden on the Melbourne Cup weekend one year, when the Old Roses will be in full bloom! David suggested we pop in to say hello to Stan Nieuwesteeg of Kurinda Rose Nursery (http://www.warragulgardenclub.com/339592389),  just to the south at Warragul (photo above), but unfortunately he was not there, though we did enjoy looking at his selection of potted roses. BlogVicForaging2518-03-22 11.46.35My birthday friend had recommended a sidetrip to Mossvale Park, between Leongatha and Mirboo North in South Gippsland  (https://www.visitpromcountry.com.au/attractions/mossvale-park),  so we stopped there for a picnic lunch.BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0796 This beautiful park contains some of the oldest and tallest elm trees in the Southern Hemisphere (photo above) and its sound shell (photo below) makes it a popular music venue.BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0783 There is a list of all the park trees at: https://www.visitpromcountry.com.au/uploads_files/mossvale-park-2.pdf and the photo of the park board below lists the significant trees.BlogVicForaging20%DSCN0770 Fortunately, we only had one overnight stop at Marlo on the mouth of the Snowy River, a wonderful spot for birdwatching and a definite return visit one day! The photos below show the mouth of the Snowy River, where it enters the sea, and the East Cape of Cape Conran, just to the east of Marlo. BlogVicForaging2518-03-23 09.00.40BlogVicForaging2518-03-23 10.05.05 It certainly was a lovely mini-break away to recharge our batteries and discover some beautiful Autumn gardens! Next week, we are back to my craft book library with a post on some of my favourite paper-craft books!

Rose Nurseries

In Australia, Autumn is the time to start thinking about ordering your bare-rooted roses for planting in Winter. I like to place my order in April, so I don’t miss out if stocks are limited. Having said that, the rose ordered may still not be available, even though it is in the current catalogue, because the plants may not be sufficiently developed for sale, so it is wise to maybe think about possible substitutes for the rose company to replace your missing order. Also, remember these rose companies may have a late clearance sale for all those roses, which didn’t fill orders, and these are often at a markedly reduced price. But, if you order this way, you take the risk of not getting the rose you want!

While I ordered most of my heritage roses from Bleak House for my old garden in Armidale 30 years ago, the nursery is no longer open to the public. Now, I tend to order from Treloars, Victoria, for my David Austins and more common heritage varieties, as their stock is solid and healthy and the prices slightly less than my other source, Misty Downs, which has a more extensive range of Old Roses, as well as the less common varieties. In South Australia, Knights, Ross Roses and Thomas Roses supply the state, though they will send roses to other states. This year, I am trialing Thomas Roses, as their prices are the best of the lot! With all nurseries, roses are sent out between June to mid-August.

Treloars,

216 Princes Highway, Portland, South-West Victoria    Ph (03) 5529 2367

www.treloarroses.com.au

Operating for over 50 years and in its 3rd generation, Treloars is the largest rose grower in Australia.BlogRoseNurseriesReszd20%IMG_4336BlogRoseNurseriesReszd20%IMG_4334BlogRoseNurseriesReszd20%IMG_4331 It is well worth visiting their show garden if you are in the area, especially between November and April, when 200 varieties are in bloom. It is open 7 days a week. The 2nd and 3rd photos below show the ground cover rose, Amber Sun, which won International Gold and Silver Awards and a Certificate of Merit at the National Rose Trial Garden of Australia in 2010.BlogRoseNurseriesReszd20%IMG_4337BlogRoseNurseriesReszd20%IMG_4328BlogRoseNurseriesReszd20%IMG_4329Their 2017 catalogue is now out and can be ordered online. BlogExtrasReszd30%Image (557)

Not only do they stock a huge range of roses, but also sell books and DVDs; name plates and plaques; stakes; arm guards and gloves; Felco secateurs, loppers and pruning saws; fertilizers, fungicides and eco-oil; vases; and gift vouchers. I have been very lucky to have been the recipient of the latter through my Mum for my birthday and the roses are accompanied by a lovely birthday message with photographs of the roses.

Their stock is always healthy and strong and very reasonably priced @ $15.95 per rose or more. Soho Roses, my ex-work place, used to order all their scented Hybrid Teas and David Austin roses from Treloars.BlogRoseNurseriesReszd20%IMG_4332They also sell charity roses, including the Betty Cuthbert Rose ; the Gallipoli Centenary Rose ; the Jane McGrath Rose ;  the Make a Wish Australia Rose ; Parkinsons’ Passion ; Sweet Memory (for Alzheimers) ; and the Transplant Australia Thank You Rose. They also provide lots of information about rose care. See: http://www.treloarroses.com.au/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=111&generalrosecare=3.

Misty Downs

The Tangled Maze, 2301 Midland Highway, Springmount, Victoria   Ph (03) 5345 2847

Open Monday to Friday 10 am to 2.30 pm

https://mistydowns.com.au/

Has been selling old-fashioned and heritage roses, rare and unusual perennials and peonies for over 25 years. It is now under new management. I love their display gardens and it’s a great way to see all their catalogue roses in bloom.

BlogRoseNurseriesReszd2514-11-26 15.32.19BlogRoseNurseriesReszd2514-11-26 15.31.48 Roses are roughly in the $18.50 range, though there is a 10 per cent discount for roses ordered before 31st March (works out about $16.65) and there is also an end-of-season sale. The roses below are: the Hybrid Musk rose, Autumn Delight, and the Scots Rose, R. spinosissima Single Purple.BlogRoseNurseriesReszd2514-11-26 15.24.34blogspeciesrosesreszd25%2014-11-26-15-28-51 Knights Roses

44 Jack Cooper Drive, Gawler, South Australia

Monday to Friday 8.30 am to  4 pm.

http://www.knightsroses.com.au/

Operating for 50 years, Knights is the largest wholesale rose supplier in South Australia, producing over 350, 000 rose bushes annually of over 700 varieties. They are also the sole agent for a number of European breeders, including Guillot Roses, France; Rosen-Tantau, Germany; Harkness, England; and James Cocker and Sons, Scotland. Like Treloars, they have a collection of special cause roses including Daniel Morecombe; Black Caviar and Peter Brock ; as well as a large range of gift-ware from gardener’s balm and soap; rose soaps and candles; cosmetic bags and tea towels; gloves; oven mitts; pot holders; aprons and cushions; and even a rose wall clock. I may still yet buy Sonia Rykiel, a Guillot rose from Knights (see photos below), even though it is a bit more expensive ($19.95).BlogRoseNurseriesReszd20%IMG_9490BlogRoseNurseriesReszd20%IMG_9491Ross Roses

St Andrews’ Terrace, Willunga, South Australia  Ph (08) 8556 2555

10 am to 4.30 pm 7 days a week, except Christmas Day, New Years day, Good Friday and until noon on Anzac Day

http://rossroses.com.au

Established in 1902, Ross Roses is Australia’s oldest specialist rose nursery and has been four generations in the one family. The display garden is well worth visiting from October to December and late March to May with 5000 roses of 1000 varieties. They have a large range of Old Roses, but they are a bit more expensive @ $17 to $19.50. The newest garden is a Hybridizing and Trial Garden , which will add a further 2000 roses, bred by hybridizers and being tested for their suitability for Australian conditions. And finally…..

Thomas Roses

Lot 171 Kayannie Rd, PO Box 187, Woodside, South Australia  Ph (08) 8389 7795. Dawn till Dusk. The link below is an old catalogue, but gives you an idea of their range, but please phone them if you want a current catalogue:

http://www.roses.hains.com.au/Thomas%20For%20Roses%20Catalog.pdf

Roses are available from 1st June to 31st August and can only be paid by cash, cheque or money order. Catalogues are available for $4. Individual rose prices appear to be cheaper than the other nurseries at $15 each and there is a very comprehensive range of Old Roses available.

BlogRoseNurseriesReszd20%IMG_1123I decided to place an order with them this year, as their catalogue included the names of a number of Old Roses, which I could not source anywhere else! Over the phone, I ordered Souvenir de St. Anne ; Rosa Mundi; Maigold  (top row in order); Chapeau de Napoléon, Mme Hardy and York and Lancaster (bottom row in order). I found the owner to be very helpful and am now waiting for confirmation that all my roses ordered from the catalogue are in fact available. I do so hope that they are, as they are some of my old favourites!

I can’t wait to receive my roses in June! Ross is busy preparing their bed down by the old shed. Next month, I will be discussing rose planting and cultivation. BlogRoseNurseriesReszd20%IMG_1188 The photo below is the nursery from the street…BlogRoseNurseriesReszd2014-10-27 11.25.46And the rose in the bottom photo is the Floribunda rose, La Sevilliana, a perfect eye-catcher for the front fence of this nursery!BlogRoseNurseriesReszd2014-10-27 11.26.16BlogRoseNurseriesReszd2014-10-27 11.26.29BlogRoseNurseriesReszd2014-10-27 11.26.08 Please note:  I have not included Rustons Roses in this post, as it is not a retail rose nursery, but supplies budwood to all the major nurseries, as well as holding the National Rose Collection of Australia, and warrants its own post later on.

Next week’s post is on the Elegant Albas, one of my favourite types of Old Rose!