Plaistow Homestead – Joyces Creek




Yippeee! It’s been Festival of Gardens time in Castlemaine and district from the 1st to the 9th of November. So there’ll be a few posts devoted to the gardens I visited over the next few weeks.

The Festival is held every two years. Twenty two gardens were listed in the official program and six gardens in the HEDGE – Horticultural Endeavours Demonstrating Gardening Enthusiasm – program. Yes, even a Garden Festival has a fringe.

I visited Plaistow, one of the HEDGE gardens, on Saturday, the 8th of November on a windy, hot day perfect for wandering around a property which has shady verandahs and trees.

This heritage listed property was settled in the early 1840s before the madness of the gold rushes. There is a rambling garden created for the pleasure of the owners and to supply the kitchen with fruit and vegetables.

I visited the garden about a month too late as the spring flowers had died, shrivelled or gone to seed. So I needed to focus on features other than a spring floral display.



How many of us have one of these parked on our verandahs?



 A sunny courtyard provides a sheltered retreat.





An avenue of old peppercorn trees leads down to the creek and the paddocks.




This is what lies beyond the garden fence.




 I think this is the oldest olive tree I have seen with its spreading branches and gnarled trunk.










6 Responses

  1. Oh, I’m so envious of the heat! It never got above freezing here today, and the whole week is forecast to get worse with snow on the way! That is very strange here in the southern US for November. I love the landscape photos beyond the garden fence. I had never heard of peppercorn trees before. I am always learning something new here, Margaret!

    • Yes Lori, I am enjoying the heat. I don’t envy the forecast for snow being on the way in your part of the world. Here, some people are commenting that summer seems to be coming early this year and I agree with them.

  2. Fran, It is amazing how quickly we can adapt to new norms – 25C can be a heat wave when once 40C was not unpleasant.

    Living in Central Victoria has meant learning to appreciate the qualities of succulents as they are survivors in this climate – although I learnt this year that some succulents are not frost tolerant when they have to endure frosts day after day. Their leaves turned to mush or bleached bones. I am hopeful some of these will recover.

    Open Gardens may inspire new ideas to use in our own gardens.

  3. Here I was complaining about a 25C day the other day and look at how hot and dry it is where you are! I think I handed in my heat tolerance when I moved here in 2007 from W.A. I used to think 40C was a nice warm day. Now 40C would probably find me laying with my cheek to the floor in the bathroom! A lovely hot share Margaret and I love that idea of vertical xeriscape gardening. A lovely colourful display of all kinds of waterwise plants to make what could be a very dry straw coloured spring/summer so much more interesting 🙂

  4. I do love looking at beautiful heritage homes! The peppercorn trees took me back to when I lived in a very old homestead near Bourke, NSW. We had a large peppercorn tree in the house yard. I still remember the smell of the seeds/fruit when crushed. I’m looking forward to enjoying the Festival of Gardens through your blog, Margaret. Thanks for sharing these!.

    • Hi Jane, It is interesting what can trigger vivid memories from our past. I am glad you have positive memories of the peppercorn tree in the house yard of your former home. It seems peppercorn trees were a popular choice for both public and private plantings in areas of Australia which are hot and dry. I saw no peppercorn trees in Ferntree Gully but Bendigo and Castlemaine have many fine old examples of this tree.

      If you appreciate heritage homes, you might also enjoy my two posts featuring ‘Buda’ in Castlemaine. Yes, this is a shameless plug for a couple of earlier posts I published this year.

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