Very sad to see on the news this week that the heritage garden at Narmbool (just outside of Elaine) was severely damaged by a significant bush fire just before Christmas.
According to the Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Johnson
‘the beautiful homestead precinct, the lodge, some of the garden and the learning centre survived thanks to the efforts of staff in particular Gill, Mick, Peter and Anthony and the CFA (Country Fire Authority) volunteers but the fire destroyed fencing, some bush camp facilities and a large number of sheep, there is a huge recovery task ahead’.
Narmbool is a magnificent 2,000 hectare pastoral property with a bluestone homestead and it had stunning gardens. I was fortunate to visit with the Australian Garden History Society in 2012, We thoroughly enjoyed the English-style gardens surrounding the bluestone homestead including beautiful roses and other ornamentals, native plants and grasses. A water feature lead to the Wayaperri Garden, which was planted in 2004 (In the language of the Wadawurrung – the Indigenous people of the area – Wayaperri means to ‘gather’ or ‘meet’).
More recent additions to the garden include a large pond, complete with a footbridge, water lilies and frogs. Narmbool is also home to 12,000 sheep in a sustainably managed pastoral setting which includes koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and platypuses. As I look at the images I took four years ago it is very sad to see such devastation. Our thoughts and best wishes go those tasked with the job of restoration.
(All images by Anne Vale except the title image of the fire which is by Lachlan Bence.)