Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lavandula, Hepburn Springs

I went to Lavandula, a Lavender farm and garden in Hepburn Springs the Friday before last. It had rained heavily all morning so the sky was grey and the ground was damp and the light wasn't the best for photos. After a month of heavy rain the gardens were very lush and green. The old buildings date back to the 1860s when it was a dairy farm set up by a Swiss-Italian migrant, the property was more-or-less abandoned and then bought by Carol White about twenty years ago. It has a lavender farm (as you would expect) around the property, as well as vegetable gardens, fruit trees, geese, even a donkey. The new owner aimed to create a farm and gardens inspired by Italian, or Swiss Italian, farms. It definitely has an Italian feel to it with grape vines and lines of pointy trees. 

Some of the old buildings almost completely covered in grape vines.

Simple slate paving forms a path through the green grass.

Freshly pruned lavender, the farm had both these 'balls' of lavender, that you often see in photos of French and Italian lavender farms, as well as less controlled plants.

Trees in a row.

View back across one of the lavender beds toward the old milking shed (now the shop). All the plantings were laid out in a visually interesting way, often bordered by other plants. You can see here how they have created visual variety by pruning the central lavender plants but leaving the ones around the edges to grow in a more wild manner.

View across the field towards the gentle rolling hills. These low hills are typical of the Hepburn/ Daylesford area, so many farms are set in these shallow valleys.

The dam, or pond, or lake, not sure what they called it. A range of European trees and eucalypts, a very 'Victorian' view.

Lavender! The whole garden was infused with the smell of lavender, not quite overpowering but very present.

The 'wild' lavender sea.

A green quince, this got me excited about the arrival of quince season.

I guess some kind of old dairy farm thing being used as a tub for waterlilies, very effective.

I can never remember the name of these flowers, I have asked about 100 times and i never retain it. Anyway here they are after the petals have fallen off. Suggestive and sculptural!

More views of the plantings, I like all the different heights from the tall pines, to the medium height fruit trees to the low growing lavender.

Fields and fields of lavender.

The vegie patch.

A very large zucchini.

Blackberries. They were tasty. I hope they didn't mind me eating a few.

More fruit trees, and non fruit trees and an old cart.

I liked all the vines growing over the various frameworks and the closely planted trees, it gave the area around the old house and dairy a lovely intimate feeling.

Another field of lavender, you get the idea.

Lavender drying under the verandah of the old farmhouse.

The verandah on the old house.

Jewel spider, isn't it magnificent? Look at it's spikes!

 The donkey.


  1. I've heard about this Lavender farm often. What a fantastic looking place, enhanced by your brilliant photos.

    There is a Swiss/Italian festival in the area each year I believe. My paternal grandmother was of Ticino stock. I knew nothing of it until I started some internet researching.

    Australia doesn't always have brilliant blue sunlit skies. It is good to see photos lit by grey skies.

  2. I agree, I seem to ahve a good(?) track record of visiting gardens when the sun isn't out, it used to worry me but then I realised that gardens and landscapes have beauty and interest in all weather.

    The shop at Lavandula has quite a lot of info on Swiss Italian migrants, apparently they were strongly encouraged to migrate, especially to this area.

  3. Extraordinary eye for detail there Katya. Makes me want to visit there. I didn't even notice the grey skies, I'm no photography expert but the composition looks great.


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