Monday, September 26, 2011

Cut flower farms in the Dandenongs c1920 -30

Still researching for my book Lyrebird! It's never ending ...

In trying to grapple with what a cut flower farm might have looked like back in the the 20s - 30s I have been emailing and driving and googling!

Friends suggested I visit Cloudehill - nursery and gardens in the Dandenongs.

Jeremy Francis responded to my emails with warmth so I made the journey to speak to him face to face. Cloudehill is breathtakingly beautiful but I was there on a mission. I will return and devote a day to exploring these gardens and I will return again and again.

Jeremy has built Cloudehill out of an historic working garden originally created by the Woolrich family in the 1890s. The top half of the property was a cut flower farm for many years.

In my true story, Edith Wilkinson's cut flower farm was on the west side of the mountain facing towards Port Phillip Bay. Her property was probably burned in the 1962 fires and is now part of Parks Victoria. She'd cleared a small swathe in the forest for her business. This photo, taken at Cloudehill shows a bulb meadow behind which you can see the blackwoods and the mountain ash. Did Edith's property have a similar margin? I suspect so.

The book: Cloudehill: A Year in the Garden by Jeremy Francis

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