Sunday, 25 November 2012

Gardens and Quilts at Braidwood

The more interesting of our local papers included an article about Open Gardens in the area this weekend. Two of these were near Monga National Park on the far side of Braidwood and read as though they would be interesting.  Cutting to the chase, they were both excellent.

The first garden was a bare paddock, with some outcrops of granite and a few residual large trees, when the current owner acquired it in 2007.   This shot, from low down on the block, possibly gives an impression.
This is one of the big trees.  It is a Ribbon Gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) which I am used to seeing in forested gullies where they grow tall and straight rather than spreading as in this case.   I suspect it was a big tree when the area was cleared.
 As with many eucalypts they drop branches occasionally.
 A keen eyed reader may note the wombat burrows between the rock and the fallen branches.  The owner had put a sign up saying "No entry Wombat holes".  When I first saw this I misinterpreted it as a (very) hopeful sign to keep the wombats out of the garden!

This is the owners favourite granite outcrop.   She has done an excellent job of building the garden beds around these rocks.  Obviously there is good soil between the outcrops unlike the shale of Carwoola!
Note the yellow Kniphofia.
 Some corrugated iron sheep.  Possibly related to the house being clad with corrugated iron!
 This grasshopper nymph paused for a photo.
 We then moved on down Tudor Vale Rd to the second garden.  This is a little older, being started in 1997, but again from basically a bare paddock, with a row of pines along the road and the remains of a cottage.  Here is a view across the duckpond, possibly showing 1/4 of the area.
 The remains of the cottage were used as the basis for this retaining wall, described by the owner as a refuge for Blue-tongued Lizards and Copperhead Snakes.
When they first started the garden the cold (down to -12 C) and winds killed everything.  Planting these pines broke the wind and started the success.  The owner is a rose enthusiast and many of the hundreds growing were labelled.
 The next three images are of pretty flowers from the garden.

I suspect again they have soil, but the notes said that a lot of hoss-poop gets added as the basic fertiliser and soil conditioner.   This calls to mind a tale by Denis Wilson who was advised not to buy one block at Robertson as it 'only had 2 feet of topsoil'!  (We'd appreciate 5 centimtres.)

At the second garden we asked the gardener's husband how much rain they got and the answer was "33".  Clearly a traditionalist, but converting to metrics gives 840mm or about 30% more than Carwoola.  (At both gardens they also commented about the cool mist which comes out of the forest each evening - presumably as the Easterly blows moisture up from the coast and the rise of 800m elevation cools it down.

As we had driven through Bungendore we noticed that they were airing their quilts (an annual event) so on the way back we stopped and strolled up the main street.  Here are a few images to finish off.


Denis Wilson said...

Surprised to find myself quoted in this Post. Thanks.
Re the weather, there is a distinct change in climate just east of Braidwood, explained by cool, moist air in the Monga area, and the top of the Clyde.
The trees tell you about both moisture and soil.
The Euc. viminalis is a wet-gully tree, even if only a remnant left.

Flabmeister said...

I think we recall that comment every time we dig a hole in the shale! I fantasise about having a garden somewhere the primary tool is a shovel rather than a crowbar!