Situated at Mt Macedon, Victoria, is an 11 hectare (26 acre) garden belonging to Paula and Lindsay Fox. Hascombe is an historic property, dating from about 1870, which Don visited recently to discover the magic of its spectacular mountain plantings.
Hascombe was first settled in the 1870s and has had five owners during its lifetime. Most of them have been plant people. The mass planting carried out in the 1930s forms the backbone of the present garden. The Fox family has owned Hascombe since 1989.
The garden features many rare cool climate trees, shrubs and perennial plants. Those featured on the segment included:
Annuals and perennials
- Welsh poppies (Meconopsis cambrica).
- Russell lupins (Lupinus Russell hybrids).
- Foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea hybrids).
- Trachystemon orientalis – a leafy plant in the forget-me-not family. This plant is not available commercially. It was planted with the giant rhubarb (Rheum palmatum).
- Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) – a cool climate shrub with icing-sugar pink flowers.
Best climate – Mountain laurel
- Beauty bush (Kolkwitzia amabilis).
- Weeping wych elm (Ulmus glabra ‘Pendula’) – planted 100 years ago as a 3m (10′) high grafted specimen.
- Himalayan fir (Abies pindrow) – one of only two mature specimens in Australia (the other is in Canberra).
- Cappadocian maple (Acer cappadocicum) – also known as the Coliseum or Caucasian maple.
The Hascombe garden is situated at Alton Road, Mount Macedon, Victoria. It is open to the public on the first Friday of every month from 10am-4pm. Hascombe is also open on Melbourne Cup Day for Australia’s Open Garden Scheme (November 2-3) from 10am-4.30pm. Admission is $4. For more information about this and other gardens to visit, phone Australia’s Open Garden Scheme Information Service on 1900 155 064.
Russell lupins are being affected by the fungal disease anthracnose. The origin has been traced to infected seeds imported from Europe in 1996 and the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) are presently banning the import of all lupins. Symptoms of anthracnose includes bending of stems, lesions and death of leaves and stems above these lesions. All ornamental lupins are being treated as possible anthracnose carriers and spread of this disease could destroy commercial lupin crops. If you suspect you have this disease or for more information about anthracnose contact the regulatory officer at your local Department of Agriculture.
Flower heads come in all shapes and sizes. Some are round balls of flowers that can create the most spectacular effects in your garden, providing contrasting colour, height and shape against other plants.
Some examples of plants with interesting heads of flowers include:
Leeks and alliums: Leeks (Allium porrum) have a large flower head made up of masses of white flowers. Held on tall stalks they tower above other flowering plants. A relative, the giant allium (Allium giganteum), has enormous deep purple flower heads that are striking against its grey-green leaves in mid-summer.
Angelica: Giant angelica (Angelica gigas) grows to 1.8m (6′) tall with a reddish-purple flower ball and stem which leads to the rich green foliage below.
Orach (Atriplex hortensis var. rubra): This annual can grow to 2.4m (8′) and has yellow-green flower heads and spinach-like leaves.
Leeks are available from most nurseries from $3.45 for a punnet.
Giant angelica may be a little harder to find but is worth searching for. It may be available at the nurseries listed below. Cost: $8 per 15cm (6″) pot.
Orach will be hard to find as it is not grown commercially in Australia. Try Florilegia Nursery (address below) who may have seeds.
326 Mt Macedon Road (opposite the General Store)
Mt Macedon VIC 3441
Phone: (03) 5426 4144
Dicksonia Rare Plants
341 Mt Macedon Road
Mt Macedon VIC 3441
Phone: (03) 5426 3075