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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

April Autumnal Adventures

It is holiday time again, and with the family I set off for the coast via two open gardens in the Monaro district east of Cooma.

To get to the open gardens we passed through a tiny town called Numeralla. I would like to return here one day, the little town in a valley surrounded by poplars looked very appealing. 

As we drove through I was singing "There's a happy little valley by the Numeralla shore" which is actually about the Eumeralla, a river in Victoria, but hey it rhymed! Here's Slim Dusty singing the Aussie folk song about cattle duffing (stealing). I love the bit which goes "When the moon has climbed the mountain and the stars are very bright.."

The first garden was "Wondalee", the garden of Sue and Mike Litchfield on the Tuross Road at Countegany. This lovely, well established country garden surrounds a fibro house. From the garden there are beautiful views of the countryside.
This is a cold climate area, and there were autumn leaves in abundance as well as late blooming roses.

 In the cabbage patch

An old fashioned country tennis court. In the background is a gigantic silver elm

 Looking towards the house. I quite liked the combination of garage with loft above, separate from the house.

Folk enjoying tea and a chat 

 These rounded steps with white seaside daisies growing along them were quite unusual. I have always loved crazy paving too.
My husband and daughter stride across the lawn, leaving me to admire the roses growing up the verandah  pillars. I plan to plant an ornamental grapevine like this one on the northern side of my house, but I have to build it a metal pergola first.

                                             An oak tree along the drive

Ducks waiting for someone to turn on the tap. They've been waiting a long time I feel.

 The wind here in winter is very strong and freezing cold. So a windbreak is essential.

Wooden gates were available for sale. Here my husband is chatting to the gatemaker, Tom Brown. I liked the look of these sturdy tree guards. If I had tree guards like these the kangaroos would come off second best.

There was a sheepdog trial demonstration. Here the dogs are having a rest after showing us all how they round up the sheep. The farmer is chatting to the visitors about how to train a dog without destroying its spirit. 
I admired this stone wall.

The next house was completely different. It is the garden of John and Shilo Bowe, surrounding the house and nursery of their business, Tableland Trees and Shrubs. (there's a great photo on their website of the nursery in the snow).

This garden is 25 years old, and serves as a source of plants for the nursery and to demonstrate the specimens for the customers. To get to the garden we drove higher up the mountain, along a windy track through tall gum trees and scrub then to a clearing.

Walking in the gate, we saw an interesting cow sculpture.


 Just look at this beautiful golden elm. I like the log seat underneath.

 Looking out from under a weeping silver birch across to the willow by the dam and the gum trees in the background.

A lovely old gum tree. Can you spot the cubby in its branches? 
I think this one is a ribbon gum. Gum trees are evergreens but they shed their bark at certain times of the year, which can be an amazing sight.

A dam provides water for the nursery. The owner collects the water once it has been used to water the plants and sends it back into this dam for reuse.

I am an admirer of vegie gardens and hope to put one in at my place before too long. This one had a handy tip for defeating the dreaded cabbage white butterfly that longs to nestle in your brassicas, lay its eggs and poop to its heart's content. The trick is to enclose your cabbage patch with ordinary white netting - the butterflies can't get through the mesh and your broccoli etc will be safe.

I have a blue spruce like this at my place, but it is nowhere near this tall and majestic. Maybe one day....they seem to grow really slowly. 

The Pickle found me some chestnuts. We saw some in the supermarket the next day for $6.99 a kilo!

 Rather interesting retaining wall made from pine logs.

The little trees in the nursery each have a dripper for irrigation and are buried under weedmat. I fought back the temptation to buy a few for souvenirs since we had a car load of stuff and were headed off on holidays.

This is a swamp oak. The Pickle was interested to hear that there are deciduous conifers. We like to listen to a They Might be Giants song called "C is for Conifer". 

This one is turning a lovely yellowy hue.
 Each tree in the garden was labelled so you could jot down its name and ask for one at the nursery. What a great idea!

Here's the song about conifers:  

When we sat down for a rest, I asked the Pickle "What tree is this leaf from?"

I was very proud of her when she answered "The tulip tree!". Then I realised she was reading a label on the tree. D'oh! We have one of these at home but it had the misfortune to collect a passing kangaroo and is not looking so good.

Well, that was a great start to our holidays.

I will fill you in next week on our adventures at the beach. Until then, here's a photo from when I was down the coast on year seven camp last week - coincidentally at the same little town where I am staying with my family.

PS I found a house which was for sale in the same road as the gardens, and I'm including the link because the photos of the landscape are just stunning and much better than mine! It's very rustic and the toilet is a dunny out the back but really I think I'd be in heaven here. So long as I had an internet connection, that is!


  1. I cannot think of a better way to begin a holiday. The gardens look so beautiful. I couldn't find the cubby in the gum tree mainly because I don't know what a cubby is. I'm not sure if I could live in a house with the loo in the garden even if I had internet connection. You are brave.

  2. What lovely gardens! Thanks for sharing your lovely photos and have a wonderful holiday. Niki x

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  4. Sorry, I meant to say it is a very interesting read, as always, and that I look up to you for being brave enough to surf!

  5. Your pictures are beautiful! The cow sculptures is very interesting!

  6. Beautiful, interesting pictures! LOVE the pine log wall!

  7. Love those gardens! I have a tulip poplar at my house and love it! Thanks for sharing your vacation with us!

  8. Our back yard is filled with tulip poplars. They are great in that they are so straight and tall. The only thing I really dislike is the dropping of the flowers in the Spring.....I love to go bare foot and those things are sharp. :-)
    You got some beautiful photos. Glad you are having a good time.

  9. Yes--I agree that the photos are Lovely! Makes me feel peaceful and quiet just contemplating being there. (Faith)