371 Musk Creek Rd. Flinders (2016)
Note: This garden was opened in 2016
Musk cottage has been a pet project of Rick Eckersley and the EGA design Team for the past 6 years. The ten-acre property was purchased in 2008 with the intent of creating a different approach to garden making in Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.
Originally Musk cottage was laid out as a trimmed English Garden. It had manicured lawns, clipped Buxus cones, Wisteria draped lattice and a Pussy Willow by the front door. Our thoughts were to pull away from that slightly twee approach to gardening and create something that was uniquely Australian.
By “Uniquely Australian” we don’t mean native, or indigenous. We’re not purists or preachers. For Eckersley Garden Architecture, it’s not just about what grew where at a particular moment in time, it’s about what grows well right now. It’s about which plants marry with which, what foliage sets off that flower and what makes you feel good in a particular spot. A multicultural melting pot is a better way to put it. At Musk Cottage we’ve created a garden that is perfectly comfortable with furrowed black trunked Iron Bark Gums lining up in a geometric grid over wave pruned Tuscany Privet; a garden that picks up the lime green bracts of the Linden Tree with a bold sweep of lime-green Lomandra underneath.
Successes and failures
As with any experimental garden, there have been successes and failures. And every true gardener is never fully satisfied with the entire garden. Construction of this non-irrigated garden began at the peak of Victoria’s drought and relied on the mulch at its base and the toughness of its plants. When drought turned to inundation a couple of years ago, there was a reckoning with some plantings in poorly drained areas that led to the creation of a wetland. Thankfully the successes have far out-weighed the failures and Musk Cottage stands as a testament to low maintenance, sustainable gardening.
We hope you enjoy the experience and appreciate the spirit of the design.