Top ten list of garden plants

  • Abutilons of all kinds
  • Buddlejas old and new
  • Epiphytic orchids and ferns
  • Gordonia species
  • Heliotrope, Lemon verbena, Fennel and herbs
  • Michelias of all sorts
  • Perennial Salvias large and small
  • Species Camellias
  • Tea and China Roses
  • Weigela of all types

Montville Rose

Monday, March 28, 2022

Raising funds for Cittamani

 This morning we had a  lovely visit from Melanie from Cittamani . 

Cittamani Hospice Service offers specialist palliative care at home for individuals with terminal illness and their loved ones.

Cttamani Hospice Service is a not-for-profit public benevolent institution  and registered charity. It was founded by health professionals and community members on The Sunshine Coast in 1996.Their philosophy is based on Buddhist principles of love and compassion.

Generally you don't find out about organisations like Cittamani until you or someone you care for needs them . Hopefully by spreading the word to people at the Open Gardens  people will be aware that services are available when the need arises. Join us at Easter as we raise funds for Cittamani .

Thursday, March 24, 2022

garden conversations

 If you are lucky enough to have a partner in gardening , a spouse, a friend or a garden club you will have plenty of garden conversations. 

From our experience reading about gardens, visiting gardens and generally being immersed in gardens has been a connection for us over more than 40 years. If I didn't have the garden who knows what would have happened? At our place there are always books out, new ideas of designs for the garden, lists of plants, collections of labels and that is just in the living room . We don't always agree on ideas for the garden , I probably wouldn't have a pool since it has taken up the best sunny spot and did have a prosperous vegie and herb garden there once. Michael would also like it if I was a bit more receptive to his huge knowledge of plants and his zealous need to collect and document everything. Either way we bring different skills and have created a garden that we love.

Even our children were dragged into this obsession as they were constantly being taken to gardens , botanic, historic, foreign and domestic  and never to the Theme park "worlds". Even a trip to Australia Zoo with our grandkids had Michael in raptures about the plants. Some people say they can't have a garden because they have kids or no time . Our babies slept in the pram or when they were bigger played along side us while we worked in the garden . When they were teenagers I found the great escape of mowing  . That aside it is lovely to see our adult children and grandchildren engaged with gardens and being outdoors. 

The Shambles is a child friendly place and at Easter we always have an Easter hunt and an art activity to do .  

The Garden in Autumn


The Autumn weather is great for visiting gardens. To me it is the best season for South East Queensland ,not too hot and generally lovely fine days. The three Montville gardens that are open this Easter long weekend will have a display of colourful shrubs and trees and as a result of the rain the gardens are green and lush. A garden is much more than individual plants and there is a unique feeling or atmosphere that comes from a well loved and tended garden. This is evident in each of the gardens and will be a wonderful way to see what are very private gardens nestled behind the hedges of Western Ave and Manley Drive .

Wongawilli , Lower Woontooba and the Shambles gardens are open to share with visitors and to raise funds for Cittamani Hospice .  See you in the garden , Kyleigh

Lower Woontooba  

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Woo Hoo a Fine Day !!

 It has been so good to see the sun ,even intermittent sun is good. At the moment I think we are all trying to keep up with the weeding due to the perfect conditions. Weeds are beneficial too so I never worry too much about the odd weed unless they are taking over something better. The constant rain is making mulch break down fast and the large mulch piles are turning to compost quicker. There is something about that earthy mulch smell teeming with worms that I love. The soil is alive and worms are thriving.  Speaking of worms reminds me of the time our friends , The Collies  bought up a canoe and I had a fishing line and decided it would be good to try to fish down on the Mary River. Not having any bait I dug up a few worms and put them and soil in a bag and we headed off. We went to Kenilworth and Little Yabba only to find that there really wasn't enough water to launch the boat and even less to fish in. Anyway we had a picnic and the worms had a great day out and they returned to the garden in the afternoon. K

The fernery looking lush 

Sunday, March 13, 2022

The Shambles opening this Easter

It's been five years since we opened our garden, "The Shambles". Every opening is special for us and we see it as a way of sharing the garden and inspiring people to garden . It also brings the community together in fundraising and is a chance for us to catch up with return visitors as well as meeting new people. 
Our garden has seen many new changes that will interest visitors and we are kept interested with seasonal growth the addition of new plants and the on going work of maintaining the garden. I love the variety of work that a garden offers. On a really hot day I can find a shady corner to weed and I tend to work around the garden in stages and will attend to an area such as the fernery or the south rose garden so there is always something new to work on. Michael likes the planning , the documentation and maintaining the website . He has been responsible for the advertising for Open Garden events and looks forward to talking plants with visitors to the garden. 
This garden is set on less than one acre and so it is the smallest in the group and yet it is a full and complex garden. Through thoughtful design the garden is totally accessible and as it has developed over thirty years it has a maturity and sense of permanence that only happens over time. The garden surrounds a 112 year old workers cottage . It has seen our family grow up and has provided the backdrop for numerous social gatherings of family and friends over the years. It is a hide and seek garden that children love to explore and it is over flowing with plants and , secret pathways and art works. It has survived droughts an intense wet seasons and has a resilience that  gardens in Queensland need.
This year with reliable rain we have seen substantial plant growth and the garden is looking lovely. By Easter there will be a variety of flowering shrubs in bloom and perhaps a nip in the air . We really look forward to seeing what

people think of our new additions to the garden. See you in the garden, Kyleigh

Opening for the first time Jeff and Lou's garden " Lower Woontooba"

 As first timers , Jeff and Louise admit to feeling a bit apprehensive about opening their garden at Montville." Lower Woontooba" is at 238 Western Avenue and will be open on the 16th an17th of April . They have nothing to worry about as this garden may be relatively new but it is set on a spectacular site with lovely view to the south west into rainforest. It is well hidden behind a hedge so it is not until you enter the property  and see the old Queenslander nestled into the slope beneath a Jacaranda tree that makes you want to explore further  . To the left of the house there are terraced gardens with raised beds planted with  shrubs, perennials and roses. The pathways lead around the house and beyond to the studio which is further down the slope .There is an orchard and fenced vegetable garden , a viewing deck and plenty of space with lovely  green views. This is a good garden to wander in and to see just how much Jeff and Loise have done in a short time. Gradually the garden will evolve and hopefully reopen to the public so people can see the progress. There is something lovely about visiting interesting gardens and seeing how the owners manage their site and getting a glimpse of their vison for the garden.   Opening a garden is a daunting prospect but it is worthwhile and rewarding as people are supportive and often leave inspired to work in their own gardens. It is a day out for some visitors but for the owners it is the culmination of years of work and several months of preparation in the lead up to the day . We applaud Jeff and Lou for taking the first step and sharing their garden.  Don't miss out on seeing this delightful garden  this Easter . 

Don't miss a visit to Rowena's Garden 16th 17th April

 Rowena's garden  " Wongawilli "  Manley Drive ,Montville 

This garden will be open on the 16th and 17th April  Easter  and is well worth a visit .I believe that most people will be blown away by the scale and variety of subtropical tropical and temperate plants that are on display. I still get amazed by it and I have been fortunate to visit often and through the changing seasons. 

Rowena not only had a vision for her house but for the taming of the steep site from the beginning. Several key features such as the terracing , the swimming pool , ornamental ponds ,stone walls and curved drive have defined spaces in the garden so there are plenty of picturesque views to be had as you walk along meandering paths and down stairs to lower levels. So often a house is built without any consideration to the landscape and a garden will often look like an after thought with a very formulaic style. This property is the exception as both the house and the garden have evolved and there is a unity as the house is nestled into it's environment. This garden is complex and has been carefully curated by Rowena who has a particular interest in tropical plants having lived in New Guinea and Fiji . Having a large garden where the trees were planted early on has ensured there are micro climates that support different plants .There are seasonal surprises such as temperate bulbs, stunning orchids and flowering trees. The fact is that there is no real "down "time in a Queensland gardens and a great deal of work and planning is being done by Rowena year round