Jennifer Clancy, Mt. Macedon

2022:  41 Childers Rd. Mt. Macedon

Open Date
19 & 20 Nov. 2022
Garden Entry

Hither Green is a magnificent garden at the foot of the southern slopes of Mt Macedon.  The original house and garden were destroyed in the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires.  Some of the original plantings survived, like the majestic Cedar, Cedrus deodara. The elegant new residence, designed by architects Simon & Freda Thornton, was built in 1984 and most of the garden dates from this period.

Hither Green is a grand English style garden with deep serpentine beds of lush flowering shrubs and perennials framing a generous green lawn with established deciduous and coniferous trees.  The elevated position of the house takes full advantage of the inviting garden views which include formal elements of fountain and clipped box and privet hedging and a superb pair of flowering cherries flanking the main steps to the garden.  Informal elements of gently curved low stone walling and slate paving, level changes with stone stepping leading to the pool garden, and curved timber decking and pathway to a detached cottage, provide wonderful character to the garden.

In 2006 the owners began renovating the garden by rejuvenating tired beds, removing overgrown and in decline plant material, installing retaining walls and planting new hedges and updating the garden services area with new bore and rainwater tanks, full irrigation system, and garden shed.

In 2014 the owners began the next stage of garden development with the reshaping of the main lawn area in order to bring better balance to the planting/lawn ratio; reducing lawn areas receiving too much shade; planting evergreen shrubs for increased privacy to Childers Road to the north; adding deciduous trees for seasonal interest against the backdrop of a large bulk of evergreen and coniferous planting.  The new trees include stands of Maple, Acer truncatum x A. platanoides ‘Taggerty Sunset, and Acer rubrum ‘October Glory’, and Crabapples.

Foliage interest and flowering season were extended with shrubs and perennials for spring and autumn display, including Viburnums, Philadelphus, Spirea, Camellias, Cercis, Magnolia stellata and Rhododendrons.  Perennials included Euphorbia, Bergenia, Artemisia, Bearded Irises, Phlomis, Perovskia, Lupins and Penstemons, and in the shadier areas Anemone x hybrida, Hellebores, Digitalis, Aquilegia and Brunnera.

Hard landscaping at this time included the construction of the beautiful low stone retaining wall and basalt paving which makes design links to the verandah paving. Plans were developed for the inclusion of a pavilion at the southern end of the pool and updating of pool paving, as yet not begun. In recent times two very large Eucalypts in the main garden lost large limbs and required removal, again opening up opportunities for the ongoing changing face of the garden at Hither Green.