Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Pollarded Tree is a Beautiful Thing

We know it is going to be controversial.  There will be those who will say that pollarding a tree as we did today is somehow "not natural"  and anyway "its too much work" to keep it pruned like that.  What a load of crap.  Gardening itself is not "natural".  Architecture is not "natural", art is not "natural",  clothes are not "natural", cooked food is not "natural" and, so it would too often seem in Australia,  concepts such as "taste", "style" and a well developed  appreciation of good  practical design are not "natural". Well,it's called "culture". And it's what Homo sapiens does.

Regarding the other often heard criticism that pollarding would be "too much work". Same thing  - total crap. Pollarding a tree once a year takes considerably less time than many people quite happily spend tweaking a silly little patch of overly manicured suburban lawn into some misconceived vision of "nice". Pollarding also has the practical advantage of allowing a tree such as the Plane Tree seen here to be kept to scale in a garden environment allowing it to complement rather than overwhelm the architecture.  The sculpted forms of well pollarded trees are a source of visual delight not just practicality.  If you disagree then go to Paris or London or Berlin or Rome or any one of a thousand great gardens to be found in the civilized world. But then, if you don't appreciate a pollarded tree you probably think that "civilized" is not "natural' and is "too much work" anyway.

Classic Pollarded Plane Trees
We were thrilled to find a local arborist, Terry Hall,  who understood exactly what we were seeking to achieve with the pollarding.   Within a couple of hours Terry had taken our unruly seven year old  Plane Tree and transformed it into something that in years to come will be one of the highlights of the gardens here at The Drip, Mudgee.  You can contact Terry on 0418 248 665 or email him at  And we are so delighted with the outcome we are already planning more of the same. Controversial or not.
The Plane Tree before pollarding

I see Pollards

Our Pollards are in The Main Courtyard at The Drip, Mudgee.  CLICK HERE to see this on our website

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Winter Solstice at The Drip, Mudgee

On the Winter Solstice, after the longest night of the year, the sun rises above the doorway of The Garden Room.

The first rays of light flood into the room, penetrating to the depths of the house.  And the days begin to lengthen once more. The life force returns.

The orientation of the house and the surrounding gardens was carefully designed after a full year of recording detailed observations of the movements of the sun across our valley.  .

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Munghorn Award for Photography.

We are currently exploring the idea of creating an annual award for bird photography with a cash prize of $1000 for the winning photograph.

The concept of the Munghorn Award revolves around an online photographic exhibition to be presented here on this website and promoted through social networking sites. This annual award will have a cash prize of $1000.  

The goal of the award is to emphasize the environmental and heritage significance of The Munghorn Gap, in particular the diversity of bird-life found here, helping ensure that this important natural legacy is increasingly appreciated not only locally but also nationally and internationally and is protected for future generations.Click here for more on birdwatching,  The Munghorn Gap and on the Award  click here

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Notes from the Library #18

In the course of building a page for our new website a quick hunt around the internet for some information led to the accidental discovery of an excellent new book which is a must have for the library here.  The book,  "Tomorrow's Garden.  Design and Inspiration for a New Age of Sustainable Gardening".  is by New York based writer, Stephen Orr, Garden Editor for Martha Stewart Living 

In a recent interview Stephen summed up the philosophy underlying his new book. "I had worked at some very high-end glossy magazines, and documented a lot of very large estate gardens. I started to feel kind of psychologically burdened by how big and vast and grand these things were. Our economy had been puffed up and our garden-making had gotten puffed up, too. I wanted to addresses smaller gardens that have a sense of purpose. Gardens that were not just about money and getting the rarest plants ...  I just started to feel like we were all moving toward a new direction with  gardening that isn’t so wasteful and inconsiderate of our resources (water, time, effort, fertilizer).Or, at least, we should be." 

For more on Stephen Orr visit his blog by clicking here

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The new wesite is coming along

Still busily uploading information onto the new website.

Concentrating on getting basic descriptions, designs and plant lists  online before worrying too much about  photographs, though that will come soon.  The new format will allow a huge amount of information to be collated here and is already attracting a few comments.

Go check out the progress on