NATURE TOURISM AT ITS BEST IN VICTORIA’S WEST COUNTRY
TIMANDRA – a garden like no other!
David and Alison Aplin moved to Victoria’s West Country in June 2008. Previous residents of then Timandra Garden in the Clare Valley, they decided on the move due to the ongoing drought wrecking havoc with regional communities in South Australia at the time. And being garden designers, work was outdoors; the intense summer and autumn heat of 2007/2008 was so exhausting that they decided to move to an area with a reliable rainfall and much cooler climate. So Timandra by the Sea became the new face of Timandra Design & Landscaping.
In eight years, much has happened. The garden was and remains full of trees. But pussy willows growing within a couple of metres of a bore shaft is not ideal, so this tree had to go. A pepper tree was planted nearby, growing among a lot of other trees – this also was removed. Ash trees abound throughout the garden. Many of these that were still relatively young were removed; I feel that the lack of garden maintenance by previous owners allowed many of these unwanted plants to just germinate and grow.
No live Gums or other natives have been removed. Dead trees were removed though, enabling a better view of the garden within. And the remaining plants are now nurtured and pruned as required, to keep them healthy.
All treed areas have now been underplanted, to give a rainforest feel to the areas. Many different varieties of native Cordylines have been sourced and now grow superbly in this environment along with other rainforest-type plants.
The bottom flat part of the garden has been totally overhauled and planted. Previously used as an earthmoving workshop, this area has a history of diesoline leakage, heaped fires throughout the area, rubbish pits where ‘stuff’ is constantly coming to the surface, and heavy machinery compaction were just some of the obstacles to be overcome with the design and plant selection within the bottom area.
The layout of the top area remains much the same, but the underplanting of the remaining trees has changed significantly with non-weedy plants that are suitable for shady places being used. Numerous arbours have been removed as they were totally overdone. All had dead or dying roses growing over them, so all but one arbour has had its rose removed and replaced with plants that will tolerate more shade and work in sync with the more natural environment of the garden. The roses in this garden looked totally out of place.
Our former garden in the Clare Valley had hundreds of roses. But these roses surrounded a C1850’s cottage. They looked appropriate for the period of the garden. But here, in Timandra by the Sea, they looked gaudy and misplaced.
The food source for birds is constant throughout the year; the plants have been selected to encourage birds to this peaceful space. Koalas breed here with sightings each season of a least one or two mums with their bubs. Mating noises of koalas are a regular part of the cacophony of sounds in this very natural space, during the warmer months.
Timandra by the Sea is a garden like no other. Colour is minimised; instead foliage textures are used to make impact, and using quirky ideas for sculpture can be found throughout the garden. The plants are all really healthy, adding to the overall green effect as you wander through the different parts of the garden. And the whole garden is open to visitors. There is so much to learn in a garden such as Timandra – about the juxtaposition of plants within an area, and how to make visual impact within a space. Considering that Timandra has been designed by a multi-award winning landscape designer, Alison, how the different spaces have been created is testimony to these awards with Landscaping Victoria.
Timandra is a garden for adults and children alike. We welcome all to our little bit of paradise.
It is to be found at 82 Windham Street [Princes Highway through town] Narrawong, 3285, Victoria.
To indicate the high level of tourism professionalism, Timandra is an accredited member of Ecotourism and the Australian Tourism Accreditation Programme [ATAP]. Timandra by the Sea is also a proud member of the Victoria Tourism Industry Council [VTIC].