October 25th, 2023Secret is out as garden lovers weekend returns
Words and Image: Eve Lamb
Garden lovers are in for a treat over the weekend over November 11-12 as Creswick Garden Club again stages the Creswick Garden Lovers’ weekend featuring top gardens in Creswick and surrounds.
This year there’s a choice of seven diverse private gardens to visit and enjoy, including large and small town gardens, quirky and eclectic gardens, sustainable gardens, and real country gardens.
Among them, and opening its gates for others to visit for the first time, is the Secret Garden Home Garden at Mollongghip, not far out of Creswick.
It’s hard to believe that owner residents Lou McLachlan and Deb Clarke only started developing this impressive slice of paradise about nine years ago.
They brought in a large number of advanced trees, laid out paths and carefully designed using hedging to create a series of garden rooms to delight the eye and the senses.
“It all started with us wanting to cut down on lawn mowing,” recounts Lou, an experienced horticulturalist and well known in Daylesford as owner-operator of the town’s Secret Garden nursery.
“They call it the ‘slow creep’; once you start you can’t stop,” she laughs.
“As the hedges reach a mature height it’s been exciting to see the garden rooms develop.”
“We’re right on top of the great dividing range here so we sort of have our own weather here and it can turn on a dime,” adds Deb.
The garden now features plenty of herbaceous perennials that have proven they can withstand the area’s unique climatic challenges, and also plenty of garden sculpture particularly including beautiful native bird sculpture by renown local creative Miriam Porter.
“We’re privileged to have Miriam’s sculpture displayed in the garden and we will also have an array of garden art and ornaments available for sale on the weekend,” Lou says.
While Deb humbly praises Lou as chief on-site gardener, both Lou and Deb clearly love their patch of paradise and are looking forward very much to sharing it with the wider community for the first time.
“It’s the serenity, the insects and the bees, all of the insects,” says Deb when asked what she appreciates most about The Secret Home Garden which is situated at 490 Dean-Mollonghhip Road.
“And it’s great to see the results from all of our hard work. It just kind of sings to us.”
Coincidentally, when The Local dropped in to visit Lou and Deb in their Secret Home Garden last week, they were also getting ready for a visit from ABC’s Gardening Australia team that was going to be filming on site for a future episode of the popular TV gardening program.
“We’ve got Costa coming along with a film crew and a drone,” Lou said.
Further information about this garden and the other wonderful local gardens that will be opening over Creswick Garden Lovers’ weekend may be found at www.creswickgardenclub.com/glw.html.
All profits from the Creswick Garden Lovers’ weekend are used for local community projects while the event itself affords garden lovers a great chance to visit the historic Central Goldfields Region of Victoria and see an array of diverse private gardens, iconic commercial gardens and nurseries, and more.