Thursday 12 January 2012

The manic gardening mother

Happy 2012 to everyone, and what better way to welcome in a new year on Bloom than to share with you a most spectacular garden!
It seems the older I get, the lengthier my bucket list is becoming. However, our recent trip to Victoria saw me tick at least one wish off the list.
I have long wanted to visit Lambley Nursery near Ballarat in Victoria. For Australian gardeners, Lambley is well known as an exceptional example of dry climate gardening.
They specialise in perennial plants, sourced carefully from all over the world by owner David Glenn, and selected and propagated from his own personal collection.
The show garden is breathtakingly beautiful, and their use of perennials has always inspired me with my own gardening. I am still trying to emulate their stunning mixed perennial borders. There is a real art to achieving an balanced and harmonious border.
The gardens were full of interest, and colour packed, even in the midst of summer.
My addiction to salvias was fed nicely, with many difficult-to-find varieties.  
The rare metallic blues of Oxford Blue Sea Holly (above) and Veitch’s Globe Flower (below), have long been on my list of 'must-have' plants.
An astonishing display of of Salvia nemorosa varieties lay beyond this gate.
This 35 metre long garden was planted for David Glenn's granddaughter Molly and features an avenue of Pyrus calleryana ‘Valiant’ underplanted with at least a dozen different Salvia nemorosa cultivars. (Note family sitting comatose with disinterest in distance).

This garden is an example of where gardening gets very clever. Evidently Molly's birthday is in August. Salvia is dormant and pruned to the ground at that time of year, so the entire garden is underplanted with thousands of Dutch crocus which flower in August just in time for Molly's birthday! Can you imagine?! I can only dream of that sort of clever consecutive planting in my garden!
As usual, I dragged my long suffering family around the gardens, boring them silly with what I knew about the plants. Here they are strolling up the agapanthus lined driveway, with Mount Fuji cherries planted as an avenue. It must be quite spectacular in the spring. In fact you can see photos of the avenue in its splendour here, and read the lovely story about how it was planted for another granddaughter, Lili.
Our garden visit took the usual turn, with the family searching out every available seat while I buzzed about manically taking photos, and ooohing and aaahing over plants and vistas!
The poor boy was particularly out of sorts as he had been hoping to get to mini golf after the garden visit. Such dejection! Yes, I felt badly about it, but came good the very next morning with 18 glorious holes of mini golf for him :) Poor precious!
Being in Victoria is horticultural heaven for me, with so many plant varieties that are unavailable in NSW. Thanks to Lambley, and my equally manic gardening friend Annie, I came home with many treasures which I'm now trying to keep alive until the intense heat of summer passes. 

If you'd like to learn more about Lambley Nursery and David Glenn's dry climate gardening, you can visit his YouTube channel here.

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