Cruden FarmA place for people, plants and artworks

Garden

Location
South eastern Australia
50 km from Melbourne

Climate
Temperate

Temperature range
2ºC—45ºC

Mean annual rainfall
762mm

Soil
Sandy loam

Area
Farm 54 hectares

Outer and inner gardens
8 hectares

View to the stables and picking garden

Garden map

Scale 1:1500

 

Summer

Summer

Summer is the season of the Walled Garden – a place of immense amplitude with a dazzling element of surprise.

In the late 1940s Dame Elisabeth altered Edna Walling’s original planting in the Walled Garden and installed two wide perennial borders. Stalwarts today are delphiniums, thalictrums, phlox, salvias, daisies, dahlias and Alchemilla mollis; Lilium henryii towers over the walls. It is a changing scene; blues, greens and whites move to pinks, mauves and yellows when the summer light is strongest, then cooler colours re-emerge. With good soil preparation and assiduous dead-heading the display lasts up to five months – an achievement in an enclosed space.

Autumn

Autumn

More than eighty years in the making and the heart of a working farm, the garden at Cruden Farm is a small piece of country set amid dense suburbia. It feels as if it will endure forever…

Winter

Winter

Winter is a time for work. With open days concluded, the plants in the Walled Garden are cut back and taken up, the Picking Garden and the Borders tidied. Roses and hydrangeas are pruned, and hedges shaped. Lawns get a good top-dressing.

The two gardeners evaluate. And as they drive around the garden, they contemplate. A garden without its embroidery of flowers and foliage is a garden exposed. Winter at Cruden Farm reveals the shape of the trees. You are more aware of the art works around the garden, especially the new sculpture by the water, and of the warm brown local stone in walls, stables and the massive chimneys. The house’s slender white plantation-style verandah columns stretch up unobscured, echoed by the white trunks of nearby melaleucas, and the silver-toned eucalypts along the drive.

Spring

Spring

Early spring is a time of anticipation and unfolding promise. The last daffodils crowd the slopes around the lake; clumpy perennials peep through the soil in the Walled Garden. The Rock Garden displays its treasures – miniature daffodils, anemones, cyclamen, true snowdrops. Magnolias and azaleas dazzle; blossom is alive with bees. Roses spill over the post and rail fence in the ‘homeless plants bed’ near the lake, and mauve clusters of wisteria cascade from the gnarled branches of the same plant that Dame Elisabeth found so appealing when she first saw Cruden Farm in 1928.

Walled Garden

Walled Garden

Stables

Stables

Picking Garden in Spring

Picking Garden in Spring

Long Border

Long Border

Lake

Lake

Black Angus Cattle at Cruden Farm

Black Angus Cattle at Cruden Farm