THERE is a sense of peace at Elizabeth and Gary Ganguly’s garden, Boxwell, which is set near the village of Stirling in the hills behind Adelaide. It’s not only that birdsong pervades the air, nor that the balance between planted areas and lawn space is just right. As you travel down the long, winding drive, you pass through several woodland areas before you arrive at a shadowy glade. There, judicious tree surgery has turned a dense, mature pine forest into a special place in which a 10m-tall stone urn, created in the bookleaf arrangement so favoured by the landscaper Paul Sorensen, makes a striking impact. You are tempted to simply sit and contemplate.
More than a century old, Boxwell started its life as ‘‘a working man’s property’’, says Elizabeth Ganguly, a garden designer. ‘‘It was only in the 1930s that a more formal garden was planted. The design still features many of the mature trees that were planted around the 1930s and we have added the woodland walks.’’
On either side of the driveway, small garden areas house collections of camellias and roses. There is even a garden of fairies. Eventually you arrive at the house, where a carriage circle surrounds a large sphere of grass: at its centre a clipped box hedge encases cream roses and four fountains.
Among all these exciting ‘‘garden rooms’’, it is the large edible garden, beyond the back lawn, that is perhaps the most instructive. Several large vegetable patches have been created in raised beds and a berry cage houses raspberries, loganberries and blueberries. The orchard is home to heavily fruiting figs, medlars, apples, pears and citrus, as well as a variety of nut trees. And there are chickens, safely enclosed in a large, protective area.
The rear of the property blends into an area of native re-vegetation. And wandering back to the front of the garden, a new area houses drought-tolerant plants, including a range of succulents. There are also proteas, cistus, westringia, teucriums and correas. Beautiful stone walls, dripping with prostrate rosemary, provide additional spots on which to sit and rest.
‘‘It’s not a pristine garden,’’ says Elizabeth, ‘‘but it is a gardener’s garden. There is always something that is being changed or planted.’’ Gardeners will certainly empathise.
An ideal space for contemplation at Boxwell