The Mudgee Garden Spectacular gave visitors the chance to enjoy the experience of exploring Claire and Greg Toole’s three-acre garden in south Mudgee. Pleasing, simple design gives this garden a sense of space and tranquillity.
Understated brick and stone edgings meander along, connecting garden beds and defining broad areas of pebble and wood chip ground covers. This design, complemented by swathes of pigface, now showing its brilliant purple spring flowers, gives a sense of continuity and movement throughout the landscape.
Large aloes, yuccas, eucalypts and big old melaleucas are balanced by groundcovers and low shrubs, enhancing the spacious feel by giving clear views across the garden to points of interest beyond.
The whole effect evokes, for me, a flat, outback landscape, with dry, pebbly stream beds bordered by abundant drought tolerant plants. I’m motivated to walk and follow these paths, wherever they lead!
The pebble groundcovers blend well with the subdued colours of the garden.
Like islands in the stream, there are several feature areas displaying special plants, like this white banksia rose…
and whimsical structures like this old salvaged paling fence adorned with jasmine. Each of these special spots has a name and a story from the family’s folklore.
Moving through the garden, there’s an interesting transition, through a hedge and under a tree, leading to a more formally designed area. An elegant poplar walk defines the southern boundary. Winter sun streaming through the bare branches highlights the beautiful silvery-white bark with its distinctive dark grey markings.
In spring, the soft green-grey hues of the young poplar leaves provide a gentle canopy which entices one to linger whilst strolling along the pebbled pathway.
Throughout the garden, the quintessential dry-climate palette of silvery greens, greys and browns is broken by shots of primary colour from brightly painted garden furniture. The hidden “red” and “blue” corners provide colour during the colder months.
Found objects and clearing sale curiosities to put a stamp of unique character and joyful humour on this garden. There’s a tiny cottage with a colourful history called Battery Point,
and many more quirky treasures.
It’s so nice to see humble “pigface” performing a starring role in this wonderful garden.
This garden is “at home” in the central west of NSW, so it’s no surprise that it feels “just right”. The garden’s openness and visibility makes it an asset to the south Mudgee area.