Saturday, May 28, 2011

Our new website is online

It is still early days, but the new website is now online.

So far the only stuff published is a first draft of the new Home Page and the Navigation Bar which will guide visitors through a very comprehensive tour of the gardens at The Drip.  Most sub-pages are currently filled with Lorem Ipsum dummy text.  As things take shape we will post news of the latest additions here on the blog, but as building the site is a time consuming and fiddly process only expect updates here once a week or so.

The new web address is Watch it evolve over the coming weeks.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Buxus Hedge for The Eastern Terrace

Peter and Jay planted around a hundred new Buxus sempervirens, English Box, this week, defining the edge of The Eastern Terrace.

This month has seen a lot of Buxus action with the clipping of existing hedges in full swing and the of propagating of new plants from the clippings ensuring that next year we will be planting even more of these incredibly useful plants.  Buxus sempervirens has arguably been the most popular hedging plant for more than two thousand years and it is easy see why.  It rocks. 

We now propagate around 500 buxus each year.
Clive and Peter use string lines to get the level before clipping the hedges
Peter clips our original buxus hedge, planted in 1993, and now the source of all our buxus cuttings

Propagating trays filled with our mix of Rice Husk and Peat Moss soak to ensure the mix is thoroughly wetted
Semi-Hardwood cuttings treated with hormone will take root in abou 8 weeks in the propagating frame
Cuttings transpanlted into tubestrock at abour four months then kept moist in Clive's Supa Drip Trays 
 some are potted at 18 moths on for transplanting as advanced plants
 the first wartering in is crucial to ensure soil contact with the roots

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Whole New Thing Begins

With the registration of new domain name "The Drip" now has the foundations of a new online home in the form of a full website. 

The new website will allow more comprehensive and detailed information to be presented than is possible on this blog.  The site will feature photography, maps, drawings, sketches, designs, plans, plant lists, botanical information and commentary covering all twenty one named garden areas that we have begun developing here plus insights into why this property and The Munghorn Gap is of special environmental significance. Prominence will be given to The Garden Walks and The Bush Walks that are being laid out across the property,  enabling visitors to better appreciate the beauty of this place.

The development of the new website will be quite time-consuming, so for the next few weeks postings here on the blog may be less frequent and will  focus mainly on the development of our new "virtual garden" at

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Fireplace in The Main Courtyard

Winter is coming, it’s getting colder now and the fireplace in the corner of The High Pergola of The Main Courtyard still needs more work done if is to realize its fullest potential.  This fireplace was intended to be not only a delightful and rather spectacular feature providing winter cheer in this outdoor cooking and eating area, but equally importantly,  also providing much needed heat to the interior of the house during winter. At the moment it does neither of the above.  

Errors in the construction of both the chimney and of the firebox mean that it emits so much smoke that what should be a much used and very useful heating device has instead become an unpleasant and under-utilized waste of space, rendering the entire pergola area unusable in winter.  In addition, the original intention of putting metal pipes through the firebox which would duct super-heated air back to the inside of the house has not been realized due to the lack of professional experience, technical expertise and creative imagination possessed by the builders. This means that we are not currently getting the intended benefits of cost-effective, environmentally sustainable heating gained through using our own firewood grown here on the property.  It is bloody disappointing.
Both these problems should begin to be resolved this winter by some intelligent re-engineering now that the house is becoming a home.  Clive is on the case, so stay posted.

Friday, May 6, 2011

"The Garden Room"

The southern-eastern side of The Main Courtyard is formed by The Garden Room. This was intended to become the new kitchen and living room.  For the foreseeable future it will remain un-roofed and innovative ideas for roofing it are still evolving.

Terracotta tubs with lemon trees and our rapidly expanding collection of potted succulents are now finding a home here, hence it is as much a part of the garden as it a part of the house.

It is called The Garden Room as a tribute to the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright's dramatic, light-filled canvas-roofed living room of the same name at Taliesin West, Arizona.  Wright's Garden Room evolved over many years as is this room here at The Drip, Mudgee.  The Garden Room is increasingly used for large gatherings.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Outdoor Kitchen in The Main Courtyard

The north-eastern side of The Main Courtyard is formed by The Outdoor Kitchen, still unfinished, but now clearly delineated by lines of blockwork with a gateway leading to The Hill Garden, The Camellia Grove and The Wisteria Walk.

The area features a number of outdoor cooking options, including fire bins and Mudgee Bush Ovens, which were created by renowned potter Cameron Williams and which have been used to cater for up to 500 hundred guests at TABLESCAPE events in the past.  We are currently thinking of installing a Tandoori Oven, shown in this photograph by the graphic to the left of  the opening for the gateway.

The next step in finalizing the plan for this area is to make a decision on what to use on the ground... paving, gravel or grass?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"The Moat" in The Main Courtyard

The north-western side of The Main Courtyard is formed by a deep trough, excavated in 2004,  that we have been calling "The Moat".   It's not a moat really,  it's a pond.  Well it's not a pond, it's a hole.  But one day it could be a pond, with a bridge. Or a plunge-pool, with a boardwalk.  Or we could fill it in.

Or not. 

"The Moat" is one of those sections of the garden we hope to be making final design decisions about soon. Ideas?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Why is it called "The Main Courtyard" ?

The photo above, taken from a helicopter in 2004 shows the early stages of creating the space now known as The Main Courtyard.  What is a "courtyard"?  In Australia when we hear the word "courtyard" we tend to think of a relatively small outdoor space enclosed by walls on all four sides, perhaps at the rear of a renovated terrace or in a new townhouse.  Not necessarily so.  

The Oxford  Companion to Australian Gardens states that the "courtyard" of substantial rural properties in Australia was most usually formed by three separate buildings surrounding a large open space, with the fourth side left open. The book cites George Henry Cox's 1864 homestead, Burrundulla,  in Mudgee as a prime example.  So the word "courtyard" refers to a variety of forms,  one common element being that it denotes an unroofed architectural space, intended to provide privacy or protection. 

Here at The Drip the area we now call The Main Courtyard is defined by the eastern and western wings of the house and by The Moat, The Outdoor Kitchen and The Wine Cellar. It is designed to provide protection from the elements and from the unwelcome visitations of wallabies, kangaroos, wombats and ferals. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Whats Blooming This Week?

The display of autumn leaves in The Horse Paddock is continuing this week and beats any flower display right now.

As the season rolls forward different areas of The Horse Paddock hit their peak.  At the moment the Chinese section is at its best.

This persimmon tree, often thought of as being a Japanese tree, actually hails originally from China. Click this Link to find out more about The Horse Paddock.