Home' Outdoors : WAs Best Outdoors and Gardens 2009 Contents GILGANDRA MAGIC
e splendid Ferguson Valley has six gardens open
for the scheme this season. One is Gilgandra, a
stylish 1.6-hectare garden that has never before
been open to the public.
Owner Jane Gillon is excited about the prospect
of showing people around on the weekend of
November 7-8, but admits that she is still madly
planting in anticipation of the opening.
"We think it's a beautiful garden and we love the
idea of sharing it with people who love gardens,"
Jane says. "At this stage it's a lot of work though!"
Jane and husband John took over the property
four and a half years ago, and are the third owners
" e first owner was a wonderful gardener and
she put in some magnificent trees. We have kept
her trees but we've been replanting a lot of the
understorey and just putting our own touches to
it. We've also been developing 1.5 acres next to
the house, which had a 12-metre fall from top
to bottom. It's now on seven terrace levels, with
limestone staircases between each level."
Deciduous trees feature heavily in this garden
-- as Jane says, this part of the world really lends
itself to the beautiful autumn colours you get from
"In the older garden we have a lot of flowering
cherries and magnolias, so we've continued that
theme. We've lined all the roads into the property
with flowering Bradford pears and in the new
garden we have snow pears, flowering cherries,
magnolias, some more Bradford pears, crepe
myrtle and dogwood, so we've really gone again
with the deciduous trees."
At the heart of the property is a large dam, and
Jane says visitors to the garden are welcome to
bring a picnic lunch and spend the day on the
lawn beside it. Morning and afternoon tea will be
available, and Jane and John will both be on hand to
chat about the garden.
"From what I hear people who come to open
gardens all love gardens and enjoy looking at what
other people have done. I expect I'll learn a lot too.
ere are a lot of things in the garden that I haven't
been able to identify, so I'm sure there will be people
who visit that will be able to help me out as well."
Gilgandra, 2899 Ferguson Rd, Lowden.
Open November 7-8, 10am-4.30pm. Entry $6.
A GARDEN OF MEMORIES
A garden with a very special story is Wallcliffe
House in Margaret River. e two-hectare garden
surrounds the house built by the Bussell family
in 1865. Current owner Rose Chaney has been
involved with the Open Garden Scheme since
it began in 1995, and is delighted to be opening
Wallcliffe House in memory of its gardener of 20
years, Colin omson.
" ommo began working with then-owners
Cate and Mark Hohnan in 1988," Rose explains.
"He was employed to build retaining walls, but
had such a flair for gardening that the Hohnans
asked him to become the gardener instead.
ommo used to say that he spent the next two
years building walls at gardener's rates!"
When the Chaneys took over Wallcliffe House
in 1990, Colin stayed on -- with the gratitude of
the new owners. Over the next 18 years he and
Rose worked closely together to create a magical
garden of perennial borders, shrubberies, heritage
roses, a wisteria walk and kitchen garden, as well
as sunken and walled gardens, a bocce court and
Colin died in March 2009, but remained
passionate about Wallcliffe House until the end.
"Colin used to say that he had two passions: the
garden at Wallcliffe House and his own garden,"
Rose recalls. " e week before he went into
hospital he was still telling me what to plant in the
Rose's proceeds for opening the garden will be
donated to the Wallcliffe Road Volunteer Bushfire
Brigade, who helped save the area from a large and
threatening bushfire in February 2007.
"One of the best parts of the scheme is the
fundraising," Rose says.
Wallcliffe House, Margaret River. Open November
14-15, 10am-4.30pm. Entry $10. e garden is
accessible only by two shuttle buses that will operate
from the Wallcliffe Road Volunteer Bushfire
68 WA's Best Outdoors & Gardens 2010
Gilgandra: Pretty as a picture, this garden (left)
is lush with deciduous trees and brightly-coloured blossoms.
Wallcli e: This Margaret River garden (centre and right)
has so many fascinating aspects including the walled
gardens, a croquet lawn and vistas of the river mouth.
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