The Antipodean autumn is in full swing here in Brunswickwestfordshire. The nights are getting cooler, the days are darker, and actual rain has presented itself a couple of times to tease my plants into thinking they might not die of dehydration. I’m quite sure some of them will cark it over winter, but it’ll more likely be of neglect than lack of water. The grapevine that never has any grapes is shedding its leaves and the wind kindly deposits them in a heap at the front door for me to sweep up every few days. I can do with nature, but it really should learn to clean up after itself!
One great thing about winter’s approach is that the devil birds (aka moths) that proliferate the warmer months tend to bugger off, which pleases me greatly because they are evil, kamikaze creatures that serve no purpose but to scare the crapola out of me with their stupid dive bombing antics. They do have a tendency to hang around gardens though. Maybe I should embrace the metal approach:
But I digress….
Sometimes it’s necessary to ward off SPOD by recharging one’s batteries with a dose of loitering in a pretty garden. In a good way of course, and preferably a big one that is close to a chocolate shop. You can see where this is going, can't you? Yep, I went to the delightful Alowyn Gardens at Yarra Valley and it’s right next door to the Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery!
Coincidence? I think not. That, my friends, is evidence of extremely good planning!
Alowyn Gardens sits on an old trotting stud at Yarra Glen in Victoria. Works began to revitalise the soil in 1997, with the first tree being planted in 1999. Now it contains seven different areas from the fancy French Parterre to the scrummy Edible Garden, plus a nursery and cafe, a giant chess set, and about 3,632 pumpkins. An extensive drainage system directs harvests water run-off into a wetland area and solar powered pumps keep the water features moving. Most of the recycled materials used to build up the gardens have been sourced locally, and left over produce from the Edible Garden go to the chooks who produce the eggs that end up in the café. Not bad for a place that used to be blackberry infested paddocks, eh?