COW DUNG HILL
We came to Burra 6 years ago after falling in love with a little cottage on a hill, and realizing that our early twenty something sons were not leaving home anytime soon, so we left them. Initially we being my husband Fred and I were weekenders. We both have a love of gardening and wanted to create a cottage style garden.
Great in theory! After removing overgrown weeds and a huge saltbush, we found paths and a layout for the garden. A previous owner had spent a lot of time constructing stone walls and terraces as we are on a hillside. We madly went ahead not realizing that we could not get a wheelbarrow easily from the bottom level to the top, or that under the soil was VERY HARD ROCK!!!!
Many weekends later after aches and pains we finally had what we thought was a garden.
We decided to enter our garden in the Open Gardens in 2013, and it was then that after many hours convincing me, we decided to call our place Cow Dung Hill. This was not our idea as when the locals asked us where we lived, they all referred to our hill above the showgrounds as Cow Dung Hill. There are various stories of why our little plot has this name. My favorite and the one I tell others is of the pastoralist Sir Sidney Kidman used to wait on our hill with his cattle after travelling from Qld, for the train to Adelaide.
After 6 years it has been a steep learning curve and still remains so, with dealing with gusting winds, frosts and digging with a crowbar we now have a garden that I can happily pot around
We have learnt many lessons.
Get to know the locals, even if this means your husband spends a lot of time at the pub, they are happy for you to take some sheep manure.
Join a garden group, invaluable knowledge and exchanging of plants and cuttings.
Salvias, iris and agapanthus are still the best plants that grow anywhere.
Learn to be patient as plants do not grow faster if you stare at them.