Sandra Clough moved to Lucas from Melbourne in 2016, to be close to family. Her favourite area of her garden is her back yard, with all the colour she has established she can enjoy it from her kitchen and living room. The colours as well as perfumes of a flower garden are a delight and being able to pick your own flowers for inside or for others is something Sandra enjoys. Her grandchildren also love coming to see her beautiful flowers. The house Sandra purchased here in Lucas was 6 months old and the front garden plan was set out. Here is a little on how she utilised what she could from the existing garden while making positioning changes and additions to help the garden thrive as described by Sandra…
The basic front design has iceberg roses and Azaleas predominantly, these plants can withstand the winds from the north and the afternoon sun. I have since added a few perennials like nemesia, these can be split and replanted throughout the garden. I added some Eternal or winter Daphne shrubs and re positioned, re planted the Diosma, that was in the garden when I purchased the house, to be like a hedge up against the house. When in flower this is very showy.
I have added a few other perennials to add colour and shape to the garden, some of these do die off in the winter but come back once the warmer weather is here. One of these is a tubular leafy plant with trumpet style yellow flowers, I have multiple of these plants and when they are all in flower they add colour to the garden throughout the summer.
I do not generally water the garden more than once a week even in the summer due to the mulched bark that is all over the garden. I also don’t have to constantly attend the garden as the plants look after themselves once established, I do prune the roses a few times when they are flowering to encourage new flowers, and of course prune back hard once a year.
I think a lot of people do not put in gardens similar to mine as they are under the impression that they are a lot of work and take a lot of water. Once established this is not the case if you have done the groundwork prior to planting.
The garden in the back of the house is a lot softer , it has various coloured perfumed standard roses, azaleas and many other perennials , some similar to the front, like the nemesia, but I also have granny bonnets , ( columbines -Aquilas), cornflowers, poppies , hollyhock and some bulbs and annuals. This is much more what I consider to be a flower garden with some small and medium flowering shrubs.
‘Gardening is a great form of relaxation and it is such a pleasure as there is always something new popping it’s head up’
A nice feature is my Standard Gardenia, which was in a pot for years and once I moved here, I put it in the ground, it has doubled in size and flowers profusely for weeks now. As this garden like the front, has the North sun all day and then later in the day is exposed to the west sun , you do have to select the plants that like the full sun, I only have one small area that is a little protected and this is where the Standard Gardenia is. A recent addition to this area is a Hydrangea and some Hellebores.
Not all my plants are purchased some have been cuttings etc from friends and as I say I split and replant some of the plants once established thus one or two pots can eventually go a long way.
I am not one that knows all plants and their names, I basically have learnt a little over the years and go on the advice of some nursery people and read the labels of something I like. I have had some plants that have not liked the cold weather in Ballarat, Melbourne weather is more temperate and does not have the extreme frosts that can occur here.