Busy week, but a good week. Last night we went out to dinner at Tin Cat Cafe in Kent Town, with a largish group of friends. I wore this wardrobe stalwart - you can never have too much sparkle in your life (old pic, I wore my hair down. I outfit repeat all the time).


And ate this delicious fig and blue cheese and walnut salad for an entree.


And laughed and laughed so hard that I cried. We have some very funny friends, and there is nothing better than uncontrolled laughter to make your troubles disappear.

No action on the renovation this week - we are awaiting the concrete crew, who have been held up on another job apparently.

On Friday, I went on a Garden Tour to two gardens in the Adelaide Hills with my friend A, the first being in Stirling. It was the most glorious day, 27C and blue skies, perfect for a stroll around two absolutely stunning gardens. The first garden in Stirling was established in 1885, but was quite neglected until recently when the current owners began a programme of restoration 10 years ago. It's on a hill, as many gardens in Stirling are, with difficult soil according to its owner, but they have still managed to achieve an enviable result.


Maples, Cedars and Conifers, Rhododendrons and Camellias and beautiful garden features



Such as this Gazebo below, which was the first flat pack Gazebo ever sent to Australia, back in 1885 and now heritage listed. It was lovely. The owners use this for BBQ's with a large table and chairs. Lots of windy paths and little bridges over the creek led to a Japanese Tea House (the Victorian, inauthentic folly like version of one), a croquet lawn, a pond and a peacock house. 





We then went a little further on in the Adelaide Hills to our next destination, the little town of Balhannah. The second garden is more recent, created by the current owner from scratch over the past 22 years and recently featured in the beautiful book "Rural Australian Gardens".

It's quite different in style from the garden in Stirling, with a very large and beautiful Rose garden all bordered by Box Hedges, an Orchard, and an enviable Vegetable garden.





We ate lunch on the lawns than run below the house in dappled sunlight. Loved the little pots of pansies wrapped in hessian as centrepieces. 


Clive Blazey, the founder of the Diggers Club (Australia's version of Seedsavers, founded in 1978) gave a very interesting talk during lunch about the way in which gardening has evolved since they started Diggers. Diggers magazine was the first to promote Cottage Gardening as a style in Australia (until then it had been petunias and pansies at ankle height he recalled), and the club has now grown into an absolutely massive operation from its very humble beginnings. Diggers recently took over running the shop at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, and he said that they aim to achieve the high standards that the Royal Horticultural Society in England achieves, with quality publications and garden related products, as well as the heritage seeds that are the mainstay of their business. He also spoke a little about genetic modification of plants, and the way in which "terminator"genes are applied so that farmers can't take seeds from their crop to re-sow the following year, and the impact of this on poor countries where saving seed and reusing it is crucial. All very interesting. 

The Orchard

The Vegetable Garden

Pot scarecrow man

After that we wandered around the garden some more - I loved this table and chairs, perched on the top of the hill and overlooking the rolling hills beyond (and you can see what a dry Summer we have had).


 Perfect rosemary hedges

After that it was back to reality with a thud as I surveyed my rather dismal and small garden upon my return home. Lots of work to do!

Hope you all had a great week too xx

21 comments:

  1. Interesting garden tour.....I love wandering through other people's plants. What a striking contrast between the garden and over the fence....lush and verdant vs arid and desolate. Love that striking necklace! Rx

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    1. Always inspiring to see how much work and passion others put into their gardens. It is a striking contrast with the surrounding landscape - we've had an absolutely terrible Summer for rain. My Dad keeps records and says it's the worst in the past 12 years, including the long drought. xx

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  2. Lovely tour of the gardens. The dappling light is splendid indeed.

    The feel f the gardens is quite different than Victoria. I know this is just a small sampling and my knowledge is limited but doesn't feel like Victoria.

    Wishing SA the perfect amount of rain! I know what weird patterns there are...xx

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    1. Adelaide is quite different from Melbourne and garden wise as well - everything has to be drought tolerant and handle extreme heat. Stirling is a little different, more like the Dandenongs/ Mt Eliza so the gardens there are much more English landscape style. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for rain - the ground is parched xx

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  3. Stunning Vege Patch. Covet it. All that sun. My black knight salvia began as a Diggers Club seed. True story xxxx

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    1. It was quite the contrast with my Vegie patch, which is currently awful. You're a member of Digger's Club? V. clever to grow from seed... I have a bad success rate, generally I forget to water the seeds for a day and they die! xx

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  4. Stunning gardens. I love the rusty pear - need to keep that in mind for our garden when it is finally in a semi presentable state.

    Your fig salad looks fabulous - I make various variations of that each year at the beach house after we have nicked figs from the neighbours tree. (Admittedly if we didn't nick them the birds would get them!)

    I have grown some Diggers Club seeds - a bit hit and miss (that is due to my care rather than the seed quality though!)

    Sounds like a lovely weekend. Quiet weekend here which was long overdue.

    Take care.

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    1. I'm quite fond of rusty things in gardens myself - the pear or something similar would look fab in your garden T. Was a good week, after Easter.... you were probably in need of a quiet weekend before the Seeding starts at your place xx

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  5. Ah figs, as soon as winter goes I'll be tucking into those suculent beauties again, one more month !

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    1. We are just at the tail end of the Figs.... I'm all figged out! Sending some sunshine your way Tabitha xx

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  6. your necklace looks beautiful as do the gardens and the salad, sounds like a great week!

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    1. was a great week, lots more I didn't blog about - always nice to be out and about doing different things xx

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  7. Thank you for a moment of serendipitus luck! I love your beautiful necklace; it reminds me of one I admired on a US blog; Moth. I had previously attempted to purchase Ms Moth's (Erica's) version but the store was sold out. This occurred several months ago. Seeing your gorgeous outfit prompted me to re-check the US website and lo and behold...it's on backorder! Should be winging her way to me April end. Woo Hoo! And thank you for the visual envy!!!!
    Loved looking at the gardens with you too, that gazebo is truely remarkable!
    x KL

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    1. Mine's a Kate Spade that I bought very cheaply on Ebay - very versatile, you'll get a lot of wear (and compliments) over yours I'm sure! The Gazebo was really lovely, and completely original all the lattice was from 1885! xx

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  8. Love the 1885 gsrden ..all those incredibly tall trees though the lily pond in the second garden is gorgeous also.


    It certainly has been dry down your way ..though I know you get you receive rain in Winter, being a Mediterranean climate etc etc.. meanwhile in Sydney humid, with intermittant rain

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    1. Love the old gardens, there were a lot of photos out to look at the garden back when it was laid out high on a hill with little trees here and there and paths. It's all grown so much.

      Hopefully we'll have a wet Winter - they've forecast it, but they also forecast a cooler than average Autumn... and so far we have had record breaking heat in March, and this week is supposed to be 28 every day!! xx

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  9. Gorgeous bling!!
    Uncontrollable laughter is indeed a wonderful thing.
    Those gardens are both beautiful... I love the flat-pack Gazebo.
    The contrast between the tended garden and the arid ground outside is incredible.
    Hope you're having a good week. When do school hols start in SA?

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    1. The contrast was quite extreme. We need rain! School hols start next week.... I have a lot of outings planned as the concrete slab is being dug and poured at the same time as the holidays which equals mess/ noise/ dirt and three children in half a house and garden!! Have a good week xx

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  10. So much to admire here! Lovely statement necklace and stunning gardens. I especially like the gazebo, the perfect rosemary hedge and cute pansy centrepieces. I'm enjoying your varied, interesting posts and delighted to be following now!
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Replies
    1. Thanks miss b! Will pop over to visit your blog too. xx

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    2. Just noticed that you are my newest follower! Thank you!

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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