A visit to Peter’s Garden – Goulburn Get-Together

By Raina Emerson (Article and photos)

Peter’s garden is a lovely example of a garden that nestles into its site and looks perfectly at home.

Our November 18 visit came at a very dry time in the Southern Tablelands. There hadn’t been real rain for months and the grass had already browned off.  Peter described moving into his house in a bare paddock 7 years ago, during drought and when the frost in winter was down to -12 degrees. Challenging conditions! And then there’s the famous Goulburn wind. 

On our way into the property we observed a rock cutting running alongside the driveway, made when the site was levelled.  Peter has collected these rocks over time and turned them into a feature. They are used decoratively throughout the garden and the repetition works to unify the garden and tie it to the site.

Acacia vestita.

Our tour began on a broad crushed granite walkway around the house with a feature Xanthorrhoea tucked into it. Grassy paths led away from the house flanked by deep garden beds and dense planting.  

Peter has a deep knowledge of Australian plants and his skill in propagation and plant selection for this climate was evident. Plant highlights were Chamelaucium x verticorda flowering near the house, a clump of Xerochrysum viscosum creating a stunning yellow feature and Carpobrotus rosii x ‘Sunburn’. This last is not strictly a native, being a cross between an Australian and a South African plant, but it provided another brilliant burst of colour

Chamelaucium x verticorda.
Xerochrysum viscosum.
Carpobrotus rosii x ‘Sunburn’.

Larger plants like Acacia vestita (great for rocky areas), Callitris glaucaphylla, Hakea salicifolia and Eucalyptus pulverulenta formed the structure of the garden beds around which diverse smaller shrubs were planted.  

Peter described how he occasionally likes to explore formality in his garden, as in the pruned Correa alba below and the recent planting of Leptospermum ‘Rudolph’ sentinels (for Christmas flowering) at the front gate. We admired his keen eye for geometric shapes.

Correa alba.
Geometric shapes.

Plants in Peter’s garden are watered at establishment only and are self-sustaining after that.  Thank you, Peter, for showing us around your special Southern Tablelands garden.  

Peter at home in his garden.
Leptospermum ‘Rudolph’ sentinels (for Christmas flowering) at the front gate.