The Keep – Taradale


 The Keep is the final in a series featuring gardens I visited during the Castlemaine and District Garden Festival in November 2014.

I visited The Keep near Taradale for the first time on the 4th of November.

Unlike the gardens which feature floral displays, this country garden focuses on shape, foliage and texture. To fully appreciate this garden, I needed to take time to wander slowly, pause a while and observe. The more I looked the more there was to see. Despite my preference for colour, fragrance and flowers, I loved this garden as was evidenced by the number of photographs I took…… so this post is the first about ‘The Keep’.

And to be different, this first post is about the vegetable garden which is the tidiest, most organised productive garden I have ever seen.


 Inside the green house are vegetables growing in mobile wicking beds.


Most beds are netted to protect the vegetables from marauding wild life from the surrounding bushland.




 A place for everything and everything in its place.


 The berry houses.








 There is a lot of composting going on.



12 Responses

  1. Perfect reading for a winter’s day. The promise of future gardening.

    • Thank you for reading this post, Johanna. I hope your own efforts with vegetable growing reap success.

      • Oh, so do I. Returning to the high desert last year from the southeastern part of the US, means coming up on spring with a totally different growing mindset.

  2. I must say, the neatness of this garden really appeals to me!

    • Yes, some people have a particular knack in being neat. There would be little hunting around trying to find a misplaced trowel.

      There is more neatness to follow in my next post.

  3. I missed reading this post, Margaret. What good ideas in the garden for helping to keep animals out. I have a bush turkey here that does quite a bit of his own “gardening” which is at odds with mine. The possums enjoy the fruits of my labour as well. Now that my chickens have retired and passed on I plan to use the large chook pen to grow vegetables. I am hoping I will be able to eat something before the wildlife then! Thank you for this interesting post.

    • Jane, Using the former chook pen as a place to grow vegetables is a great idea – ready made protection from the marauders!

      I have no direct experience of bush turkeys and their gardening ways but having seen programs showing the size of the mounds they make, I can appreciate the impossibility of creating garden beds when you have a resident bush turkey.

  4. Excellent job Margaret and you can only marvel at the neat and tidy veggie garden and know that no children or dogs are allowed in that hallowed space ;).

    • Hi Fran, Actually the owners have dogs. Perhaps the dogs are very well trained – certainly no leaping about in the herbage hunting lizards. I can’t remember if the owners said they have grand children.

      Wait ’til you see the rest of the garden. It will make you weep!

      • Some gardens are like that Margaret. We have a most gorgeous garden here called Wychwood. It’s actually on the market but no-one will pay the asking price. If it was on the mainland it would be snapped up in an instant but it languishes on the real estate pages here thanks to our much lower median house price.

  5. This place is quite organized and tidy! They have gone to extensive lengths to keep “marauding” wildlife from the plants. It is quite expensive here to utilize fencing and netting to keep wildlife at bay. You did great with the photojournaling here!

    • Thank you for your comment, Lori. It seems many people with productive gardens and proximity to the bush eventually net their beds and trees if they want to reap the rewards of their labours.

      The polypipe hoops over steel rods are popular as they are simple to construct and protect the netting from snagging on twigs and branches.

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