Monday, 10 October 2016

20 years at Bloomfield Cottage - from woe to go .........

It's only when you look back at old photos that you realise how much has changed over the last 20 years. Of course, having adult children now is the real reality check, but looking back at how much blood sweat and effort, not to mention cuts, bruises, strained muscles and bad backs, has gone in to our 20 yr labour of love. As you can see we had very humble beginnings living on site with two little toddlers in a caravan whilst we built the house. Fortunately the big shed has a toilet and two rooms where we stored most of the furniture and a small room we converted into a basic bathroom. Life was simple and exciting, full of the future we were embarking on.

Little did my husband know what was going through my head for the gardens! I would often see builders shaking their head when I was right down the furthest reaches of our 1.5 acre, planting hardy shrubs and lugging watering cans around - they had no idea of how important this backbone layer of the garden would be one day, after all you can't plant soft and pretty things until you create the right environment for them to grow. We are situated high above the suburb and can get a lot of weather and extreme winds from time to time, so creating wind breaks with Juniper 'Spartan' was essential. There literally was no shade until it grew, so now we have 20 year old trees on the property.

At this stage of my life, I was heavily into borrowing beautiful country gardening books from our local library. I would gaze longingly at Edna Walling gardens (hence the drystone sandstone edges) and read 'Garden of a thousand roses' by Susan Irvine (also hence, the 600 or so roses!). I still have hundreds of gardening magazines and became an avid organic vegetable gardener and planted a small orchid of fruit trees near the large 6 bed vegetable patch.. The soft and pretty English gardens and roses have always resonated with me most, that, and a childhood spent with great aunties at the beautiful Adelaide Botanical Gardens. And so, I melded both, and now describe Bloomfield Cottage as an English Parkland Garden. 

These are scanned photos of the originals - and a map used for some of our Open Garden visitors.

As you can see, we've come along way in 20 years

View from the front door towards the pond.

And soon all the roses will be flowering - I can't wait

Keep watching for the next blog - we've got some big news ....

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