It's been well over a month since this year's Bundanoon Garden Ramble... as I said in my last post, I'm in mega catch-up mode now that spring has apparently just flashed past. Despite how belated they are, I can't bare the thought of letting these photos sit in my camera roll never to be looked at again. They were just too inspiring to suffer that sad fate (which is really only fair for the thousands upon thousands of screen shots I take of stupid things I see on the internet each day that really MUST be messaged to family and friends).
Apparently the gardens in the Bundanoon Garden Ramble change each year - there are so many amazing ones to choose from in such a small town - but we managed to see 5 of them. One deserves its own post, but the other four will be lumped together here.
The Garland Lane gardens
Two neighbouring gardens were open on Garland Lane. There were whispers around the ticketing tent that one was great and the other a bit ho-hum, but I don't agree - both were beautiful in their own way. Also, the "gossip" at open gardens is more than a little lame.
The first garden had beautiful lawns with cut-egde garden beds. Not a metal edger in sight. I can't begin to imagine how much work they put in to keep those beds looking tidy, but I definitely thinks it's worth it.
I love the way the beds are laid out to encourage you to wander a longer way through the garden. There are glimpses of the next section but you really have to potter to see it all.
I'm not a massive fan of mulching as a final ground cover in garden beds but it serves it's purpose and actually looked quite good in these beds. I do wonder whether they intend to fill them with ground covers eventually instead of using bark mulch... it kind of looks like that is the goal.
The second Garland Lane garden had a seriously blah front garden (sooooo 1970s dreary and sad) but opened up to a stunning garden out the back. "The back" being at least half an acre, if not bigger, so I use that term loosely. Whole beds were filled with rhododendrons in flower and there was a variegated tulip tree that must have been at least 20m high.
This garden had the most perfect woodland underplantings and was definitely a source of inspiration for how we might underplant in our own garden one day.
The garden on Amos Lane
I don't even know where to start with this one... My goodness, it is probably the closest thing to my "dream garden" that I have ever seen. And the house was pretty dreamy too, to be honest. The funny thing is that I didn't manage to take a single photo that captured its beauty. I tried to explain to my husband how perfect it was but didn't have the photographic evidence to back me up... I will just have to refer to the loveliness that is etched into my mind.
A few things were obvious from the photos that I did take though. The orchard was so neatly laid out, and the "seasonal" structures seemed to be permanently (and perfectly) in place. We wrangle to put up caging and netting around fruit trees each year, partly because our orchard is also our backyard so we don't want the cages to be permanent. But the ease of pruning and netting in this garden was pretty obvious. It was also a good reminder that keeping fruit trees pruned to a manageable height makes an awful lot of sense, especially if you want them to be productive rather than ornamental (and bird-feeding).
Whole shade garden beds were underplanted with vinca which I'd never considered for our garden (because, ahem, I'd never heard of it before). Anyhoo, said vinca has now been acquired as 2 punnets of six seedlings and will be planted in the maple grove. Hopefully we achieve a similar lush effect.
I can't really explain why I loved the house so much and what I hope to achieve by admiring it - our house is not weatherboard and there is no way that I will ever succumb to venetian blinds (wooden or not) again because I have absolutely no desire to spend my life dusting, no matter how pretty they are. But the effect from the outside is almost too much, especially when there were roses blooming outside bedroom windows and vines creeping up walls.
I spent far too long looking into the little matching weatherboard shed and the potting garden... and took a very rare selfie whilst I was at it. Everything you need to know about me is pretty much summed up in this photo - I never do my hair, I almost always wear stripes and jeans, my phone is often popping out the top of my pocket and I spend much too much taking photos of gardens :)
The garden at Lorna Close
This garden was a rose-lover's paradise. The whole street-side garden was filled with old English roses and bourbon roses. Swoon!
The back garden was separated into two sections by an espaliered fruit tree "fence". The reason for the partitioning became clear as we wandered through - the part visible from the house was ornamental and the furthest section (also beautiful) was functional.
The back section had an amazing play area for the gardener's grandchildren, filled with hopscotch, teddy bears picnic-ing, fairy doors, oversized spiders in oversized webs, a blackboard, fantastic carved wooden pencils... my daughter was just blown away by this area and could have stayed here all day exploring. The back section was also were the vege garden, bee hives and hills hoist were tucked away. None of this was ugly or needed to be hidden behind a proper fence so the way that it was tucked neatly behind the espaliered trees was perfect. A subtle and elegant solution.
That's it for the Garden Ramble round-up... for now! I have one other garden to share with you which I think deserves a seperate post. It was the least ornamental, most productive garden I have ever seen, and it was quite incredible. Stay tuned.