Thursday, 30 June 2016

Annie's Garden

We called in to visit my sister Annie and her husband Darren on our way home from the Casterton Kelpie Muster a couple of weeks ago.
They live between Winchelsea and Dean's Marsh in Victoria, not far from Colac.
The first thing I  always do when I arrive at their beautiful little eight acre property, after graciously accepting a cup of tea from Annie, is to wander her wonderful garden.
As a gardener, I know how much work is involved, so I'm always in awe of what she has there in her peaceful haven of greenery, trees and flowers.

 This is what they started with in 2001 when they purchased the property.  Nellie the horse is enjoying a roll on the lawn.
Now, as you will see, every bit of that vacant space has been filled with a garden that invites us in. Around every bend of the paths, is another restful spot to sit and ponder.

 The pond in the fowl yard is surrounded with water irises. It usually dries out for a short time towards the end of their summer, and they scramble to transfer all of the frogs into the other dam on the property.
I wish our poultry area looked this picturesque!

There's no doubt that Annie has a green thumb. These Bonsai were started from scratch years ago and are growing beautifully.

One of the features that I love, are the Red Gum Eucalyptus trees that Annie is manipulating into shapes and arches. This tree has smaller branches being trained to grow around the main trunk. Eventually, the branches fuse together and a twirling pattern is visible along the tree trunk.

Deciduous trees are also being manipulated. Annie shows us her plans for this smaller branch as it will eventually curl around the main trunk.

 My gardeners hands ;) ... showing the trunk as the branches merge together while growing.
Some trees are chopped at eye level, a bird bath or feeder nailed onto the top stump, and the side branches trained to droop downwards. Annie calls this a "stand".

"The reason I started to cut off the red gums as stands and also arch them, is because I had lots of seedlings an inch tall which I rescued from a car track on the Murray river bank, and planted them willy nilly all in the wrong spots in the dark when we arrived home from camping (not expecting them to grow.). Then they ALL grew in what seemed like an instant. They would completely take over if I didn't stunt them in some way." explains Annie.

Another archway for the front garden from two Red Gums.

A Twisted Willow tree with ongoing manipulations.

A reflections garden. A cup of tea, a book, a sunny day, a bird (or twenty) calling from above...
An old claw foot bath containing goldfish and water irises sits beneath a collection of mirrors hung on the back of the potting shed.

Bird baths perched on every available flat surface assist in attracting a wide variety of birds.

A broken candle holder becomes a perfect pot stand when turned upside down.

 Bits of discarded iron-mongery found on a neighbor's rubbish pile becomes an eye catching pond.

A garden seat disappears beneath the Ivy.

A serene spot to view the sheep and cows that graze on their property.

 Even the wood storage shed looks delightful.

This old tractor seat, surrounded by rose scented geraniums, begs to be sat on.

The photos below were taken by Annie last Spring.

I always come away from Annie's garden with renewed inspiration to implement some of these things in my own garden. With our lower rainfall in South Australia, I know I can't  grow a garden like this,  but I'm going to hunt down some old logs for placing around the beds to add interest and I'm also going to keep an eye out for usable "junk". 
I hope you enjoyed a wander around Annie's garden, as I always do.


  1. Sally, what a fascinating garden. My hubby has a back yard full of junk and I should start incorporating it into the garden now that I have been inspired by Annie's garden. Thanks for sharing the photos.

    1. Chel, we need to develop that "eye" that Annie has for a usable piece of junk as garden features. I'm working on it. lol

  2. What a beautiful, interesting, creative garden! I can see why you love spending time there. I watched a great clip the other day about a permaculture garden, and it too inspired me to push forward with the garden in the school holidays. Its at a standstill at the moment with the renovations inside. Look forward to comparing notes over a cuppa. :)


    1. Oh Emma, you would love this garden. I didn't even get to mention that she grows most of their vegetable too.

  3. Oh wow! So lovely. Thank you for sharing Annie's garden, lots of inspiration there.

    1. Annie's garden is certainly one to get the imagination running wild with possibilities for our own gardens Sherri. I should also have mentioned the clever work of Darren, who built the pergolas, and all of the structures. Such an unassuming bloke who has an incredible talent for making useful stuff. What a great team they are.

  4. Rosemary Schick1 July 2016 at 18:58

    Oh you have captured it ! Wonderful ......

  5. such a beautiful and magical garden - thank you for sharing :)

  6. Oh my, what a stunning garden. Love it :)



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