Taking a look at it now, it’s laborious to consider Connie and Julian Menegazzo purchased Cloverdale when it was ‘only a paddock’ for rising wheat, barley, and canola on their working farm.
‘It was a really windy web site with solely two crimson gums by the dam,’ Connie says. ‘I wished to create a welcoming backyard that felt like house, with a number of inexperienced with flowers, bushes and lawns.’
Quick ahead greater than 40 years of laborious work (and greater than 4000 bushes planted!) and this has develop into one in all Melbourne’s most elaborate personal gardens, nestled into town’s outer western suburbs. The Werribee backyard has developed ‘randomly’ over time, with Connie usually getting back from visits to different gardens with new concepts that typically labored – and typically didn’t.
A 12 months after constructing their house on the block in 1983, the couple had an avenue of 80 Ulmus glabra ‘Lutescens’ (Golden Wych Elms) planted alongside the driveway. They’re one of the crucial enchanting elements of the property, however Connie says establishing them within the early years ‘was a wrestle’ as a result of they lacked safety from the wind.
‘Now they’re very completely happy and since extending the dam in 2004 we now not must water them as their intelligent roots attain the water,’ she provides.
The native Lollypop Creek flows via to their dam, which superbly displays the textured ‘forest’ of natives they planted alongside the banks, that includes Poa Labillardieri (tussock-grass), Lomandra Longiflora (basket grass), Acacia Baileyana Prostrate (Wattle), and Clematis Artistata (Australian clematis).
‘The backyard, dam and forest entice many birds which can be a pleasure to look at,’ Connie says. ‘We additionally play host to the odd lone pelican and infrequently a couple of swans, each birds paddle majestically round the home.’
By 2014, one other 200 native bushes and shrubs had been planted in what the couple name the ‘sheep paddock’, together with vibrant flowers akin to claret ash, jonquils daffodils and blue bell bulbs. Many crops, together with the Salix babylonica (weeping willows), originated from cuttings Connie sourced from pal’s gardens, and ‘seeing them brings again many completely happy recollections of occasions passed by’.
There are a couple of native frangipanis scattered all through – and ‘their scent is simply magic’ – together with the perfume of the blooming rose bushes round winding backyard paths and a romantic arbour. There’s too many plant variations to call, however every area weaves superbly into the subsequent nearly as if it was an expansive park.
Connie says she spends wherever between 6 to twenty hours (or extra!) within the backyard each week. And moreover hiring somebody to plant the elm bushes, she and Julian have performed the remainder themselves with occasional assist from household.
‘There isn’t a rhyme or motive to our backyard,’ she provides. ‘The plant decisions are mine and I simply planted the issues that I favored and that may survive! As you stroll round there’s something totally different round each nook.’