Gardens

Inside South Australia

I was  involved in a Brand SA project throughout 2016, sharing good news stories from the Limestone Coast for the Inside South Australia website.

Photo by Ockert Le Roux http://www.oxenburg.com

I was so lucky to have the opportunity to write about people I seriously admire, including photographer Ockert Le Roux, whose striking images are not only luring tourists to the region but inspiring locals to explore their own backyard. Brian and Benedetta Wagner from Wagner’s Rose Nursery at Kalangadoo, vegan cook Leah Franklin from ‘just frank’, and the uber successful Generations in Jazz music festival (which is on again from May 5-7, 2017) also feature on the website. 

The 90 x 40-metre tent housing last year’s 6000-strong crowd was the largest big top South Australia has ever seen.

Wagner’s Rose Nursery Video

Wagner’s Rose Nursery is one of my favourite places on SA’s Limestone Coast – pure heaven is a paddock of pretty roses surrounded by majestic gums!

It is impossible to leave this property uninspired – or empty-handed.

I recently finished producing this video which provides an overview of the business:

 

Labour of Love – Australian Period Home Style

Step back in time to Australia in the 1890s, and the bold era of boom style classicism design…

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Extravagance, exuberance and even recklessness were the order of the day, as the nation toasted a post-depression period full of promise. When you add love to the equation, anything is possible, as evidenced by this exquisite country mansion completed in 1896 as a wedding gift to a lucky bride. An entrance hall with removable doors should you wish to dance…

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Delicate hand-painted stained glass specially delivered from Melbourne, sash windows so high that you could step straight outside, plus many more fine details for this farmer’s wife-to-be.

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The besotted groom wanted to leave a lasting impression, and the property remains as breathtaking as ever thanks to a couple of modern-day cupids who believed in the fairy tale. My story on this incredible country Victorian property appears in Volume 10 of Australian Period Home Style magazine.

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SA Gardens – ‘Ellora’, Wrattonbully

Wrattonbully, in South Australia’s Limestone Coast, is serious wine country – local grapes were selected for the latest vintage of Penfolds Grange! Gardens also flourish in these fertile soils, however they’re fairly sparse in number, making the stately property ‘Ellora’ something of a head-turner.ElloraTucked beyond an exquisite stone wall on a long, empty road, Ellora commands a strong presence among its paddock surrounds. Ellora-2My story on ‘Ellora’ is in the May 2015 edition of SA Life magazine. BTW the owners also make fabulous wine!

Kalangadoo Organic in Country Style

Country Style’s April 2014 edition has arrived, complete with my article on apple growers Chris and Michelle McColl, who are based at Kalangadoo on SA’s Limestone Coast.

IMG_4319It’s perfect timing, with the apple season in full swing. We’re on our fifth box at our place – huge fans!

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The McColls’ gorgeous maremmas Bruno and Yoshi also made the Dog Tale section of the latest edition.

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Drought tolerant gardens

While everyone loves an English-style country garden, I thought a drought tolerant design featuring plants from all over southern Australia would particularly resonate with readers of Outback magazine. I have just interviewed the owners of an incredible one in SA’s upper Limestone Coast. Click here to view the article in my portfolio.

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Nature’s Pantry – Hamilton, Victoria

There are swings and roundabouts…and then there’s spinach and roundabouts – particularly if you’re driving through one of Victoria’s largest country towns.  Leafy greens are popping up in the middle of some of Hamilton’s busiest thoroughfares, giving new meaning to the concept of ‘lunch on the run’.

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“The vegetables can be eaten, but they are still an aesthetic feature, and the cost is no different to annuals, which can take a fair bit of maintenance,” says parks and gardens co-ordinator Jenny Hurse. “We want to be the most healthy, liveable Shire, and this makes a real statement about sustainability.”

My story on this terrific initiative of the Southern Grampians Shire Council appears in the Dec/Jan edition of Outback magazine.

 

The warmest of welcomes for a refugee

After moving to Australia as a refugee late last decade, Lal Lian was lured to Mount Gambier in 2010 by the promise of work in the horticulture industry.

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Photography by Sharyn Cairns

But the opportunity that knocked was beyond even his dreams. Kalangadoo apple growers Chris and Michelle McColl offered Lal almost a hectare of highly prized fully certified organic soil to produce his own crops.

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Photography by Sharyn Cairns

My story about this kind family man who accepted a helping hand in a new farming land is in the November 2013 issue of Country Style magazine. Editor Victoria Carey writes:

The story of how a couple of apple farmers at South Australia’s Kalangadoo gave Lal a plot of land on which to grow organic market vegetables, and the way he seized the opportunity with both hands, is one of the most inspiring we’ve had in the magazine recently.

 

Penola’s Best Kept Secret

A thriving herb garden is tucked beyond a rustic picket fence and two timber slab cottages on Penola’s Petticoat Lane in South Australia’s Limestone Coast.

Entry is free, and visitors are encouraged to wander and enjoy the bounty of some beautiful volunteers.

I’ve shared their story in the latest edition of Australian Country Style, and was delighted to read the following in the editor’s opening letter:

As we put the magazine together, my team often tells me which stories they like the best. One that has inspired more comments than most is Gretel Sneath’s piece on the National Trust Herb Garden. 

Yay!

The May issue also features my article on Wagner’s Rose Nursery  which features in an earlier blog post. More gorgeous people and their roses are the best I’ve seen – magazine pix are exquisite!

 

Smell the Roses

My latest magazine assignment delivered me to a field of roses. While the uber talented Sharyn Cairns snapped away, I was busily planning planting schemes for my garden at home. Oh and doing interviews.

The scent was just incredible – these were your true garden bush roses.

A tricky day trying to escape the harsh sunlight and find pockets of shade, and I was able to take several buckets of blooms home, so there are now beautiful vases everywhere.

 

Here is the article in my portfolio.