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A truly habitat garden

By Nicky Zanen

Shirley Carn has created a truly habitat garden.

About Shirley

Melbourne members of the Australian Plants Society knew Shirley well. She was an amazing plants woman. In the time I knew her she had developed at least 3 gardens.

The last two gardens were within cooee of each other in the beautiful volcanic soils of Monbulk, Victoria.

Shirley passed away last year and her garden is now in the safe hands of her daughter, Rose. I thought it would be interesting to have a ‘then and now’ series of photos. Rose is as judicious in pruning her plants as Shirley was, but maybe a little kinder to the plants.

Plant and garden changes over time

During her last few weeks at home Shirley was spending a lot of time in her bedroom and it was a joy for her to look out the window and see her visitors seated in the garden. This was in COVID time.

Another two photos (below) show how the garden has grown and evolved.

Multiple microclimates

The garden has grown so much that it has a lot of microclimates, which in turn protect plants from hot and cold winds.

Rose spends a lot of time in her garden, and consistently prunes as she wanders around with secateurs always on hand. A truly habitat garden.