Dr Anne ValeHeritage garden ravaged by fire in Victoria

Scotsburn fire. Photo Lachlan Bence

Scotsburn fire. Photo Lachlan Bence

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.

Narmbool Victoria in 2012

Narmbool, Victoria, in 2012

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, Victoria, in 2012

Narmbool, Victoria, in 2012

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’).

Narmbool, Victoria, in 2012

Narmbool, Victoria, in 2012

Narmbool, Victoria, in 2012

Narmbool, Victoria, in 2012

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.)

Like this post? Why not share it with a friend?


Dr Anne Vale

About Dr Anne Vale

Dr Anne Vale is an author, historian, lecturer and garden photographer. Anne is the author of award winning Exceptional Australian Garden Makers (2014). The sequel, Influential Australian Garden People, which follows the influences of the next generation, is due to be published late 2016. Anne records and assesses gardens with history through her consulting practice Heriscapes. She has written garden guides and histories on significant Australian heritage gardens including Dalvui, Mawarra, Wombat Park and Burnley. She has contributed articles to the online directory on Australian Women Leaders, the Australian Garden History Society journal, Historic Gardens Review journal and the Royal Historical Society Remembering Melbourne (due late 2016).

2 thoughts on “Heritage garden ravaged by fire in Victoria

  1. Anne King on said:

    We live at Scotsburn and watched anxiously as the smoke billowed and the wind shifted. Luckily we were not affected.
    The garden at Narmbool was open to the public only a few weeks ago and was looking wonderful. So sad to hear of the damage caused by the fire. Here’s wishing those involved the strength and spirit to restore and renew.

  2. Anne Vale on said:

    Thanks Anne, yes I hope they have the resources to repair and replace its amazing what comes back too after a good rain event!

Leave a Reply (no need to register)