Monday, 18 March 2013

The Giving Garden

 On the weekend we visited Ian and Judy Wintle's Giving Garden.

 
No this is not a nursery. It's part of a wonderful private collection. Judy and Ian Wintle are not your average gardeners and their garden is not the average garden. A huge array of tropical and sub-tropical plants thrive in this garden.
We have visited their garden before as part of the Australian Open Garden Scheme. Generally it is open in November to showcase their Spring blooms, but this was an extra special opening to raise money for a local boy needing some special equipment.
 
another shade house filled with bromeliads

Judy is the bromeliad  collector but Ian is a collector as well. He showed us a book on weird and unusual tropical plants so I can imagine the next time we visit he will have added to his collection.
Ian, with help from Judy, designs and tends the garden, does all the landscaping and builds the  garden structures, as well as speaking at various garden clubs. While I'm sure Ian and Judy have given quite a deal to various charities through their garden, I believe they named their garden the Giving Garden originally because of the fruit trees that produce a range of unusual tropical fruits - so that their garden gives back to them for the time and love they give it.

 

The garden is the same size as ours -  an acre. The white dotted lines in the map above show the pathways that wind through the garden. You can also see the three large shadehouses and the water tanks.  You can read more about their garden at Ian's blog.
  
 I love this idea - a worm farm.
 Ian has made his compost bin and worm farm part of the garden display, which I love. One of the things I enjoy about visiting other people's gardens is seeing how they do things, not just looking at the end product.

 
This is aristolochia gigantea - The flower is about 8x10 inches
 
 
Brugmansia
 
Some miniature neoregelias and orchids up in the trees
 
There were some plants in this garden I had never heard of before, let alone seen. You would think I would learn to make sure I have enough battery power in my camera before we go visiting gardens - but I don't - and the battery gave out, so if you'd like to see more photos of their garden Ian also has a Photobucket album with hundreds of photos of the garden. Check it out. They have some amazing plants!

14 comments:

  1. What an interesting place Ros, I follow his blog already - lovely plants. Is that worm farm on the ground? Are they the red wriggers or ordinary earthworms? I am going to be adding some in ground worm tubes to my wicking beds, so am interested in all things regarding worms at the moment.

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  2. The wormfarm is set into the ground. I didn't have a dig in it but the sign says composting worms. Not sure which type. They have had this set up for a few years. They feed them veggie scraps.

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  3. Thank you for your kind words and great pictures. It's especially nice coming from fellow gardeners. Thanks again.
    Ian and Judy

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  4. Thank you very much for your kind comments and your photos. Any time you want to visit you are welcome.
    Ian and Judy

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  5. Thanks for taking us along and giving us a glimpse of their fabulous collection. So many plant treasures there!

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  6. I like the idea of the wormfarm too. I haven't been seeing many earthworms recently though, since it's so darn dry here.
    I do follow this blog from one of my other girlfriend's blogs....very interesting info.

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  7. What an amazing collection of plants and the energy of both of them is amazing, too. The work must be never-ending and a true labor of love.

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  8. They must have a huge Bromeliad collection. Amazing. I guess they also sell some surplus, I always like to buy some special plants from gardens I visit. Last time I visited an open garden, I was able to buy some wonderful tropical salvias.

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    1. Yes Titania, I must admit we did come home with a few plants

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  9. What a cool place! I love that they donate money to local charities. How is their worm farm different from regular worm composting?

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    1. Tammy, their worm farm is in the ground. Most people I know use layered plastic bins or at least a tub above the ground for compost worms.

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  10. That is a very lovey privilege to be living near such gardens. If only i am living at home, with funds and resources, that is one project i have always loved to do and to wish for, and i will couple it with a butterfly garden and breeding structure. Oh how lovely if i can do it in this lifetime. We have the land, but nothing more, haha! Thanks for providing the links to Ian's site.

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  11. I love the aristolochia gigantea and the Brugmansia - so unique. I've visited a worm farm and the worms are similiarly placed in the ground.

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  12. The garden looks wonderful. I have been so remiss with visiting Open Gardens over the past year or so, you have reminded me what I have been missing.

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