Karen Hall

About Karen Hall

Karen runs Wychwood Gardens and Nursery in northern Tasmania with her partner, Peter Cooper and is Tasmanian Chair of Open Gardens Australia. Mole Creek, Tasmania

The English Oak planted in 1993 for Peter's father A garden full of memories

These days anyone with a healthy bank balance can ‘buy’ a garden. Any numbers of designers are waiting to transform your bare block into a horticultural masterpiece, creating plans that carry every detail down to the last plant in the most hidden of corners. Continue reading

Red and white raspberries ready for breakfast Soft fruit – berry delicious!

When we first started creating our garden, we sourced and planted currants and various berries – raspberries, blueberries, loganberries and boysenberries and others. Although apples have always been a passion (and we have amassed a ridiculously large collection of heritage varieties that are now scattered through our entire garden), as Christmas approaches so does the delicious soft fruit/berry season, heralded by the first reddening on the redcurrants. Continue reading

Mecanopsis cambrica In defence of orange

“Oh god no, I don’t do orange”.  You won’t believe how often I hear that uttered. There she stands, clasping a pot brimming with the most beautiful foliage, but the moment it is discovered that at some stage in the year an orange flower will appear, all other attributes the poor plant exhibits are forgotten. Continue reading

Helleborus 'Betty R' I think spring is coming….

I saw a pair of swallows and a skylark both in one day – it must be spring. Not that you would really know it – as I write we are still experiencing bleak cold days and the ground is still sodden – but at least once the first early signs appear it feels as if we are on our way. Continue reading

Last July days (18 of 20) A difficult decision – selling Wychwood

If only I had a dollar for every time someone had said to me in the past few years – “Oh my, you’ll never be able to leave this place!” Their words were hardly surprising – we have created a small garden oasis of huge borders, a heritage orchard, productive potager, a warm, comfy home, with a trout stream as a back boundary etc – all nestled within the rolling hills of the Meander Valley in northern Tasmania. It is, quite literally, paradise, and for many years we couldn’t even contemplate a time when we might be tempted to move on. Continue reading

photo book1 My favourite gardening book

As the rain pours down and the temperature struggle to get into the double digits, a lot of us avid gardeners gravitate towards our bookshelves. It struck me today just how much inspiration I gleaned from books when we were first starting our garden. Continue reading

Seed heads on Verbena hastata It’s seed time!

So it’s June, and officially winter – and I am feeling slightly guilty when I admit that for one reason or another I have hardly even wandered through my garden lately. After months and months of feverish gardening activity, I find that during the weeks leading into winter I hardly feel like Continue reading

Eryngium bourgatii, or sea holly The joys of the summer garden

I love this time of year – not only is the weather conducive to all those fun outdoor activities that we miss in the long Tasmanian winters, but the garden is full of fantastic summer perennials. Spring is hard to beat with its bulbs and woodland treasures, and in early summer the scent of roses is overwhelming, but in mid-summer the variety of both foliage and flower is impressive. Continue reading