Sunday, 16 September 2012

A Visit to Westwood Hall

One of the advantages of living in the sub-tropics is the range of plants and garden styles that flourish. While we try to push the envelope towards the tropics, other gardeners prefer to grow temperate climate plants.
The garden we visited yesterday was completely different to ours but just over a kilometer away. Westwood Hall is open under the Australian Open Garden Scheme. We hope to visit quite a few gardens from the book over the coming months.

This garden is set on 1.2 acres - not much larger than ours.
The original trees have been retained to provide shelter for more sensitive plants. Pathways through the garden take you uphill and down through a series of terraces and  "garden rooms".
John, the gardener, a retired Anglical priest, and his partner Kim, told us they chose the land to create the garden. John walked the land, pictured the design of his garden and started planting a couple of years before he built the house. He said the land had been part of a dairy farm prior to being divided for housing, so the ground had many years of fertilising before they began to care for it.

At the top of the hill they have created a lookout. 
 From here you can see over most of the garden.
They grow tulips in a parterre garden,
and cherry blossoms and other temperate climate trees,
and roses, lots of roses,
 and many types of flowers I haven't seen before.
They are successfully growing quite a number of plants that the books and "experts" say can't be grown in Queensland. They said they've learnt what can grow, through trial and error (and I'm sure a fair degree of TLC). Although our average temperatures are quite mild and warm, this area has its share of cold as well. I'm guessing where we have to protect our plants in Winter, their greatest challenge would be our hot Summers....anyway, on with the tour....

 I was intrigued by their vegie patch.

 It was so neat - nothing like ours.
Plastic owls stood guard to scare the birds away.
They'd be horrified if they saw the way we encourage birds into our garden.
I loved the strawberry patch.
 Again there was an owl standing guard, and a plastic snake to scare the birds.  
 Even the potting area in the corner of the garden behind the shed was tidy.
I like to check out the work area of a garden -
 the compost bins, potting area, the wheelbarrows and shovels.

 Towards the bottom the the hill the pathway opened to a grassed sunny area planted with a range of cottage plants and annuals, and at the centre of the garden was a very large lily pond. John explained that the pond served a practical purpose in collecting run-off from heavy rain as well as its cooling effect and beauty.
 Hard to tell from the photo, but the fish were huge.
There was much more, but the battery on my camera went flat.
When will I learn to check  it before we go looking at gardens?
Inspired by the garden, we went home and spent the afternoon tidying our vegie patch.


  1. An amazing range of plants to have been grown in the Brisbane area. It must be due to those cooler nights you get on the western side of town. The lovely mauve flowering shrub you said you haven't seen before is Eupatorium megalophyllum 'Purple Mist Flower'. I had one briefly that I started from a cutting, but sadly lost.

  2. That was a nice tour, i look forward to seeing more.

  3. wow...if I didnt have family I would move there

  4. How lovely to be able to go and visit all those different gardens and thank you for sharing them with us too!

  5. That's a lovely looking garden that's not far off from the usual English style gardens here :)

  6. A lovely garden, I love the lookout and the wooden frame supporting the trailing lilac flowers.

  7. What a very special garden.

    I have a $150 Bunnings Giveaway on my blog A Green Earth and I welcome you and your readers to enter.

  8. What a lovely garden tour....thank you for sharing.
    My veggie patch (herb garden) needs tidying up...maybe today.


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