Forest Edge – Muckleford

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I have been visiting ‘Forest Edge’ during Castlemaine Garden Festivals for many years now. It has been strange coming to the garden since my Aunt Anne died in 2012. ‘Forest Edge’ was our favourite garden and we noticed how it had expanded and developed on our visits. We spent many happy times picnicking in the shade or sitting on one of the garden seats admiring the view across the gentle valley. We both loved flowers and there is an abundance of blooms in spring. The property backs onto bushland so many bush birds visit the garden. Blue wrens (Superb Fairy-wren) hop about the lawns and flit among the shrubs. We would stand or sit very still to see how close the blue wrens would come to us. The males are like jewels; tiny with bright blue and contrasting black feathers.

My aunt could not resist the plant stall and we enjoyed chatting to the friendly owners, Jill and Graham Hiscock.

There was nothing about this garden we didn’t like.

This year, I visited ‘Forest Edge’ on Saturday, the 1st of November. It was typical ‘Cup’ weather – short periods of sunshine, great, black clouds sweeping across preceded by gusty winds then followed by brief down pours or scatterings of hail.

The garden has something to offer everyone including a large, organic vegetable and berry garden, fruit trees, ponds and rock features. However, when I reviewed the photographs I had taken on the day, I found the majority were of flowers so this is a very floral post. I hope you enjoy.

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Garden art among the flowers.

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Groupings of pots add interest to paved and newly gravelled areas.

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Creative use of a colander.

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These fierce creatures are a new addition to appeal to adults and children alike.

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The garden is watered from dams on the property.

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8 Responses

  1. What a sunny and bright spot to visit, Margaret. I love the various garden art… such an ecclectic display! As I poured over these photos, I thought about what I might have around here to repurpose for planters or simple sculpture in my flower beds. The bachelor buttons (cornflowers) photograph reminds me of an old abandoned house that was just down the street from my childhood home. The entire front yard was a sea of pink, white, blue and purple bachelor buttons. I always wondered who the woman was who had planted so many flowers… and where she might have gone, leaving the house to crumble to the ground. Thanks for the memories!

    • Thanks Lori, I think the owners love to use the garden as a means of creative expression. They certainly put their heart and soul into it. They also love to share their garden, experiences and plants with other garden loving people. Graham happily divides iris for admirers to take home.

      Some flowers such as the cornflowers have self seeded in the garden for years. Thank you for sharing the memories triggered by the cornflowers.

  2. We have that very same iris growing on Serendipity Farm! I love that creative use for that colander. Very clever :). The ant sculptures look very realistic and the cornflowers are absolutely beautiful. I am going to have to plant some next year as I really love cornflowers :). Thank you for sharing this really lovely garden that I would probably never have seen, let alone heard of without your post Margaret. I am sorry that your aunt wasn’t there to be with you visiting this time but you can carry her with you in your mind as you add to the wonderful visits that you have had in th past. I am sure she would approve 🙂

    • Hi Fran, It was a last minute decision to include the photograph of the colander. I had rejected it earlier because the dianthus just looked like bright blobs. But I couldn’t resist the bright, lime green colour of the colander or the cleverness of using it as a planter.

      Yes, the cornflowers are very appealing and make a great cut flower.

  3. Hi Margaret. Thanks for sharing this delightful collection of flowers. I am sorry your aunt was not there to share this visit. It sounds like you shared some lovely times together. I also have fond memories of relatives that I associate with various places. When I return to them, the feelings are mixed…happiness and sadness.

    I love to see these type of gardens as they remind me of visiting elderly relatives who had more traditional flower gardens. As a child I delighted in smelling and examining all the lovely flowers, particularly the roses which I found very romantic!

    My garden here is more subtropical plants with many bromeliads, however there are some lovely old geraniums scattered through it and a couple of old fashioned roses as well. I love the smell of old fashioned roses. The ones in the shops often have no fragrance at all.

    We also have superb fairy wrens here. They are delightful little birds. Unfortunately the Currawongs had babies and their presence is scaring off the smaller birds at present. I always enjoy your posts. Thank you. 🙂

    • Yes Jane, Memories about gardens can be profound. Connections with gardens can be powerful even if we are chaotic gardeners. In my garden in Ferntree Gully, I planted two casuarinas and I loved listening to the wind whistling through their foliage. The garden is no more. Some time after I moved to Castlemaine, I attended a concert where an original composition inspired by casuarinas was played and sung. I remember being quite moved as I listened to the music and the song whilst thinking of my two casuarinas.

  4. What an interesting place, Margaret. I love the combination of art and plants – and the colander idea is fab. It also warms my heart when I hear that these types of open gardens grow organically.

    • Hi, I am sorry it has taken me a little while to respond to your comment. There is a strong interest in organic gardening in this region. Because no harmful pesticides or herbicides are used, there is a rich array of insects and their predators present. The flowering plants are abuzz with bees and the bush birds are busy hunting for the insects they love to eat.

      The garden changes as the owners introduce new features including the garden art.

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