Country Gardens 2021
1.  "Glengowrie"
Ian and Pattie Sichlau
17 Sichlau’s Road, Yea
The garden had its origin in 1924 when William Harvey Sichlau and his wife Alice moved from Anglesea to Yea. They constructed a tennis court in front of the house and a gazebo overlooking the court. Both the court and original gazebo are no more. The court was used for social events until it became too much work for them and it reverted to paddock.
After William’s death, his son, Jack and wife Elsie took over the garden and gradually improved it. Elsie loved the garden and it became her Raison d’etre.  They spent many hours carting water with a little 400 litre tank on the back of a trailer to water the trees they planted. Jack eventually tired of this process and constructed a dam near an area previously occupied by the tennis court.  With a ready supply of water and a reticulated watering system the garden flourished.  The next generation, Ian and Patricia, took over responsibility for the garden after Elsie’s death in 2008. The highlights of Elsie’s legacy are the mature deciduous trees that dot the garden and shade the house during hot summer days.                               
The garden area has been expanded in size from about 2000m2 to 7500m2, the front dam was tripled in size, the jetty for the boat was constructed and a bore was installed providing a guaranteed water supply even in severe drought years.  A wind mill was imported from the USA. The wind mill contains an air compressor that pumps air into two air stone diffusers at the bottom of the dam to aerate the water. 
Golden and silver perch and Yabbies were introduced to the dam. Brick paths were added throughout the garden and a gazebo constructed at the south end of the dam.  A small timber bridge has been constructed over the dam overflow point near the front gate to provide access to a path that leads around the dam
The garden isn’t a manicured ordered garden but rather it is informal but a pleasure to be in.
2.  “Our Little Farm Garden”
Ed & Donna Sneddon
5347 Whittlesea-Yea Road, Yea
Our family moved to Yea only 6 years ago, and it was the love of the country and the township together with the beautiful community that brought us here. Our garden has been in the making over the past 6 years and there is so much more to do and enjoy!
With any new garden, it comes with issues to work though and some of these challenges include the harsh climate and seasons, together with the persistent pests that come with living in the country and which have tested our patience.
Our property only had a few small garden beds and only a few established trees to work with and some of the ones that remained have succumbed to disease and have been slowly replaced. Some of the property was threatened by fire in the 1981 and its affects can be seen in the property particularly along the creek.
However, there has been a lot more rewards in having this garden, and plenty of positive plantings that have been all worthwhile over the years. This includes the recent installation of the large water fountain at the end of the driveway which is lined with an avenue of capital pear trees.
With this garden, there not one specific theme although I do like the French/Country inspiration. We have a variety of plantings of trees and shrubs and other plantings include a display of roses, bromeliads, ferns, various natives, block plantings, fruit trees and areas of interest positioned within the garden. This garden is still a  work in progress, it is not perfect or a professional garden, but we are delighted to share our space with the public and hope that it will inspire you in your garden.
As with most gardeners, we have a passion for trying new things and sticking to what grows and flourishes and we are forever thinking of new ideas and finding a space to add something extra.  My time in the garden takes precedence over everything else (most of the time) and is always a pleasure to be in.
We hope that you and others will enjoy wandering around it too.
3. "Burra Park”
Ian & Judi Marshman 
279 Lang’s Rd Limestone
The garden was commenced in 2005 from a bare paddock and 2020 has seen some necessary major changes and renovation taking place.
The plan of the garden was based on circles and semi circles, including a curved rock wall and circular driveway.
Trees in the garden were mainly chosen for autumn colour and spring blossom. On the west side of the house some protection from fire and hot summer sun was provided by a row of pyrus nivalis (Snow Pears) and an ornamental grapevine.
The garden has a small orchard, vegetable beds and berries. The garden has been planted with a mix of native and ornamental shrubs, spring and autumn bulbs and hardy perennials.
The main trees which give structure to the garden are claret and golden ash, pistachio, Gleditsia, snow pears, several types of flowering crab apples, gums mainly eucalyptus leucoxylon rosea, trident maples and crepe myrtles.
White wisteria is planted on the front and back verandahs providing shade in summer and a beautiful show in spring and autumn.
Two sculptures by local sculptor Darren Gilbert are new additions to the garden.
4.  "Candlebark"
Owners Steven Townsend & Vicki Bawden.
179 Lang’s Road  Limestone.
The property was purchased in 1985 as a single 12 hectare paddock. The ‘paddock’ was quite unique with the permanent Limestone Creek on its western boundary, an almost permanently flowing streamlet on its south side and a small gully in the northeast corner. A steep bank drops down into the streamlet, part of which has been incorporated into the garden. 
In 1986 extensive earthworks were carried out creating the house and shed sites and a large dam of .6 of a hectare. We lived in the shed for three years, while the house was under construction and moved in in 1992.
The trees along the driveway, dam and fence lines were planted in 1986. The Candlebarks, Buxton gums, Red Ironbarks and Red Gums. The Candlebarks in particular are special as they were grown from seeds collected from a giant Candlebark that grew at the side of our driveway and the property has been named after this tree.
The front garden, commenced in 2002, was initially conceived as a cottage style garden with weeping cherries, mulberries, silver ash and elm and wisteria trees along with annuals and perennials in beds. A native garden was planted on the north side of the house with blocks of natives including callistemons, banksias, grevilleas and wattles, while an orchard was planted on the western side and a kitchen garden to the northeast.
The 2007 drought made us rethink our garden strategy, as only the natives seemed to survive and even thrive and we have only planted natives since with prostrate wattles being a focus; those on the south side of the house are nearly 20 years old. 
In 2008 the garden was extended to the south with the berry patch, olives and natives sitting above the first pond and we removed a fence and began mowing down to the dam both for fire prevention and aesthetic reasons. 2012 saw major expansion with the circular driveway and associated native plantings to the east, the three ponds being constructed below the main dam and a walkway across the dam to an arboretum. Finally, in 2020, a rose garden, trellis structure for espaliered trees and rock wall pond were built.
The garden continues to expand; and three new native garden beds established down towards the main dam include melaleucas, prostrate correas, wattles and grevilleas. The main expansion has been to the north of the driveway wherein October 2020 the paddock was planted out in twenty-five circles, each with eight long lived native trees. These include Bunya pines, Kurrajongs, White Cedars, Bottle trees and many other varieties.
The final expansion is below the main dam where an area is being prepared for a micro trufflery; the area has been rotary hoed and limed to bring it to the right pH for the truffle Oaks. The COVID lockdown gave us time to start these projects and should be a positive outcome from this difficult period.
5.  “Chillingham’’
Owners Tony Jacobs and Melissa Meek-Jacobs
776 Murrindindi Road, Murrindindi. 3717.
The gardens at “Chillingham” were created some twenty years ago when Tony and Melissa built a new home on a grassy hillside overlooking the Murrindindi Valley.  The garden was designed and is largely maintained by well-known local landscaped designer and gardener Jackie Gilbee.
The long, winding driveway is lined with Manna gums transitioning to an extensive planting of various bird-attracting native trees and shrubs on both sides of the road as you approach the house.
The home garden is a mixture of roses with a magnificent crepuscule climbing the balcony – all around the house – and with numerous garden roses interspersed with camelias and azaleas throughout. Westringeas, and Lavenders fill the batters to the rear of the house and hundreds of daffodils brighten the garden in early Spring. A small memorial garden looks over the panoramic views to the North.
The office garden includes a vegetable garden and a hot house with standard roses and sheltered rhododendrons filling the garden.
A Summer House overlooks one of the seven dams on the property. Do stroll down to enjoy this tranquil setting.
A recently planted European tree lawn behind the house completes the rich variety of plantings and styles in this magnificent garden with stunning views.
A feature of the gardens is the all-year-round show of flowers and the variety of birds and bees that enrich the enjoyment of the property.