Carol’s Hillside Oasis, 109 O’Connor Circuit Calwell
Photos: Shirley Pipitone
About the garden:
From the street, a glimpse over the rooftop of Carol’s house reveals the views over Tuggeranong valley. Some formal planting near the front door gives a tiny hint of what to expect as you enter the back garden. Under a framework of mature palms, tall yuccas give a tropical feel to the whole garden. Two ponds connected by a waterfall are planted with large Arum Lilies and the Pickerel Rush, Pontaderia corda, with its blue flower spikes. Both add to the lush feeling, as do the many ferns in more shady areas – such as Asplenium australasicum, Nephrolepis obliterata, Cyathea cooperi, Doodia, Polystichum, Blechnum – and climbers including the Mandevilla hybrid ‘Crimson Fantasy’, Muehlenbeckia complexa, the maiden hair creeper from New Zealand, and our own Pandorea jasminioides.
Carol’s Oasis is a large garden. The official block size of 1200m2 is misleading – if you calculated the area from its actual on-ground dimensions, it would be more like 1370m2. Although the block has a steep slope, the garden is designed so that walking along the broad terraces is very pleasant. Most paths are quite level, steps between levels are comfortably shallow and garden seats provide restful spots to enjoy the views.
Small trees here and there give extra shade and variety of form to the upper storey, for example, Albizia julibrissin, the white cedar Melia azedarach and a triple grafted apricot with its interesting wavy leaves. Acacia cognata ‘Lime Magik’ and several maples are used for their fine foliage effect. Small conifers also add variety of form.
Tropical gardens tend to be colourful and Carol’s is no exception. Oleanders, roses, Buddleias, Bergenia, the popular Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’, brilliant red Calibrachoa Million Bells and the flourishing yellow Euryops pectinatus. Green, of course, is also a colour and Carol’s garden is full of greens, from the yellow-green of Acacia fimbriata ‘Crimson Rush’, the brilliant glossy greens and the less showy blue-greens of Correas, to the delightful variations of green in her collection of succulents that range from almost white to orange to red.
At her garden opening Carol will be raising funds for beyondblue, the support service for people with depression or anxiety. Wagonga Coffee has donated coffee beans for your morning or afternoon break – don’t worry, there’ll be tea, too. Carol will be selling plants, and she’s also running a raffle with great prizes donated by local businesses and a few of her friends. Support the businesses that are supporting beyondblue:
Stonehenge, Pialligo – $100 gift voucher
The Bower Birds, Gold Creek – book The Edible Garden, nightdress, garden thermometer
Greengold Nursery, Gold Creek – $75 gift voucher
Bliss, Pialligo – grey garden pot/trough $55
Love My Look – Belconnen & Calwell – $50 gift voucher
Diggers Club – 1 year’s membership $49
Flight of Fancy, Gold Creek – $25 gift voucher
The Garden, Dickson – seed raising kit $29.95
Author: Shirley Pipitone
19 April 2016
All photos: Shirley Pipitone