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June 12, 2012, 11:23 am Your Garden, Yahoo!7
This beautiful garden thrives in a tough, dry climate on an exposed slope where only bore water can help plants to survive and bushfires are a constant threat.
Established in the 1970s, Virginia admits that the first garden she planted on the site was filled with the in-vogue plants of the time – rainforest species such as tree ferns and palms, which quickly ‘turned up their toes’. Next, she planted old roses because of their beauty and fragrance, but these only looked good for a few months and then were unsightly for nine months of the year.
Sick of these failures and still set on having a lush, romantic garden, Virginia put aside her preconceived ideas and decided to find plants that would give her the look she wanted, while coping with her garden’s harsh conditions. The result is a space brimming with plants that suit Adelaide’s harsh Mediterranean climate, largely selected through trial and error.In a nutshell
Age: 35 years.
- Use plants with coloured or variegated foliage to create contrasts and highlights in large swathes of otherwise green leaves.Top garden tips
- Plant the garden to look good all year, not in just one season. Visit nurseries throughout the year to see what’s in bloom and what suits your colour scheme.
Compost saved this garden and it can improve yours. It’s on a fast-draining slope with little topsoil. To build up what soil she had, Virginia started regularly adding organic matter in the form of compost – which she now makes herself.A 12 square metre heap transforms all garden and kitchen waste into rich, soil-improving, moisture-holding compost. It now supplies enough material to mulch all garden beds at least once a year. Without this organic matter, the soil would go dry