This garden in Venus Bay is called Illabunda which means Place of Swallows.
This large coastal block has a significant, remnant old growth forest of Eucalyptus viminalis ssp. pryoriana (Coast Manna Gum). The long driveway on this beautiful and tranquil property winds through Banksia integrifolia bushland towards Anderson Inlet.
Closer to the house, grassy areas open up around huge, sculptural eucalypts which are underplanted with garden beds which feature a wide range of Australian plants: thomasias, correas, stylidiums, grevilleas, acacias (including two leprosa ‘Scarlet Blaze’), and many smaller banksias (including baueri, speciosa, praemorsa) are some of the plant genera that thrive here.
There are also groves of young casuarina and ‘moonah’ (Melaleuca lanceolata) and a large fenced productive area with raised beds. An extensive nursery area produces many of the 7000 plants that are added to the garden each year. Around the house, with its views towards the inlet, are sculptures, potted plants and grasses. Planting also extends into the inlet walk at the rear of the property, as the owners want to reinstate the indigenous species wherever possible.
This property has a warm and welcoming ‘feel’; it clearly reflects the owners’ love of the whole environment in which it sits.
Please note: The garden is accessed via a 300 metre path that winds through banksias from where cars are parked. There is very limited access for those with mobility difficulties.
You may also like to visit The Hill Station, 105 Mathers Road, Fish Creek, which is another Open Garden in the local area this weekend.
You can also enjoy the environment around Illabunda by:
walking the Point Smyth native trail (at the end of Lees Road), and
visiting the Bald Hills wetland and wildlife reserve or walking along Anderson Inlet. (Visit www.parks.vic.gov.au)