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

Friday, August 9, 2019


Firstly to the Open garden.
We plan to open the garden again ‘’A Royal Spring Open Garden” on October 5th and 6th 2019
New and returning visitors to "The Shamblea" at 85 Western Avenue Montville will be able to see an extensive display of orchids, spring flowering shrubs and many rare plants.  Once again “The Shambles” will host a plant stall, toy and treasure stall and light refreshments.  So, if you plan to visit please bring cash and bring bags to carry home your loot.
Already over the Easter Weekend this year “The Shambles “ Open Garden and Plant Stall at Montville raised $5770  for the Western Queensland Drought Appeal. The garden has been opened for charity at least once a year since 2001. Organisations such as Legacy, Cittamani Hospice as well as the local community organizations have benefited from funds raised in the past.

But before we get as far as the October Open Garden plans are under way for a September book launch our our latest books. Our colourful book “Our Queenslanders, houses ♦gardens: Their Second century” illustrates the case for recognition and protection of our architectural and horticultural heritage. In fact, “The Queenslander” house may be Australias best known architectural style on the world stage.  As well as defining aspects of structural detail, our book describes the experience of living in a “Queenlander’ and illustrates fine urban and rural examples of these houses and gardens.  Our book touches on Architecture, History, Horticulture and Queensland identity with colourful images on most pages.

In the 21st century the pressure to subdivide and repurpose urban land threatens to remove or permanently alter the “Queenslander” which once defined the streetscape and the identity of our towns and cities. Modern tastes and expectations of housing lead to alteration of the “Queenslander” structure which threaten this vernacular housing style often making it unrecognisable.

“Our Queenslanders, homes♦gardens: Their second Century" and the accompanying book “Queenslander Gardens, Plants for their Second Century: with Historical References” will join our other high quality self published gardening and childrens books.  see our
website   As in the past we have produced books in hard cover and in full colour. “Our Queenslanders, homes♦gardens: Their second Century" a hard cover book of 400pages will sell for $65, which will cover our printing costs. Only 100 copies have been printed.

“Our Queenslanders, homes♦gardens: Their second Century", after chapters defining the structural features which define a “Queenslander” goes on to discuss the use of timber or masonry and takes some time over structures such stumps, stairs verandas and details concerning corrugated iron and structural ornamentation. Chapters concerning “Queenslander” interiors discuss everything from paint and pressed metal to electrical fittings and furniture.  The “Queenslander” garden is treated in similar detail with chapters on botanizing and collecting, through structural features such as fences, gates and bush houses to the planting palette.
In the latter part of the book urban and rural examples of “Queenslander” houses and gardens are colourfully illustrated along with note pages on familiar Queensland plants such Frangipani and Agagpanthus.

“Queenslander Gardens, Plants for their Second Century: with Historical References” is based on a detailed inventory of garden worthy plants for “Queenslander” gardens and where available historic references of their use in gardens in their second century.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Easter in the garden at Montville

This is just a note to say that our garden "The Shambles" at Montville is accessible for people who have walkers and wheelchairs . The property is relatively level and there are bitumen paths throughout the garden. We are very aware of places being inaccessible for people with mobility issues and around the garden chairs are sited to enjoy views and give people a break off their feet. As this Easter there is a prize home open up the street we hope to see many visitors here to support the drought /flood fund raiser. Ironically the prize home is not wheel chair accessible even though it is supporting a special needs organisation. It seems a missed opportunity to design a home that is  not both attractive and accessible as even the fittest and youngest of us can break a leg for example. It is also a worthwhile consideration as the population ages that  instead of needing to relocate have a home that can accommodate your changing needs.It is the same in the garden as we find having good pathways is more comfortable for most people to use and has a extra bonus for our grandchildren when they bring their scooters. 

When you are gardening for the long term you get to see the garden evolve as growth occurs . So often people say they can't look after the garden anymore and proceed to move into a village with a postage stamp sized lawn and a bunch of annoying neighbours. The fact is you might just have to reduce your standards, let some of it go a bit wild and maintain enough of a walk way to get to the front door!Lets face it there are a lot of mowing contractors out there who know nothing about the finer details of plants but they can do a quick sweep with the whipper snipper or a hedger so you can have the illusion of control . Kyleigh

Tuesday, March 12, 2019


"The Shambles" 85 western Avenue Montville, Qld

Sat 20th Sun 21st April, Easter Saturday and Sunday

9am to 4pm


$6 entry children free, ample on road parking

Many parts wheelchair accessible, Heritage garden around  century old farm house

Visit popular tourist village at Montville

Michael Simpson

0458 429524

Monday, March 11, 2019

the summer autumn feeling

Michael has taken total responsibility for all publicity for the open garden and his routine documentation of plants that keep coming . I have been working on the garden as usual and always find that an impending date on the calendar for an Open Garden increases the need for a multitude of lists , working bees with unsuspecting visitors and new ideas to be implemented. I can be found most  days out in the garden somewhere with Shadow not far away. I am still trying to figure out a useful thing for him to do apart from looking like a spunk !
During my latest visit to Sunray a local  family owned nursery at Nambour we had a brief dicussion about the Nursery Industry and how gardening in the 80's and 90's was huge and supported in the media. We had the Open Garden Scheme, some really focused gardening programmes and it seemed that a lot of people were very keen. Since that time it is obvious that many people now live in units, have smaller gardens and perhaps have a more interior life style with electronic devices. I also find that the scope of gardening has narrowed to the point where if I see any more school children in their vegie gardens I will scream. Honestly even if you have the best crop of home grown beans and carrots  there will be a fussy toddler or 10 year old who will refuse it point blank. Time to be quiet!

This weird Autumn /Summer weather does not appear to be affecting the garden. Everything is so hardy and resilient  including some pretty flowering weeds that are filling in some gaps.
We are looking forward to seeing visitors at the Open Garden  this Easter and as usual will have a treasure hunt for the children .

Friday, February 8, 2019

Esster in a Montville Garden
Plans are well under way for our Easter Open Garden

& Plant Stall
Sat. 20th & Sun. 21st April:9am to 4pm
The Shambles”
85 Western Avenue
Beautiful Heritage Plant collection around century old house.
Plants for sale
Funds raised for western Queensland drought Appeal
Visit beautiful Montville Village and the scenic Blackall Range attractions
Entry $6   Children free