Gosh where do you start.....
Bev has a wealth of knowledge in the garden, a lot of it was passed down from her parents who where also keen gardeners, her mother was called 'quick draw McGraw' as she used to travel with secateurs in her pocket for a quick snip of a cutting here and there! They have been on the property for 50 years and the farm originally come up to the house but after raising the children and having a bit more time on her hands the garden has slowly travelled further and further into the farmland to become the magnificent and very productive garden you see today. You get a real sense of family history as you wonder around this garden. Bev tells of when the feijoa hedge was put in in the late 60's, the espaliered apple trees in the early 70's, all based on the years her children where born.
We started our wonder under the two 45 year old kiwifruit vines, past the quince tree, apple trees, passion fruit vine and the large feijoa hedge and a stroll thru her very productive vege patch, admiring her dutch blue sweet peas, which she eats the dark coloured pods before they set peas, even the flowers are edible. Bev likes to grow River View Ruby tomatoes they are a bit like the Roma variety but a lot more prolific fruiters. She had just had the long row of hassle nut trees trimmed back as they were shading the vege patch and had also never produced fruit.
Bev tries to section her garden into colour blocks, like the red lilies with white roses garden with the Red Robbin hedge as a background. The sunshine garden which is close to the house and has mainly yellow roses. There is a huge array of roses in the garden, climbing over pergola covered walk ways, to beds full of different varieties, intermingled with some stunning Clematis.
Bev points out that Roses smell best in the morning as the oils begin to rise in them. Bev started a book back in 1994 with a list of all the roses, clematis and other plants in the garden, (far to many to remember the names off). In fact she has so many roses they start pruning them at the start of July and it takes them thru to mid August before they are done. They then move onto mulching them all. Bev's husband gets up early to spray the roses every 3 weeks with liquid copper and insecticide. Her tip for moving roses (as she does it quite a bit as other plants start to shade them out or encroach on their domain) is to reduce the top to the same size as the roots, take a large root ball and lots and lots of water.
Then up past her small potting shed full of seedlings, up to the second veggie patch which is closer to the house. Stopping to admire her Buddha's Hand citrus tree, with the crazy looking fruit, she only uses it for decoration in the fruit bowl, it's a good talking point. Up onto the deck where you can admire the view back out over the garden.
Around at the front of the house and with the help of her gardener, they have been busy removing roses, as the trees grow, it becomes far to shaded for them and so they have been replacing them with rhododendrons. Mind you the very tall and thorny standardized rose Vigorosa is still there, as it is very hardy apparently. The front garden is mainly soft pinks and whites, with lots of annuals and azaleas. Except for a rather unusual looking edging plant that is yellow with purple flowers.
We wondered down a side path, that leads over a small stream, which comes down from a drain in the road, so off course Bev made the most of it and planted it up with canon lilies.
No one could identify a fruit hanging from a very large tree we stood under, turned out to be a custard apple, Bev saw them on a trip to Hawaii once, and it has been very successful. Our tour then took us out into an open field dotted with fruit trees and butter cups. Along to the pig pen. They get a new pig every 5 months or so, it helps to get rid of food scrapes and off course fill the freezer. We then stood in the shade of the dog wood tree and admired the little lake come large pond. They have a natural spring on the property which fills there water tanks and the over flow goes into the pond.
Back up to the main part of the garden past the Seville orange tree, which is used purely for making marmalade. Amazingly Bev also finds time to make a great supply of jams, jelly, pickles and syrups which we purchased from her shop.
Thanks for letting us visit Bev it was a fantastic day.