Hello, and welcome to my first blog post! I’m on a journey to create my own dream garden, to learn how other people create their dream gardens, and, hopefully, to inspire a new generation of gardeners along the way.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve believed that one day I’ll have a wonderful garden. Early childhood visits to famous historic gardens, such as Everglades at Leura, with the brooding grandeur of massive evergreen trees, and Vaucluse House, with wisteria in full bloom, made a great impression on me. These gardens kindled a dream which has been smouldering away ever since.
Now I’m ready to make that dream a reality. And, given that for many years I’ve done little more than fantasise about it, “time is of the essence”, and realising that dream is proving to be a daunting challenge.
I’m daunted because I want too much. I covet every beautiful or interesting plant I see; I can’t settle on a particular garden style- romantic, formal, native, cottage, desert, tropical- I want them all! Visiting open gardens- such as Nooroo at Mount Wilson, pictured below, only makes my task more difficult!
Naturalised daffodils at Nooroo- for me, the essence of a dream garden
Camellias and a simple garden seat, Nooroo.
More naturalised spring bulbs, so beautiful!
A hidden pathway at Nooroo.
I’ve watched those “dream garden” tv programs- very pretty, but they leave me cold. Their slick product reminds me of “lifestyles of the rich and famous”. I’d prefer to get down-to-earth with plants and soils, and trial-and-error experimentation, as the basis of creating an authentic dream garden.
Which leads me to another gritty reality-I don’t have a blank canvas to work on, or enough years in front of me to grow a mighty tree, or the bank balance to circumvent these restrictions. I did cheat a little, when I made my tree-change a few years ago, buying a house with a partly mature garden on a quarter-acre, country town block. Not ideal, but a realistic alternative.
My adopted garden has many pleasing plants and features. I have as many roses and camellias as I could hope for. And during the first year I discovered hidden surprises as the seasons rolled around. First came the spring bulbs- pale pink hyacinths and fragrant cream jonquils- then self-sown annuals appeared- calendulas, honesty, nigella and alyssum, creating a dazzling display of colour.
Self-sown golden calendulas and purple “honesty” appear in my garden every spring.
But despite these really delightful plants that I’ve always longed to have, there’s something lacking. Creating my dream garden requires a coherent vision and an acceptance that there won’t be room for everything.
I’ve decided to start by defining the fundamentals, to focus on what’s truly important to me.
Most importantly, my dream garden will be a celebration of the four seasons. Living in the central west of NSW, I look forward to seeing the distinct seasonal changes in gardens and countryside, reminding me of my place on planet Earth as it makes its year-long journey around the sun.
Right now, in the depths of winter, my garden is quiet and peaceful. The deciduous trees are completely bare. The frost-tender plant varieties are doing battle with frequent subzero temperatures, but the bulbs are pushing their vivid green shoots up through the decomposing autumn-leaf mulch. I take time to observe, to enjoy the tranquility, and to work on preparing for spring.
Will you join me on my journey to create a dream garden?