Step into an enchanting woodland realm.

Story + Photos Kim Woods Rabbidge 

Just 20 minutes inland from the hustle and bustle of Noosa, Qld, there’s an enchanting 1.2ha garden nestled into woodland at Verrierdale. The owner, Cheryl Boyd, has been weaving her magic with plants in Stringybark Cottage Garden for nearly three decades.

In keeping with its woodland setting, there’s little formality in the garden apart from a couple of small hedges of mina-min murraya that border dwarf white agapanthus, spider lilies and, behind them, cycads, tree ferns and large bromeliads. The elements that give this garden cohesion, and an overwhelming sense of peace, are mass plantings and colour themed areas – including a black foliage section. Collections of strappy leaved clivias, heliconias, gingers and hippeastrums contrast with mounds of ornamental grasses that shimmer with any passing zephyr. “It’s a very sheltered site, so we don’t actually get a lot of wind, or any frost,” Cheryl says.

The garden draws you in, inviting you into its rooms, including two circles of lawn ringed by trees, perfect for weddings. Usually, they’re quiet spaces – places to exhale. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #144

Outback Magazine: August/September 2022