Jan 25, 2013

Two Glorious Gardens :: but very different...

Wouldn't you know it,
but the minute I move away from the Mornington Peninsula, 
Open Gardens Australia decides to have two of the most lovely gardens there open on the weekend. 
And two more different gardens I could not imagine,
even though they are a hop, skip and jump away from each other. 

There's the bushland-style, rugged beauty of Rick Eckersley's Musk Cottage,
where eucalypts tower in their majestic drama,
and rustic seats provide welcome shelter in the dappled shade.

And then, as a complete contrast in garden design,
there is Paul Bangay's Bagnols, a French Provincial inspired garden of clipped terraces, 
resplendent with roses and lavender.

Rick Eckersley's garden is his own weekend retreat, 
& has been planted as something of an experiment - extolling the rugged beauty of the Australian bush
with extensive native plantings. 
This swimming pool is a reed bed style billabong,
where the water is filtrated though rushes
and nary a scoop of chlorine is allowed. 

Meanwhile, Paul Bangay's garden design is the complete opposite.
Organic lines are replaced with rectalinear ones, 
and native plants are eschewed in favour of exotic ones. 

They are both very beautiful, but so very different in how they respond to their site.
One seeks to blend with the greater surrounding landscape,
the other to contrast. 
And as always with design, there is of course no right and no wrong.
But which do you like better?
A style which reflects the local area,
or one which recreates another region?
The question endlessly fascinates me, and is applicable anywhere in the world.  

So if you are able to pop down to the Mornington Peninsula tomorrow afternoon
(between 4 - 8 pm)
to see these two beauties, 
all the details are on the Open Garden Scheme website here

And as for me, well it seems I can't quite let go of the glorious peninsula just yet, 
because I will be at a function there tomorrow afternoon. 
But if I can sneak out when nobody is looking, 
you may just find me strolling around these two beautiful gardens...

open saturday jan 26, 4-8 pm, entry to both gardens $25


  1. oh, these gardens were a feast for the eyes and quite enchanting too! thanks fro sharing and happy Friday! xx

  2. Such beautiful gardens, both of them. I love them both for different reasons too - the Paul Bangay one I could live with, as I find the dark greens so restful on the eye, something you don't get with a native garden. But I'd love the native version for a weekender too - the swimming pool in particular is fabulous. I've seen the natural reed thing done in the UK, but not locally. xx


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