Clive and Anna Jamieson put a modern stamp on their historic sixth-generation garden at “Stony Point” in the rich country of Victoria’s Western District.
Story By Trisha Dixon
Australia Felix was the name surveyor-explorer Thomas Mitchell gave to the lush pastures of western Victoria when he explored it in 1836. Transcribed to mean “happy or fortunate southern land”, this is the most superb country of volcanic plains shaded by magnificent river red gums. Mitchell described the country as “exceedingly beautiful … the scene was different from anything I had ever before witnessed, either in New South Wales or elsewhere, a land so inviting…”
This is the wonderful setting for the Jamieson’s property “Stony Point” near Darlington in the Western District. Six generations of the Jamieson family have made Stony Point their home. Superbly situated overlooking the bends of Mt Emu Creek, the garden cleverly crosses that barrier between historic and contemporary. Dating back to 1850, there are established palms and oaks to anchor the garden into the landscape and provide an air of establishment, yet the understorey planting is exciting and innovative.
From the first glimpse of the garden across a pair of wide gates, it is immediately apparent that this is the home of a seriously good gardener. Sweeps of architectural echiums, bold ornamental angelica, artichokes and iris are interspersed with brilliant masses of hardy valerian and forget-me-nots. These are offset by rounded clipped balls of westringia and other hardy shrubs, which line the drive leading into a huge drift of beautifully rounded clumps of sedum ‘Autumn Joy’. In another long bed, bright yellow hot pokers offset a large lemon tree dripping with masses of coloured fruit.
Then there are the stands of white-trunked silver birch complementing the smooth white trunks of the elegant lemon-scented gums. Many trees have been planted celebrating events, wedding and birthdays.
Anna and Clive Jamieson moved into the Stony Point Homestead with their two children Jamima, 10, and Bobby, 8, eight years ago. Bobby is the sixth-generation Robert Jamieson to live at Stony Point.
Clive’s mother, Rossi, is a wonderful gardener and has gone on to create yet another beautiful garden. Anna had grown up in the south-east of South Australia in a similar climate. Together with Clive, using their amazing energy and work ethic, they have taken the garden another huge step forward. This has been their passion while running a substantial grazing and cropping enterprise and a very much in-demand catering business as well as bringing up their two children.
“From the front of the home we have really opened the garden up,” Anna says. “We love our view to Mt Emu Creek and the paddocks. By removing wisteria, wild rose bush and some trees, this has enabled water glimpses and views of Mt Elephant.”
This story excerpt is from Issue #68
Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2010