Gardens like this one don’t just pop-up overnight. They’re cleverly planned, painstakingly pruned and forever a work-in-progress.
Ann-Maree Winter’s seven acre property is always changing. Her perennial garden is now in its sixth year of bloom, and it’s a symphony of colour. So, like an artist with a brush, she is continually keeping an eye on the balance of the tones and notes within the palette.
‘There is so much colour in this garden… I take lots of photos to remind myself of jarring notes within the composition,’ she says.
Sometimes, she leaves the plants as they are — as she’s done with the ‘unexpected’ red poppies in the perennial section.
‘I’ve grown to appreciate them, but won’t be repeating,’ she notes.
Other times, she’ll pull a plant that isn’t sitting well within the composition and relegate it to the ‘mish mash of the picking garden, or the compost’.
Since moving onto the property in 2015 Ann-Maree has gradually transformed the once barren expanse of gravel, grass and lomandras into a showcase of nature’s best.
The front garden features a textural combination of natives and exotics with a towering trio of Ecualypts on the lawn, and to the side is the productive and picking garden, complete with compost bays.
The back garden, also known as the perennial garden, is where Ann-Maree experiments with colour and texture.
‘The slope and exposed nature of the site has been the greatest challenge’, she says. ‘We had large rocks placed to break up the slope and we’ve planted a hedge to protect the new plantings from the wind and western sun… stepping different areas within that space has created conditions to suit a variety of plants.’
‘My favourite part of the garden is wandering the gravel paths, noticing the daily changes and looking down through the perennials and grasses to the paddocks and gum trees in the distance,’ says Ann-Maree.
Further down the hill is her latest project; a new garden area on a steep slope planted out with succulents, more perennials and grasses in a subdued palette to create a seamless transition with the distant views.
‘The garden is so much more alive now… it’s immersive and just a beautiful place to be with the sights, sounds and movement.’