Spring rains did not deter us as we set off on our bus tour of special West Gippsland gardens on Saturday 20th October.
Our first stop was at “Barambah” in the centre of Jindivick. Jan Burridge gave us a personal tour of her beautiful garden which featured many rare and unusual plants. The Tropaeolum tricolor vine particularly caught our eye, but her Mollis Azaleas, Laburnum arbour and large Waratah were vying for attention too. Jan revealed that her secret ingredient for luxurious plant health is Munash rock dust applied each season. She treated us to a devonshire tea before we had to leave.
Rare Shade Plant Tropaeolum tricolor
At Country Farm Perennials at Nayook, we had the chance to not only view Merryle and David’s garden but also purchase some plant treasures at their Nursery. They specialise in providing some of the rarer varieties so this was a real treat which many of us took advantage of. Their predominantly woodland garden, including a mature Viburnum plicatum tomentosum, puts on a fantastic show at this time of year. Whilst here we also chose a beautiful double-flowering Clematis for our raffle prize. An ample lunch was kindly provided by the local ladies in the Public Hall.
Country Farm Perennials
As the clouds cleared, our next visit was to “Picardy”, the French-inspired home and garden of Marian and Bryce Somes. They have created their own piece of France in these hills, with rammed-earth buildings, generous plantings of roses and perennials, a Dogwood grove and orchard, as well as a large herb and vegetable garden. The fertility of their property was evident in their Citrus grove where Blood Oranges and Cumquats had not a yellow leaf in sight – and this without any fertilisers! Some of our attendees took the opportunity to purchase Marian’s book “Picardy” which describes her 22 year realisation of a garden dream. (The book published in April 2018 is available in all good book stores.)
Double flowered Dogwood Wisteria Arch (Marian Somes on the left)
“The Garden at Broughton Hall” at Jindivick was our last, but not by any means least, stop for the day. David Musker took us on a personal tour of his fantastic, huge garden beginning in the Birch grove where over 300 birches are planted, moving around the house with the view opening up to reveal an amazing layout of terraces overlooking the Tarago Reservoir. Each terrace is filled with roses, Crab Apples and rare plants, particularly those with foliage interest, within a hedged framework. David was very generous sharing his plant advice, describing his roses and hedge maintenance. The sight of his white peacock was a special surprise and his Nursery “Muskers” provided a further opportunity for us to sample some plants.
Nobody wanted to leave – we all agreed that we needed more time to absorb this garden so I’m sure Broughton Hall will feature on our event list again in the future.
Walking through the gardens David Musker
House Entrance Birch Grove
It is obvious that this region of Victoria, with its ample rainfall and volcanic earth is a horticultural heaven. It will continue to attract passionate gardeners such as these owners so we will be drawn back here again.
We would like to thank each owner for their time and expertise and particularly Merryle Johnson and her team for assisting with the tour planning.
Testimonials from Bus Trip to Gardens of Gippsland in October, 2018
“I had a lovely time on the Gippsland excursion, it was very well organised and the gardens were great, in such lovely company!” – Polly
“… it was a wonderful day, we are very keen to come to another EWHA event…” – Sally
“… thank you for the well-organised and much appreciated trip last Saturday. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience from start to finish.” – Gail