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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Practical Garden Ideas From An Old Garden

We get a bit blasé about these town distance markers in Tasmania because so many of them have endured but I thought I should at least capture and share this piece of Tasmanian history with you. They are massive lengths of stone and are the same length below ground if not more and were commonly used about the State during the 1800s to tell travellers how many miles to the next town. This one is located now within the grounds of Franklin House in Youngtown just around the corner from our house. It is a very familiar home to us because of it's proximity but recently there has been a lot of fresh ideas and energy put into the garden and we were keen to see how it was all progressing.

The volunteers have put in an example of a Victorian kitchen garden with heritage vegetables and commonly used herbs. Though good to see, there was no inspiration found for us there but there was plenty else where in the garden....

I love what they have done with recycled bricks as pavers. We have not entirely converted all areas to vegetables at home and this was a winning idea for our back lawn area. We have a couple of bench seats and love to sit in the garden but they are a nuisance when Craig mows. He is having to shift them and re-shift them.

This would be a great solution for them. They could still be re-located for different events like outdoor luncheons and parties but the rest of the year they would have a "home" and Craig could easily mow around them. We have plenty of old bricks still and as we are organic growers I think all we would need to do to control weeds from between with boiling water.

Recycled bricks have also been used for bedding borders and small access paths to taps and irrigation.

I am always looking for archway ideas and climbing plants. There is no better way to judge a climber than to see it in situ matured. 

And interesting and useful objects for the garden. A simple structure made from timber off cuts and topped with an old curtain rod end, adds interest, structure and height, giving added dimension to what could have been a pretty but "flat" garden bed.

Viewing the plants and especially roses can give an unbiased and true account of their habit before you buy also. The labels on specimens in the garden shops are so alluring but rarely are they a true portrayer. Foliage can be as important as the flower within the garden. Sometimes I have been disappointed to buy something with a very attractive label only to find that the plant cannot support the giant flowers so carefully bred or suffers monstrously in winds and rain.

The volunteers are doing a wonderful job with the new garden re-constructions and though change is hard, sometimes a breath of fresh air is a marvellous thing. 


  1. Lovely gardens!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  2. So nice to look at these garden pictures. It is so dull and miserable here at the moment. These have brightened things up for me.

  3. I do love Franklin House garden, and I must go and visit it again soon. It is so nice to see a public garden that is so well loved and tended. When we pulled down our excess-to-requirements chimneys, we used the old bricks in our garden, and I love the way the bricks look with old fashioned plants, and how self-sown seeds grow up bewteen them.

  4. What a great place to visit the Lupins and Delphiniums, just beautiful.
    Nice to pick up a few ideas along the way too.

    Claire x

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