February 24th, 2020Local Gardens of Note
Oak & Monkey Puzzle is the five-acre design, event and horticultural production-focused property of multi-awarded, landscape architect and urban designer, Natasha Morgan and her young children.
Natasha says: “Oak & Monkey Puzzle (named for several gold rush trees found on the property) is the physical manifestation of a dream held by a family from the city that made a tree change with a purpose in 2014.
“It is a beautiful rural property of productive gardens, colonial namesake trees, and a celebration of country living. It’s also an evolving special hub for landscape architecture, garden design, artisans and craftspeople by way of workshops, collaboration and bespoke events and engenders a warm sense of real community.
“We live in this incredible little microclimate here in the Central Highlands, on the edge of the Great Dividing Range. Long winters, mild summers, lichen-encrusted branches and mossy hollows are supported by twice the local average rainfall and beautiful deep soils, where most parts nearby are no more than rocky shale.
“Whilst the sun is shining on the other side of the ‘hill’, this is life here ‘in the clouds’, as I call it.
“It’s incredible to think we are at the end of traditionally the hottest time of year and yet it’s an oasis of verdant green here as much of the country is scarred black from devastating revenging fires.
“This is my oasis. This is life in the clouds. And it’s another thick misty morning in this wonderland to celebrate a new week.”
Natasha is passionately intent on creating a hub at Oak & Monkey Puzzle as a place for experiencing and sharing passions as a part of a vibrant community of creatives, artisans, craftspeople and country dwellers – a special place to visit, to experience and learn, to share skills.
To this end she presents an opportunity to visit Oak & Monkey Puzzle, with the Autumn Open Garden on Sunday, March 22 from 10am to 4pm in celebration of the Daylesford Macedon Flower Farm Trail, a Consortium Botanicus initiative (www.consortiumbotanicus.com.au/) of which Natasha is a founding member.
This is an opportunity to talk with Natasha about her tree change with a purpose and the design and construction of the gardens, and to “pop down a picnic blanket under the ancient oak canopy and revel in the stunning property, nestled in the Wombat State Forest”.
Tickets: www.oak-and-monkey-puzzle-autumn-open-garden.eventbrite.com.au or www.natashamorgan.com.au
Words: Glen Heyne
Images: Oak & Monkey Puzzle