Not many of us set out to buy a unit in Drummoyne and end up with 400 acres at Bathurst.
Five years ago Jayne and Simon Beverly were happily enjoying a city lifestyle of law and real estate when out of the blue, a weekend in the bush convinced them to make the big tree change. They've never regretted it.
Although Jayne loved gardening, she had never made a garden from scratch. Her new home was a challenge. Pluses were panoramic views across Dempsey's Creek and up to distant, wooded hills, two mature eucalyptus trees near the homestead and a good water supply from an established bore.
Minuses were a fairly steep site and a disparate collection of buildings including a house, cottage and sheds that had to be incorporated into a whole and given some sort of unity.
Jayne realised that she needed a garden to suit the Central Tablelands climate of dry summers and frosty winters. She settled on a scheme of limited lawns, lots of gravel, pavers in a variety of textures and patterns and frost and drought hardy shrubs that made good use of foliage shapes and colour.
A key to the garden's success lies in the use of large groups of single species. A bed of a hundred identical lavender mounds is eye-catching yet restful, its appeal lying in its use of form rather than transient colour.
Use of texture is another of Jayne's design philosophies. She loves the feel of wood, iron and stone. A favourite corner is a pergola hammered out of commercial grade steel, softened by a cloak of wisteria. This combination is satisfying partly because it plays into our subconscious awareness that the delicate looking, decorative wisteria actually needs industrial strength support.
Local materials connect the garden to the world outside the fence. Jayne and Simon built low retaining walls of rocks collected from the paddock, now embellished with lavender, rosemary and prostrate grevilleas.
Jayne says getting the hang of stone wall building was a steep learning curve but the results speak for themselves and the striking stone walls are now an important garden feature.
A bed of a hundred identical lavender mounds is eye-catching yet restful, its appeal lying in its use of form rather than transient colour.
Jayne had no hard and fast ground plan, but worked from the house out, relying on her eye and sense of scale to create spaces and masses that would link the house to the amazing views.
Sculptures and large glazed pots sit against a background of natives interplanted with exotics: olives, ceanothus, veronicas and Hibiscus syriacus, correas and grevilleas, with spiky flax (Phormium) and cordylines for contrast
This skilfully planned and planted garden shows that if you stick to plants appropriate to the local climate, a Mediterranean-style approach will blend beautifully into an Australian bush setting.
Jayne and Simon Beverly's garden The Glen, 1826 Limekilns Rd, 2795 will open for Bathurst Gardeners' Club Spring Spectacular (www.bathurstgardenclub.org.au) October 26-27, 9.30am-5pm. Art Show, live music, plant and market stalls.
Tickets from Bathurst Visitors Information Centre or any show garden, $25; concession $20; individual garden $5.