A great day organized by Sheila to two very different gardens, in Seymour and Longwood, past Avenal. The weather was warm and sunny and enjoyed by about 25 members, including some new members. It was just over an hour’s drive up the Hume to Seymour, and Longwood was about half an hour further on.
Clarice’s lovely garden in Seymour was in the grounds of a large Victorian house on a normal size house block. Clarice gave us a lovely welcome and description of how the garden evolved with her love of native plants and the local mix of manure that she uses so successfully.
It was a mature mixed garden with paths leading around the house enveloped by mature shrubs and interesting artifacts to find amongst the plants. Small birds flitted around the shrubs above our heads.
Clarice took over the adjacent block and extended her native palate with a border of well-developed hakeas and eucalypts, accessible by winding paths. The inner section was a lovely amalgamation of medium and low native shrubs and perennials, many in flower. This area was also enhanced with interesting relics used as tubs or garden furniture which will be seen in the photographs.
Using Sheila’s tips, we found our way to Longwood and the large property belonging to Val and Frank. The large elevated house and main part of the garden are about 8 years old. We all sat on the balcony eating lunch and marveling at the wonderful long view of the ranges to the north, and the short view looking into the canopy of the trees and down on the garden. It was wonderful watching the honey eaters (including the Scarlet Honeyeaters) flitting through the foliage and visiting the abundant flowers with their nectar supply.
After lunch and Val’s talk, she led us on a walk around the meandering paths amongst the shrubbery which was taller than head height and very healthy. There were many lovely spots to sit and enjoy the birds. Something to find around every bend. So much effort has gone into choice of plants, propagating, soil improvement, planting out section by section and adding water features and gabion walls.
Val says the garden is a work in progress as it’s huge and easier to complete a section before expanding further. In addition there is a lovely covered orchard and veggie patch plus strawberries galore on vertical poles. What a dynamic and energetic couple with a wonderful vision which they have skillfully put into practice.
Report by Joanne Cairns
Images: Jill Lulham