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Bannockburn Garden Club

Members travelled by bus for our July meeting to the Rippon Lea Mansion and gardens.   The mansion was built in Elsternwick in 1868 on 28 acres, and at that time a working farm only 7 K’s from Melbourne CBD, with 7 maids, a butler, 7 gardeners, a coachman and a groom.

Originally it had 15 rooms; it currently has 33 rooms on 14 acres.  The owner, Frederick Sargood, who made his fortune selling soft goods on the goldfields, was visionary and very practical, resulting in an elaborate underground watering system, its own electricity supply and indoor toilets.

We were also able to view the stables, fernery, large vegetable and orchard containing dozens of heritage pear and apple trees, the swimming pool area, plus the large lake and surrounding gardens, with a high viewing area looking back over the house and surrounds, all maintained beautifully by volunteers.

For those Phryne Fisher of Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries devotees, much filming was done at this mansion, and the highlight of our visit was an exhibition taking us back to the night fashions worn by the well dressed in the 20’s and 30’s.  It comprised of over 50 gowns and capes, as well as accessories, finely embellished with beading, feathers etc, many made in Victoria.

After enjoying our lunch in the gardens, we travelled to Paps Vertical Gardens Display and Plant Centre in South Caulfield, where an horticulturist explained their method of installing garden pots planted with ornamental or culinary plants onto a vertical frame to cover an indoor or outdoor fence or wall to create a beautiful display.

Our next meeting will take place 1.30pm on August 29th at 42 Mercer Street, Portarlington, car pooling from Lions Park 12.30pm.   ALL WELCOME

For further information please contact Lyn on 0437 957 595.