Water Race Gardens - Ten Years On
How the Moosey Garden has grown! We arrived in 1994 to see small garden beds around the house. Beyond were the sheep paddocks, and the water race. The area over the water race was a wilderness - an old gorse hedge, broom, and a double row of gum trees. There wasn't even a sniff of a garden in those early days...
Early Days Digging by Duck Lawn
From 1999 (the landmark year that the gum trees were felled) I gradually worked my way along the water's edge, using the bridges as points of entry. I did try and draw some planting scheme plans, but never used them.
Early Days Digging by the Plank
My style of breaking in new ground (gently, with hand digger and spade) doesn't suit a planned drawing - the sheer size of the intended garden would have put me off even starting!
The Water Race and Gardens
The Willow Tree Garden in Spring 2004
The gurgling water race cut a straight channel through the back paddock, and was an easy water feature to work with. I was so lucky to have running water on the property - running water that never flooded!
New Zealand Flaxes to the Fore!
New Zealand flaxes, or Phormiums, were the first obvious choice for water-side plants. Taj-Dog was responsible for routing many of the paths (which I call Dog-paths). One of the major garden areas even goes by the name of the Dog-Path Garden - thanks, Taj-Dog.
The other garden areas over the water race were named in a practical, non-romantic way. If the gardener said she was weeding in the Hen House Garden she'd be easy to find, wouldn't she? Middle Garden was in the middle - pretty obvious, that one.
The Willow Tree Garden technically should have been called the Sprouting Willow Tree Stump Garden...
Gardens Over the Water Race
The gum tree tree stumps slowly rotted as the gardens slowly took shape around them. Of course, plants were the perfect camouflage. I allowed myself to buy in ornamental trees - planning for the future.
The Willow Tree Garden
Perfect for Rhododendrons...
And I found (by some experimenting) that the Willow Tree Garden was the perfect place for rhododendrons. Ooh goodie...
So did I accomplish much, garden-wise, in that first gardening decade? I certainly did a lot of gentle (and not so gentle) digging. I welcomed in Gunnera seedlings from upstream, and introduced good water spreaders like Ligularias.
Pity about the gorse seedlings, though. Every month I'd remove hundreds of the little darlings. That's gorse for you!...