ALL SEASONS GARDEN, WITH ASSORTMENT OF FLOWERING TREES AND SHRUBS, AND A NUMBER OF SCULPTURES AND FOUND OBJECTS
Who uses this garden?
We’ve had family weddings, and the kids love tearing around. We encourage them to smell the flowers and eat fruit and vegies straight from the plant.
How old is it?
Ten years old. We spent seven years on the garden before we built the house.
What was here to begin with?
It’s an old dairy farm with a shed and plenty of weeds!
What attracted you to the site?
The undulating block and 300m-long driveway. We bought it on the spot.
Was the garden planned from the outset?
It’s taken shape along the journey. We incorporate things as we’re inspired.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Gardening TV shows and magazines.
Have you ever studied garden design or horticulture?
No, we’ve learnt along the way.
What is your favourite part of the garden?
Athol: I love the courtyard full of river stones, pots and weeping maples.
Denise: That’s a hard question!
What is your favourite time of day in the garden?
First thing in the morning or late afternoon, when shadows are cast.
Describe your maintenance schedule
It’s almost non-existent nowadays.
Denise mows, we weed on the spot, and we prune and mulch occasionally.
Is it irrigated or hand-watered?
It’s piped from our dam. Shallow-rooted plants are watered by hand when required.
What has been the toughest challenge?
We had problems with boggy soil, as neighbouring properties drain onto ours. It was difficult removing the cane grass, capeweed, paspalum and blackberries.
Does your garden provide habitat for wildlife?
There are blue tongues, skinks, frogs, black snakes and about 30 species of birds. There’s plenty of shelter for them.
Do you do any recycling or upcycling of materials in your garden?
So much of our garden has a history.
It’s come from old houses or demolished buildings. We’ve got old copper troughs and rusty things that we love.
Where do you source materials such as compost or mulch?
We buy truckloads of mulch from a friend. It was hungry soil but now it’s beautiful.
Have you always loved the plants that make up the majority of your garden?
We love maples and birches and have also discovered new plants. We planted peony roses because Denise’s mother loved them and gladdies and dahlias because my dad was mad about them!
What has gardening taught you?
It teaches you to share each other’s dreams and how to realise them.
What would you say to new gardeners?
It’s such a pleasurable pastime, so just jump in! Be inspired by TV shows, open gardens and magazines.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Reclaimed timber has been used for this long deck; a bridge adds character; this love seat was made from rusty old tractor wheels; a century-old windmill; blossom trees and a red arch show Japanese influence; sweeping lawns and extensive skeletal winter gardens.