In 1992, when the current owner bought Idle A Wile, it was impossible to walk around the house without a machete! Without attention for at least twenty-five years it had become completely overgrown. As the new owners, we set about clearing privet which had originally been planted as hedges earlier in the century. The garden rescue and restoration continued until 1996 at which time the guest house was reopened. The entire property had become covered in trees and only in the last few years have these started to come down, letting in a lot more light and opening up the whole place.
A number of old pines and a stately oak still stand creating a wonderful woodland setting in which perennials, Rhododendrons, Azaleas and varieties of native bulbs have been planted.
The Daphne bushes growing around the house were planted by Neville who also established the private garden at the northern end of the property. As visitors meander along the stone paths leading into the garden’s many nooks and crannies, they may be surprised to meet the resident lyre bird out on its own daily walk. A resident wombat also shares the garden and birdlife can be spotted in the trees. At the rear of the property, the flat area which was once a tennis court, struggles to be a lawn but has a couple of nice beds within it.
The owner is in the process of planting more rain forest shrubs and tree ferns in this area. His favourite area is the private garden, ‘Neville’s Garden’. In the summer it is the most beautiful shaded afternoon entertainment spot with a great feeling of being out in the forest.