Sylvia David’s garden

Sylvia David took over her garden just four years ago, on basalt soil on the crest of William Street. It is, she says, “a garden for all native creatures great and small and a garden for all seasons.” The previous owners used the long back yard for playing cricket, but now Sylvia’s original design, laid out that first summer, has been implemented. She is a bottlebrush collector, both Callistemons and Melaleucas, and for most of the year they are flowering or spot flowering. There are also Mallee Eucalypts and local Wattles.

The garden attracts many different birds, especially smaller ones. While most of the garden contains natives, there are also fruit trees and a large enclosed veggie patch. In a sunny spot close to the house there are lots of culinary and medicinal herbs – and a few David Austin roses for the annual batch of rose petal brandy!

A favourite spot to sit at the end of the day is under an old Eureka Lemon tree. From here Sylvia can see her chooks, and look skyward when wedge-tail eagles appear. It is also a great spot to watch the clouds building to the east, the afternoon sun shining on Blackwoods in nearby Rosenthal Street, and the mist rolling in.

Occasionally Sylvia creates with clay, and from that she has made bird baths, stone stacks and ‘nests’ of pottery eggs to place around the garden. There is also a wine bottle garden about 1.5 metres in diameter. It was originally for strawberries, but bower birds, snails and slugs were too hard to keep away, so it is now used for growing sweet potatoes, butternut pumpkins, and sweet peas.

Maybe at the time of the Garden Ramble the Eriostemon, Brachyscome Daisies, Dianellas, Wattles and Waratahs will be flowering. Perhaps the roses too will be blooming, some of the perennials and herbs will have recovered from their early spring pruning, and some recently sown Russell Lupins will be appearing.

Sylvia’s aim, she says, is to have lots of colour and variety in her garden.