Gardens in the most unlikely of places

Everywhere I go I crave to see gardens…of any sort: vegetable, ornamental, succulent, shrubby, overhanging foliage and tendril-like branches. Roses or indigenous billowing spreads. My favourite gardens are usually sprawling, a little ethereal, wispy and I tend to favour repetition above highly eclectic mixes. Regardless of my preferences I associate gardens with gentleness…or with connectedness with the natural world. I feel more relaxed in places where gardens have been established especially when I find them in the most unlikely of places.

The Salvage Yard in Castlemaine is one such place.

With so many earth moving machines, large sheets of metal, shipping containers and a range of textured building materials throughout the site it is so surprising to see newly established garden beds in the mix.

Anna Winneke, part owner of the Salvage Yard, is a passionate landscape gardener, with a great deal of experience establishing new gardens. She and her partner Matt spent years planting fruit trees and large ornamental trees at their previous property in Fryerstown. Now Anna has used those skills and the wonderful earth moving resources at hand to establish large garden beds, raised above the level of roads and pathways that criss-cross the industrial yard. The raised mounds provide protection as the plants are easy to see: their lofty height celebrate and acknowledge the important ecosystem services the trees, groundcovers and shrubs will provide: shade, cooling, beautification, habitat, and when the tree canopies have fully matured: reduce wind speeds across the site and in some cases will trap airborne particulates.

The gardens photographed in this post are only babies for now. The irrigation and mulch provided will ensure their maturity.

Anna kindly and generously shared her vision with me, walking through the site to point out new spacious areas where gardens would be established. Her excitement and ambition for beautifying the site and endowing it with a genuine personality, character and individual identity had me in a frenzy of excitement. The Salvage Yard would also in the near future host a hardware store that was not a Bunnings. This too was music to my ears, as it is local landscapes, culture and identity that put towns on maps and more importantly connect, empower and enrich local communities, not franchises.

Anna and Matt have so much stunning, richly textured, woody, colourful, recyclable, rusty, boisterous, intelligent floral local character to share with their local.

It is this confident individuality interconnected with local/global ideas that yield gardens in the most unlikely of places.

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Anna Winneke on site at the Salvage Yard in Castlemaine.

The periphery of the salvage yard has been landscaped and planted with native trees and shrubs.

The periphery of the salvage yard has been landscaped and planted with native trees and shrubs.

Silver details.

Silver details.

Beautiful form and colour makes this a striking plant in the revegetated areas.

Beautiful form and colour makes this a striking plant in the revegetated areas.

Salvaged beams and salvaged land.

Salvaged beams and salvaged land.

Shrub detail.

Shrub detail.

Shrub detail.

Shrub detail.

Gardens in unexpected places (1 of 13)

Salvage Yard and a newly established raised garden bed in the foreground.

Gardens in unexpected places (2 of 13)

Trees, shrubs and groundcovers in a circular raised garden bed.

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The groundcovers and shrubs look healthy and have grown considerably.

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Thick ropes delineate edges and provide a further visual cue to the garden mounds.

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Close to the Salvage Yard office, potted succulents add colour and texture.

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Odd salvaged pieces make excellent succulent beds.

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Beautiful salvaged materials.

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Salvage Yard necessities: lifting and moving machinery.

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More tools of the trade.

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Landscape detail: a new garden bed will be established adjoining these stunning salvaged posts.