Elysium – Taradale

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 I am not interested in tuning into the horse racing of Melbourne Cup Day so I spent Tuesday, the 4th of November doing something I really like – visiting two open gardens in the nearby township of Taradale. These gardens were open as part of the Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens.

‘Elysium’ was the garden I visited in the morning and is the subject of this post.

The property is situated in the heart of the township and is bordered by the fences of neighbouring properties and a sheep paddock.

The garden has two distinct sections – a new section developed over the past 16 months with a moon gate as the back drop and an older established section which has a large pond.

The owner has created a no dig garden where plants have been planted into raised garden beds which are heavily mulched. Many of the trees have been planted as more mature specimens.

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 A view across the new garden to the moon gate and……

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 looking back through the moon gate to the new garden.

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Colour in the new garden.

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 The pond is a dominant feature of the older garden.

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 This comical emu is placed in one of the densely planted beds of the older garden. Shady deciduous trees provide dappled light for hellebores which had finished flowering and the peonies which had just begun flowering or were still in bud. Hellebores and peonies are a rare sight in Castlemaine whose climate is not well suited to these plants.

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 Lots more colour in the older section of the garden.

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A deciduous tree clad in its fresh spring leaves.

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7 Responses

  1. We have helebores growing everywhere on Serendipity Farm. Once they find a niche just try stopping them from spreading. We also have “stinking helebores” which don’t stink at all but have glorious green bell flowers and that are tough as nails. I bet they would grow in Castlemaine! Aquilegias and irises are tough nuts. We don’t water our side garden at all and it is already getting very dry. The aquilegias and irises make the garden look lovely when in reality it is a barren dry wasteland. Plants like these are invaluable in a dry area as they give the illusion of a beautiful cottage garden. I am going to have to buy some seelings of Californian poppies. I have tried and tried to grow them from seed but for some reason they never grow. Another hardy cottage garden favourite that will grow on a hot tin roof and something that I lust after especially as they grow on dry banks on the side of the road around here! Thank you for sharing this lovely garden with us Margaret. I love reading about other people’s gardening explorations. You really don’t have to travel to see beautiful gardens :). By the way, I forgot it was Melbourne cup day as I was out in the garden. Not that I bet on it or anything but I felt a twinge of unAussieness for all of a second but that didn’t last 😉

    • Hi Fran, Isn’t it frustrating when a plant which grows like a weed in your neighbourhood refuses to do the same in your own garden? Hopefully your wish will be granted and you will have a fine crop of Californian poppies showing their cheery faces in your garden by next spring.

      Irises and aquilegias do well in Castlemaine but I miss the subtle beauty of the winter flowering hellebores which grew in Ferntree Gully.

      I hope to read your regular weekly post soon. I came home today, settled down with a cup of tea to read your usual Wednesday offering at leisure but it wasn’t there. It looks as if the garden has you well and truly in its thrall.

      • I wrote my blog post yesterday and scheduled it to post but accidentally scheduled it for December! Steve noticed and pressed publish for me ;).

  2. Once again, lovely photographs that give us a feel for the area and its landscape. I am always amazed at the maintenance and grooming that must go into such a garden. Definitely a labor of love, don’t you agree? I love the spring color emerging in these photos. Just lovely, Margaret!

    • Yes Lori, Gardeners who open their creations to a wider audience shower much time, money and love on them. Whilst they may recruit the help of family, friends or professionals, they lavish many hours of their own time on the gardens.

      I have been admiring the autumn colours on the blogs of people such as yourself who live in the northern hemisphere. So it is nice to be able to return the favour of sharing the spring colours here.

  3. Thanks for sharing this delightful garden! I used to live in an area that had hard clay soil. The only way I could grow anything was to build up a non-dig garden on top surrounded by borders. Fortunately we lived on a farm so had plenty of old hay, manure and other material we could use.

    I do like the interesting metalwork creatures that people put in their gardens. I’ve been sending out present hints for a while now so I am hoping I may have one in my own garden one day. I particularly like the emus!

    On the subject of the Melbourne Cup I usually turn the TV and radio off then. Even though my distant grandfather actually owned and trained racehorses (and one came second in the Melbourne Cup) I find the gambling and the suffering that can be inflicted on the animals a bit off-putting. I love horses but prefer to see them in the paddock running free.

    Thanks for sharing this information and the lovely pics.

    • Hear, hear Jane on the subject of horse racing! But I know many people enjoy going to the races so it is a dilemma especially when horses are pushed beyond their physical limits in order to win. I think the racing industry needs to rethink its attitudes to the welfare of the horses especially with regard to breeding more robust horses – their legs are so fine – and banning the whip.

      Like you, the gardeners of this district are a determined and resourceful bunch creating beautiful gardens where the soil is hard and rocky, the winters frosty, the summers hot and water is scarce.

      I hope you get a result with your present hints.

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