During the summer holidays, we stayed at Flinders, in the Mornington Peninsula.. as we did last year.
This year, Paul and I took time off the beach to visit an open garden, a garden high on the hill and surrounded by farms and vineyards.
This garden is owned by gardener Jo Ferguson, and her partner, Simon Hazel.
Jo Ferguson is a gardener designer, and takes charge of design, the planting and the day-to- day care of the property.
Jo has a simple, but interesting idea on planning a garden; imagine a place where you are most happy, or a place in your childhood where you were happy. Try to bring elements of this into the garden.
Simon liked to see bees on flowers, and Jo liked grasslands, “when I was little I would sit in the grasslands on the foreshore of Merrick beach.”
They have made a unique garden on a hill in Flinders, defying harsh winds and heavy clay soil, and following what makes them happy.
The garden has Echinacea, Kangaroo Paws, alliums, dahlias, paper daisies, and many more flowers, all waving in the breeze and searching for space amongst the local and exotic grasses.
Jo’s partner Simon Hazel works in commercial landscaping, and deals with the larger-scale aspects of the landscape.
Simon tops up their heavy clay soil with a mix of sand, compost and course mulch.
He makes his own compost by incorporating 100 cubic metres of horse manure and vast quantities of grape marc (the solid remains of grapes after pressing, from local vineyards in the region.) He then turns the mix with his Digger, and leaves it for a year, before use.
I’m sure that this kind of dedication to compost would bring excellent results!
Jo and Simon have impressive water tanks, used for the house and garden, the vegetable garden, chickens and alpacas, and the odd sheep.
They have an abundance of vegetables growing in the garden, unfortunately I could not get photo of some parts of the garden. It was very popular with visitors.
It was easy to see that this garden was a labour of love, and every season would bring more surprises.
On the way back to our holiday house Paul and I chatted about what brings us joy in the garden.
When we arrived back at our holiday house and garden, our grandchildren were very excited because there were two Eastern Rosellas in the garden, and even better two Magpies, our granddaughter was sure they were the same Magpies as the ones that entertained us last year.
It occurred to me that one of the many things that brings me joy in the garden is being able to attract a variety of birds, with the help of birdbaths, and shrubs, bushes and small trees that provide safe haven for birds looking for food.
If you are lucky enough to have a garden, what brings you joy in the garden?
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