Country Gardens 2017
11th & 12th November 2017
 
 “Boggy Creek Station”
281 Break O’Day Road, Glenburn.
Owners: Drs. Lyndon Hale and Amanda Sampson
 
Boggy Creek Station was named after the creek which runs through the property. It was purchased by the present owners in 2009; who have lived in the Break O’Day Valley area since 1977 at their former property ‘Pindari’. In the past Boggy Creek Station was a fish farm with camping and trout fishing and there are many visual remains with over 20 breeding ponds and two huge dams on the property. The drive is 3 Km long and gives breathtaking views over this spectacular property as the road winds down into Boggy Creek valley.
Many shelter belts and other plantings may be seen as you weave through the paddocks to the main house. Close to the house on your right you will pass the largest group of 14 fish breeding ponds, which was fenced off in 2010 and planted with over 200 trees and allowed to become a wetland reserve for birds and native wildlife.
The original house overlooking the Yellowbelly dam at the back of the property was demolished and a rammed earth farmhouse has been built, surrounded by a large garden, as well as stables and a glass studio. A derelict toilet block, a relic of the fish farm days, has been converted into a comfortable guesthouse.
The garden was designed by Robert Boyle with large rootstock trees planted first in 2003, the after the rockery and drainage construction was complete, the main garden was planted in the Spring of 2014. The site is exposed to north winds in the summer and has significant fire risk due to its proximity to the Kinglake National Park (the site was burnt in the fires of 2006 and 2009). This influenced the plantings with predominantly deciduous trees. Natives have been planted extensively, but are interspersed with less flammable plantings, giving the garden a mixed and more organic feel.
 
Plants have also been chosen to attract native birds and the garden abounds with a wide variety of small birds. The site includes the beautiful huge dam and is haven for large numbers of water birds. Many mature deciduous trees were placed strategically around the site to optimize the beautiful views across the dam.
 
In the garden a large arbour covered in an ornamental grape leads to the front door. From here a path leads down to the dam’s edge and the “Beach” area which includes a large rockery. Garden beds surround the paths with a variety of mass plantings of low maintenance. An expansive lawn below the house allows uninterrupted vies to the north across the dam. A more intimate and protected garden has been planted to the south of the house to give a secluded and peaceful area. It is dominated by a large curved rockery which gives an amphitheatre feel to the site. Entering through the gateway from the driveway, 3 crepe myrtles and several varieties of maple give beautiful colour at different times of the year. Another large arbour is planted with wisteria and is centrally placed with a thyme path leading across the site to the west side of the house.  A border of Lilly Pilly defines the back of the garden and screens the stable from the house. Future plans include paths and plantings linking the guest house to the house site and a covered orchard and vegetable garden.
 
Morning and afternoon teas will  be available on both days at the guest house (plus toilet facilities) and there will e a small glass exhibition with items for sale in the Studio.  
 
“Glenburn Station” 
225 Break O’Day Road, Glenburn. 3717,
  Owner: Chris Malcom.
A long elm-lined driveway leads to this stunning garden. Well-known Melbourne Nurseryman, Barry Teese of ‘The Greenery’, Heidelberg , with assistance from Rick Eckersley, designed and planted this amazing garden. On completion in 2003, it was opened to the public and showcased on Burke’s Backyard.The basic plantings of hundreds of beautiful trees including maples, manchurian pears, weeping cherries, crepe myrtles and cypress shelter belts, the enormous hedges creating wonderful axis and garden rooms, the thousands of bulbs planted in the silver birch woodland and the extensive rose gardens, have all benefitted from the meticulous pruning and expert care.
 
The extra maturity gained over the years since the first opening, now sees this garden becoming one of Victoria’s top gardens.
Built brick pillars frame the gateways into the many garden rooms, artfully placed statues including those representing the four seasons which were brought back from Italy in the 1970’s, the water features and the ‘borrowed landscape’ of the surrounding attractive farmland and the fertile Glenburn Valley.
 
 “Yirraba”
 225 Webb Ware’s Road, Glenburn.
Owners: Eugene & Margaret McAleer
 
Yirraba is a blend of the old and the new – the parents 80-year-old established garden and the more recent garden created by the next generation from the year 2000. The daughter and son-in-law have tried to ensure they are in harmony with the parent’s garden and that one compliments the other.
 
The magnificent Oak trees tower overhead as you come in the driveway were grown from seed collected in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens in the 1920’s. They are the ‘bones’ of the older garden and are a joy at all times of the year. Seedlings from these have been planted in other parts of the garden to provide future generations, pleasure and shade. The many established trees include Birch, Hawthorn, Plane and Ash as well as many smaller trees and shrubs such as Nyssa, Magnolia, Cotinus and Arbutus.
 
A carpet of herbaceous perennials including iris, hellebores and hostas provide ground cover and there are also hundreds of bulbs like sparaxis, ixia, bluebell, daffodil, watsonia,  zephyranthus, crocus, cyclamen and crocus growing in the woodland here. There are several fruit trees growing in the orchard, many grafted by the current owners, and a productive vegetable garden. Many plants such as poppies and poached egg plant have seeded themselves around.  Eugene and Margaret try to maintain the older although they have an enormous task in their own garden and the older garden is still full of Ursula’a treasures and is still a delight for all those who choose to explore..
 
South of the older garden, another has been planted. The younger generation, Margaret and Eugene, are both trained horticulturalists and met while working in the famed National Trust gardens of Powys
Castle in Wales. Its Yew hedges and perennial borders are especially renowned and this influence can be seen in the beautiful perennial borders these avid gardeners have created here.
 
Their first priority after building was to create a garden from the bare paddock around it and to grow as many beautiful plants as possible. The soil is heavy clay and very acidic, so required large quantities of grit dug in to assist aeration, drainage and to improve the soil. David Austin roses were planted first as they can tolerate the heat and heavy soil. To complement them and provide as much interest as possible lots of small shrubs and perennials have been planted.
 
The owners like to have year round interest and with good plant choices and an eclectic range of plants feel they are getting there. Other trees and shrubs include Crabapples, Ornamental Pears, Lilacs, Viburnums, lots of Grevilleas, Correas and Wattles as well as fruit trees with some on semi-dwarfing and dwarfing rootstocks. A large vegetable garden with raised beds is surrounded by various bushes of soft fruit.
 
The garden has been planted so that the beauty of the surrounding landscape can be fully appreciated and enhanced. There are several species of Eucalyptus and various Wattles in the paddocks around the garden and new plantings of these continue to take place.
 
“Bungalook”
485 Webb Wares Road, Yea.
Owner Julie Milroy
 
Julie and her husband purchased the property in 1977 and there was just a house in a small fenced off yard, no garden, not even a tree, As Julie was only weeks away from giving birth to her first child, there was no time for gardening and Julie says it was her husband who first encouraged her to start a little garden at the front of the house, even offering to dig a bed over for her! “I knew nothing about gardening”, said Julie but now she not only has a beautiful garden of her own but works part time on other gardens in the district. Julie also made  the comment that ‘No matter what troubles and disasters life throws at me, I can go out to work in the garden and forget all worries and just immerse myself in the peace and beauty and feel everything will be OK”.
 
The 4-kilometre road into Bungalook is so pretty, it is like a garden in itself. The drive into the property is lined by stately cypress which forms a beautiful secluded tunnel. As you round a small bend the garden comes out to meet you.  The garden has grown ‘like topsy’  and is still expanding. If a tree has had to come out and left a stump, it’s a good excuse to hide it with a garden bed. When the children grew up and left home, the swimming pool was converted to a rose garden. Rocks have been brought in by the truck load from surrounding paddocks, sheep manure gathered from under local woolsheds, if someone is offering cast-off trellis’s or paving stones, Julie grabs them and turns them into something stunning. She has had man-help with some of the larger rocks etc, but most she has done herself, using cunning instead of brawn.
 
Paths wander through the beautiful front garden, under magnificent trees, thriving camellias, nandinas, rhododendrums, daphnes and other exotic shrubs, all underplanted with bulbs, iris, salvia, alstromeria, day lilies and roses everywhere. Lovely arches provide support for a variety of climbers and are used as a statement with an artfully placed statue to make a pretty tableau. Several ponds can be found around the garden, all surrounded by rockeries and these as well as rock paths and edges have mostly been made by Julie.  Two magnificent Weeping Cherries are a stunning feature of the garden in the Spring. The perennial Ti-Tree Creek runs along the front edge of the garden and, when in flow, fills the garden with the happy sound of water running  over rocks and spills. A well maintained orchard and a vegetable garden also keep Julie busy.
 
Bungalook is not a formal garden but one we all relate to – mostly grown from cuttings and gifts from friends, delightfully rambling, something new around every corner, and of course, encompasses the stunning views of the surrounding hills and grazing farm animals.
 
“The Grange”
540 Murrindindi Road, Murrindindi.  3717.
Owners: Peter and Liz Ingham
 
The garden at ‘The Grange’ was established in the 1950’s by the Tull family. Peter and Liz purchased the property in 2001 and with the assistance of Jacky Gilbee from Goulburn Valley Nurseries, the gardens have evolved into what you see today.
 
The road frontage was originally sheltered by elderly giant Cypress but due to major storm damage, most have been removed and a hedge of Leighton Green Cypress and with a row of Crab Apples on the south side will give shelter and colour.
 
In the main garden, the Tull family planted the mature trees and shrubs and they continue to delight. The garden has five main areas. In the front  garden the Japanese  Maple, Liquid Amber and the Spruce (suffering badly at the moment) have been supplemented by Magnolia ‘Little Gems’, Hellebores, bulbs, rosemary and a magnificent Flowering Cherry. The highlight on the North side is the Lorraine Lee Roses, popular in the 1950’s, and still going strong. Alstoemerias and Sasanqua Camellias give extra colour through the seasons. A hedge of variegated Pittosporum has been planted on the South side as a wind shelter and also protects the established Camellias, Viburnum and fuschia as well as the new plantings of an Irish Strawberry and Silver Birches. Old flowering trees, shrubs and roses give a beautiful show of colour and character in the back garden and the old Killing Shed has been retained for its quaintness and storage.
 
This garden now invites you to stroll through the orchard and the Park to the River Walk. The orchard contains many old fruit trees, large flowering roses and an old grapevine. A petite pink Sasanqua hedge has been planted for protection and the citrus trees and herb garden are new plantings. Sculptures are skillfully placed in this area for interest and the bird life is sensational.
 
Peter is responsible for the creation of the Park, converting a paddock dominated by capeweed, into a beautiful and peaceful oasis. Oaks, birches, plane trees, claret ash, red maples, manchurian pears, crepe myrtles and gleditsias are interspersed with native trees and shrubs and the original silver poplars, robinias, woolly ti-trees and silky oaks complete this lovely parkland.  A River Walk has been created along the creek at the bottom of the Park.
To the right of the park and between the old woolshed and dairy is a ‘shepherd’s hut’ which is not only attractive but serves as guest accommodation and is fully self-contained. Peter and Liz have made many additions to the garden but have tried to retain the traditional feel of the garden created by the Tull family.  
 
“Elm Park” 
458 Murrindindi Road, Yea.  3717.
Managers:  Shane & Lisa Creed
(Original House of Katie and Clive Nash)
On the right as you enter the property you will notice a new planting of Hardenbergia “Free’n Easy” ideal for this steep embankment; mulched with straw it is giving a wonderful early Spring showing. Once through the gate a line of “Remember Me” Standard Roses greets you on your right and leads to the  impressively large Elm Trees which gave the property its name. They provide a beautiful back drop and give plenty of shade over the hot summer months.
To keep the old World Charm of the garden we have kept most of the large specimen trees including the Weeping Apricot, Peach, Mulberry and Elm only recently adding another Cherry.  A large Magnolia has a mass flowering in Spring and spot flowers in Summer. A large Japonica Camellia in the front garden is covered in Pale Pink and Red Flowers on the same tree, caused by the pollination of bees over the years; nature is amazing!
 
We have kept most of the original Roses and added more old-world Roses in keeping with the originals. The old plantings have been complimented with Gardenias, Azaleas, Daphne, Hydrangeas etc. and bordered wherever possible with Dutch Box hedging.
An impressive Variegated Holly tree, a large standard Bay tree. Lilly Pilly ‘Fire Screen’, an eating Grape and some Escallonia Ivy  dominate the back garden with a traditional herb garden adding interest.
 
Shane has revamped a chunky wooden frame which holds an old Wisteria Plant in the back left corner of house providing shelter for the shade loving plants. Local metal sculptor Daryl Callander’s garden art creations provide great interest throughout the garden and daughter Lisa is creating some unique artworks of her own.
 
Original old fruit trees on an embankment lead you down to the river and this is a pretty and tranquil place to spend a lazy afternoon. The gurgling of the water running over the stone river bed is always a peaceful backdrop to listen too when working in the garden. And listen out for the Thrush whose pretty call is a joyous melody over the whole garden.
You will hear the large Blue Araucan Chickens clucking around the garden as if they own the place. Notice the low fencing Shane has placed to keep them off the precious parts of the gardens.