Our friends and former neighbours Sue and Glen have made a tree change to Woodend, an hour north of Melbourne. After renting for a year to try out the location and the lifestyle, they bought a 10-acre property earlier this year. A week ago we went up to visit them.
The property was previously owned by a garden-loving couple who built and planted flowering garden beds, enclosed vegetable patches and a covered orchard. Age and ill health had limited their ability to keep up with the garden maintenance, and Sue and Glen are now working at rehabilitating the overgrown garden.
The house is surrounded by an eclectic mix of flowering plants.
The stairs lead from the house to the productive part of the garden.
A massive raspberry enclosure is surrounded by white cranberry bushes.
Broccoli plants. The covered vegetable patches were knee-deep in weeds, and they continue to produce a lush variety of weeds and surprise veges.
Clumps of borage and other herbs are dotted between the trees and garden beds.
Lichen on a pear tree in the covered orchard.
A plum tree; the fruit trees had gone a long time without pruning.
This one has had a haircut.
Pincushion hakea. One of my favourite natives – I’m trying to grow one in the back yard. They make beautiful cut flowers.
This quince tree produced the best quince paste I have ever tasted. The commercial variety doesn’t even start to compare.
A ripe olive.
The back of the property has several chestnut trees, a row of pine trees for harvesting pine kernels, and groves of remnant euchalypts.
Back in the house…
Sue with The Broccoli that Ate Manhattan.
After a beautiful lunch of vege soup and the previously mentioned legendary quince paste, among other things, we headed up to Mount Macedon for a bushwalk. It was super muddy, it rained constantly, and after we split up (dads and daughters went back to the cars and drove to the top of the mountain, mums and sons kept walking), we spent a long time marching purposefully through the mist, looking for the path to the top. (We never found it).
Eventually we headed back down the hill and borrowed a phone at a winery to call the blokes. The road to the winery had nice drains, which the boys enjoyed.
We had a great time (except for the bit when the blokes thought we’d done a Miranda up Hanging Rock and were wondering when to call in the search party).
Drying out socks in front of the fire. Nice.
Warming up with borrowed clothes and pavlova.
We drove home with a huge haul of quince paste and quince jam, fresh eggs, broccoli and bok choy. I should have taken a photo of all this abundance, but I didn’t get around to it before we ate everything.
Thanks Sue, Glen, Max and Tilly!