The garden is made up of 1/2 acre which was originally woodland area set aside at the back of Miss Wallings original garden and has been planted out with numerous speciman trees some are quite rare. The area slopes down from the Pine Road entrance of Sonning to the back garden gate leading onto Bickleighvale Road. Water drains away very quickly or is used greedily by the huge specimen trees drinking it up with their vast and extensive root systems. The garden is our garden of shadows with lots of shade and filtered sunlight so with these factors in mind our thoughts of planting out a traditional English cottage garden had to be rethought and our plan adjusted.
Heritage Victoria wisely put a three meter buffer zone around all the fence lines of our property protecting a lovely English Holly planted on the Lane side and many seemlingly common but effective plants forming a hedgerow. This hedgerow is delightful amd ideal for watching many tiny varieties of birds, frogs butterfly's and numerous other insects seeking refuge in the viburnums, catonasters, pines and cypress to name a few.
Our first job was to clear a deep deep blanket of Ivy from all the ground surface...up the trees and on all the old delightful wooden fence posts and wire fences. We then set out garden beds and covered all the ground with flattened cardboard boxes and a thick mulch. Imagine our dismay the next Spring when everything was covered with lush onion weed. The next couple of Springtimes were taken up with planting out the garden beds and digging up all the Onion weed bulbs by hand. I am delighted to say we have won both the battle and war against the dreaded onion weed although we still battle with oxalis every year and the stubborn small amount of onion weed that shoot up defiantly.
Friends of Edna Walling at Bickleigh Vale Village. All rights reserved