Jan Mckelvey

Jan Mc Kelvey

Mr and Mrs McKelvey, 163 Taylor Street, Armidale

This small town garden has a long history. It’s possible that the twisted willow and the ironbark which shelter the back of the property are as old as the 1928 house. Remnants of two enormous silver birches which died in the drought now support a feral Wedding Day rose and a feeding station at the front. A venerable grass-tree provides a model for the grasses on the north side of the house.

The previous owner, Anne McKern, came here from a large country garden in 1997, and used her skills to create cottage beds full of old favourites and, especially, perfume. She left a wonderful legacy of blossom trees, bulbs, autumn colour and shrubbery. Much of this permanent vegetation has loved the past wet months and now tends to jostle with its neighbours. A relaxed philosophy of “just one more treasure …” continues today.

At present this is a garden of compromises. Changing climate, an increasing fondness for whatever grows well and a tendency to take things more easily mean that it is less in control but more enjoyable to inhabit. I hope you enjoy it too.

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