Monthly Archives: December 2015

Beyond the city, the bush garden calls….

Peter and Lyn have created a water wise, bush-style garden within 40 minutes of the city centre of Canberra. It has been a work in progress since 1981, and shows incredible dedication and talent.

IMG_7113 (1024x838)As they had chosen to live out of town, Peter and Lyn wanted the garden to blend in with the surrounding bushland.

All the dry stone retaining walls are made of excavated rock from the house site. Peter has constructed and built the walls, steps and structures…in fact….everything!

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The copper sculptures in the garden are designed by Annie Storey, and the corrugated water tanks and sandstone set them off well. Lovely to see the yellow flowering Acacia cognata spreading across the rocks.

There are some camellias, and other exotics tucked away in the front garden, but we are here in early December, when the real heat starts, so we are looking at the predominantly native parts of the garden. Beyond the water features, Peter has used more corrugated iron and sandstone as borders for garden beds.

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There is a dry creek bed….and grass tree

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kangaroo paw, golden correa, forbs, grasses, mountain devil and other local indigenous plants.

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Kangaroo paw

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Along the side walk are Waratahs, a flannel flower and Banksias.

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The kangaroo paws used to be in pots but are now doing well in the garden.

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Peter said he has a particular love for banksias and has many varieties behind the house. ”I like native plants as they flower for a much longer period of time and they attract so many birds.”

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The vegetable garden and orchard have become Lyn’s domain since she retired. The orchard provides them with lemons, nectarines, mandarins, cherries, pears, and the surrounding bushes are raspberries and blueberries and grapes.

(Lyn said some parts of the orchard are to be replaced, as the trees are too close together.)

 

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Here are the vegetable beds with strawberries, peas, beans, capsicum, eggplants, herbs, cucumber, corn and carrots and asparagus…all on four bed rotation.

Now that is organisation for you!

The potato bed has been designed to allow Lyn to open part of the fencing and harvest potatoes without disturbing the plant.

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There is a bed for rockmelons, pumpkins and zucchinis at the bottom of the dry stone retaining wall.

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As we  walk around the garden and back to the car, we see this glorious Grevillea with flowers like candles shining in the sun….

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and a Bottle Brush bursting with red flowers…………

and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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Thanks to Lyn and Peter for sharing this wonderful bush setting which is their home and garden.

This garden was part of Open Gardens Canberra

www.opengardenscanberra.org.au

 

Spring time at the coast

December is such a hectic Christmas month, I’m taking a nostalgic look at our visit to the South Coast of New South Wales in spring

…a stroll along the beach early on a soft spring day

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plenty of time to take in the details……

patterns in the water…

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……..on the sand and the rocks

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and little worlds,  all going about their day

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Later, we had coffee looking out over the Narooma breakwater….

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then we walked along  the craggy path to the headlands… I wished I’d had this photo while I was still teaching..

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We watched seals sunbaking on the rocks at the headlands…..regardless of the waves crashing up against them…

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Turning back from the headlands, is Narooma with Gulaga (Mt Dromedary) in the background.

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I love the inlets around Narooma, so still and calm…I’d rather be a pelican than a seal any day!

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On the way home we passed a valley full of lilies…yet I have trouble growing one or two in Canberra..

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Here is a hedge surrounding the car park at the local supermarket, a master-stroke of design for a public place, hardy and useful for birds. Grevilleas are planted along the southern side.

 

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The wattle birds and parrots are feeding and chatting everywhere

 

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On the side of a busy road, this New Zealand Christmas bush was flowering in all its splendour

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We took a quiet back track through a small forest of spotted gum trees on our way home.

A curious Red-necked Pademelon, (related to a Wallaby) stood looking at us..It was so quiet he stayed for a while

….and made our day.

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When we arrived back at our friend’s house, (Gardener Extraordinaire), her neighbours had given her some kangaroo paws and bottlebrushes from the garden.

So much to see and do on a spring day at the coast!

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All photos copyright to Gerrie Mackey