April 14th, 2023Two gardens open their gates in Trentham
Two private Trentham gardens will open their gates on Saturday, April 15
and Sunday, April 16 as part of the Open Gardens Victoria scheme.
Rhonda’s Garden, Gemmola, (pictured above) was created three years ago by local landscape designer Tim Pilgrim of TP Gardens. Designed around a new sustainable home, Tim has created a relaxing space full of light throughout most of the year.
Owner Rhonda Watson’s design brief was to provide a small lawn for her
grandchildren to play on, a small vegetable patch, plants that attracted pollinators,
and a garden that was sustainable and friendly to local wildlife. Tim then applied
his artist’s eye to create a cottage garden full of colour and movement, informal and
“With great soil, wet, cold winters, and hot, dry summers, Trentham has plenty
of beautiful cottage gardens growing in its midst. I wanted a cottage garden aesthetic
and liked the style of Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf. His style of perennial mass
plantings in a naturalistic style and planting in drifts rather than blocks appealed.”
At the other end of the village is Tranquillity, described by
owners Margot Burros and David Kotzman as “an approachable, un-intimidating,
nonprofessional home garden, evolving and adapting as we learn about our gardening
conditions and as we ourselves change”.
Purchased five years ago, the owners changed and enhanced the established
garden around the house, replacing scoria gravel with buffalo lawn and removing
large clumps of flax to open up vistas. A group of xanthorrhoea johnsonii was also
relocated to the front garden.
Plants in this area are mainly Australian, South African and New Zealand species.
The ‘fence’ is an irregular line of upright bush poles with native plants and rocks
scattered between, giving a sense of boundary but remaining open to ‘see in’ and
allowing kangaroos to pass through.
“The original plan was to create mass with dense plantings of blackwood trees
(acacia melanoxylon),” says Margo. “However, this species has not done well in open
areas with our severe Trentham frosts. Consequently we are trialling new species,
including several snowgums (wolgan, lacrimans) and swamp gums (E ovata).
Rhonda’s Garden is at 32 Park Street and Tranquillity is at 3 Gunyah Drive.
Both gardens are open 10am to 4.30pm. The cost to view each garden is adults
$10, students $6, under 18 free. Tickets at the gate or via Trybooking