This largely photographic blog entry is all about Jubilee Gardens in Cascade, Hobart, Tasmania. It is literally someone’s suburban back-yard, albeit a half hectare backyard, that is so incredibly jam packed with plants the visitor is liable to ‘nature-overload’ (a.k.a. very happy).
Ted Cutlan and Joy Stones have collected thousands of plants and put them together into an extraordinary display that takes a wonderful few hours to enjoy to the full. It’s very orientally inspired and has been only opened at peak flowering season around early November. However since 2012 Ted and Joy have found that the demands have exceeded their capacity and it will not be open to the public from 2013 onwards and therefore this photo record will have to suffice from now on.
Its a massive undertaking that is the result of years of plant collection and nurturing with the main plants being Rhododendrons and Azaleas, all of which are in superb condition and make a wonderfully colourful display.
As you wend your way down the property through narrow, twisting pathways the higher trees provide the necessary dappled shade for many of these delicately featured oriental plants to thrive in peak conditions.
Ted and Joy are experts with ornamental Maples as can be seen by the collection of over a hundred different varieties especially Acer japonicum and Acer palmatum (originating from Japan) that feature extraordinarily dissected and multi-coloured coloured foliage. They propogate Acers in their well equipped greenhouses and continue to sell them to locals.
Then there’s the Camelias, many different varieties and species but because this garden is well sheltered from cold winds and sun-scorching, just about every plant you see is in perfect condition (a rarity even in the big botanical garden).
Another potent symbol of springtime are the cascading Wisterias, to be found at many turns of the twisting pathways or drooping elegantly over pergolas or garden archways.
Jubilee Gardens also has a splendid collection of Clematis too, again climbing over trellis or fences.
Jubilee Gardens boasts a fascinating collection of trees of all kinds including many conifers and some very elegant cooler climate deciduous trees. They provide the needed shade whilst also adding to the overall rich textures of the gardens.
Water features seem to be such natural bed-fellows with any ‘Japonicas’ and ‘Sinensies’ and of course they also attract birds and frogs and a plethora of other bugs and insects – all part of the self-sustaining natural environment that is celebrated here.
But we shouldn’t forget that very special foliage plant that is scattered in amongst the footings of the more spectacular blooming shrubs – I refer of course to Hosta and no end of colourful, ankle high spring flowers.
With so much to feast the eyes on at ground level you may not find time to look upwards – but if you do you’ll see Mount Wellington towering above – Jubilee Gardens being set in its foothills in Hobart’s south – as discovered by some of the GardensOnline team recently.
Author: Bob Saunders (www.gardensonline.com.au)