I’ve been away – not for long, but just long enough to soak in a few days of someone else’s summer, which was a lot better than ours. I got away to Flinders, outside of Melbourne for three days for all things gardening, hanging out with my fellow Botanical Guides from the fab tour company Botanica World Discoveries. It is a privilege to be counted among these amazing and knowledgeable gardeners as part of the team. There was a bit of ‘work related’ stuff, but there were amazing gardens too and I can’t not tell you about them….
As the only kiwi – I may have been mocked ever so gently for my perpetual fear of encountering snakes in the gardens and my disappointment in not seeing koalas or kangaroos (although there was a dead kangaroo on the side of the road but I’m not sure that counts as seeing one!)
The area was so beautiful and you got the sense of being in Australia, as the overall landscape was just what you would expect, with the dry land and gum trees and screechy but ever so beautiful birds making themselves known. It helped that the weather was perfect – every day had blue skies and it was just the right amount of warm – not too hot and not too cool. Although I was told this is a spot where you can get the best and worst of all the seasons in one day.
Aside from the company of wonderful people and some amazing food, the highlight had to be the gardens. We saw four very different gardens. Two were the very private gardens of guides who lived locally, one was the remarkable garden of a local who claims she just planted things with no plan, just put plants where it felt right and ended up with something truly amazing.
And finally, we ended up with an exclusive behind the scenes tour of The Diggers Club production nursery. The Diggers Club is a nationwide club for Australian gardeners to get inspiration through their publications, visit their remarkable open gardens and order garden supplies, seeds and plants online, including rare and heirloom plants to help prevent them from disappearing. It is a great central point for gardeners across such a diverse land to come together and it was a rare treat to get to have a look behind the scenes.
And as quickly as it began we were whisked back to the airport to return home, with hearts, heads and bellies full of good things from our time together. Now I’m back to our gloomy soggy summer, I need a few moments to catch my breath and then get out in the garden and continue clearing up the wind and salt burnt plants and try to freshen things up as best as I can and get ready for the new season ahead.
Come again soon – autumn starts next week.
Sarah the Gardener : o)
NB: There are loads of photos in this post – to find out more about each one click on it to enlarge it. (To get a full description click on the (i) symbol on the bottom right). Oh and check my Instagram @sarahthegardener for even more photos.
And to find out more about exciting garden travel opportunities check out: Botanica World Discoveries