Introducing the Wattle Woods
I created the Wattle Woods Garden on the edge of a sheep paddock, grazed by the very first Moosey sheep. They would laze in the shade of the huge trees, enriching the soil with their manure. The sheep were banished, and I started digging, adding loads and loads of compost and horse manure. The gardens underneath the Wattle trees slowly expanded - the ground was rock hard in places, and very difficult to dig.
Phormium in The Wattle Woods
Everything looks well established now, as foliage plants battle with Rugosa and Hybrid Musk roses, while groundcover Ajuga battles with weeds. You'll find tough foliage plantings directly under the trees in the dry shade. Renga Renga and Agapanthus enjoy living here and their clean green leaves look great. So does a silver Astelia which has grown huge and beautiful.
Flower-wise there are daffodils and Honesty to enjoy in spring, followed by Aquilegias and Foxgloves, and the pretty blue flowering Ajuga. In no time the larger shrub roses like Complicata give their colourful summer show. The huge Miscanthus zebra grass, Sedums (Autumn Joy) and the toad lilies are wonderful colours to see in autumn...
Yellow Wattle, Red Rhododendron
Each summer I decide that it's too dry here and make plans for mass removals of some of the more ornamental shrubs (like Camellias and Rhododendrons). Then I sneak in some of my hoses and water madly...
The top of the Wattle Woods has a special history. In the Christmas of 1997, midsummer, my friend Judith Anne decided to shift to England, and I moved her whole garden out here. I chopped out unnamed heritage roses, dragged out rhododendrons, hostas, and bergenias. No-one believed that her plants would survive their summer shift. Ha! They were wrong.
Breaking news! In the serious snow storm of winter 2006 huge areas of the Wattle Woods had to be replanted, as whole trees broke under the weight of the wet snow. But this was a great excuse for new paths and new shrubs - like a beautiful golden Pseudopanax, to name but one.
So think of greenery and warm dappled shade and wander through the Wattle Woods Garden. You may find a cat or a faithful dog following you.
In early spring, enjoy the first red rhododendrons flowering, and the pretty pink Camellias. Later in the season, duck and dive along the path behind the glass-house, underneath the huge rugosa roses. Ouch! And be sure to check out the wriggling stream with its cute curved footbridges.
PInk Camellia Shrub
Huge branches continue to break off in winds and winter snow storms, and hang, suspended high in the trees. Best not to linger too long underneath - unless you're wearing a hard-hat!
The Wattle Woods
And be careful on the paths - some will have been reshaped since your last visit, and one part of the main path has been decommissioned, due to excessive shrub growth. You wouldn't want to wander off into the Wattle Woods and get lost...