A personal journey of making a garden around an historic homestead in one of the coldest areas of Australia, the New England region of New South Wales. Includes garden walks through historic properties, exotic woodlands, traditional English style herbaceous borders and contemporary prairie plantings. Advice from key gardeners of the district.
When Liz Chappell returned to the New England area of northern New South Wales, to a garden cultivated by her mother and grandmother before her, she found Australian gardening advice did not prepare her for the challenges of this climate. Plants hardy to drought would not withstand frosts to minus 15 degrees, in spring as well as winter. Torrential summer downpours drowned many more. Few Australian native shrubs could adapt to severe cold conditions.
Over twenty years Liz and her husband Elton have created a diverse and much admired garden of abundant roses, perennial borders and exotic trees. Liz learned there was indeed a wealth of ornamental plants which would thrive in her garden. She visited scores of gardens in similar climates throughout NSW and South East Queensland, historic gardens in Tasmania and rambling country gardens in rural Victoria.
All the while, Liz kept a journal of gardens visited, plants admired and of course every addition, trial and triumph in her own garden. Now she brings this experience and the collective wisdom of many other gardeners across New England together in “Celebrate the Seasons.”
This gardening memoir is like chatting to a friend over the kitchen table: seasoned gardeners will smile as they share her journey; those just beginning to garden in New England will revel in the earthy, practical advice.
Kim Woods-Rabbidge brings the perception of an artist and gardener to her sensitive photographs capturing the nuances of changing seasons in many of the finest gardens of New England; from spring bulbs thrusting through icy ground; the relentless sunshine and sudden storms of mid-summer; gentle mellowness of autumn leaves to the austere, frost-rimed winter gardens.