The Falls in Longwood East, Vic, is a stunning garden blooming in between a lake and a waterfall.

Story Terri Cowley  Photos Neil Newitt

A stone wall entrance, paddocks dotted with docile cattle and even a shiraz vineyard at the bottom of a granite escarpment do little to prepare the visitor for the garden that awaits at The Falls in Longwood East, Vic. The view is at first obscured by hedges, which then open to reveal an ornamental lake of the type suited to a Jane Austen novel, with a multi-layered backdrop of plants from out of an impressionist painting. In the words of owner Joan Ball: “It’s a slice of heaven.” Joan and her husband Ian purchased the property in 2006 and have since added thousands of surrounding hectares to the original 240ha. They are generally in Melbourne during the week with family commitments, but visit most weekends. 

The property is fed by irrigation from Nine Mile Creek, a tributary of the Goulburn River, which means it has fared better than most in recent drought conditions.

The inner garden was created by Andrew Cameron who lived there for 40 years and well-known Melbourne landscaper Robert Boyle has designed the rest, including impressive spheres of westringia by the lake, espaliered fruit trees and an oak arboretum. 

Head gardener Matt Walker lives in nearby Euroa and has a background in growing turf for golf courses and even the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which is just as well, because there is certainly a lot of nice grass at The Falls. When the job came up, he jumped at the chance to work on a large-scale project and to manage three staff, including a full-time apprentice gardener. “It’s a pretty good office,” Matt says about his spectacular workplace. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #129

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2020