Perched amongst granite rocks on the foothills of Mount Alexander in Victoria sits Mica Grange, with its stunning panoramic views across the Sutton Grange valley. Mica Grange is a 40 hectare property and the pride and joy of Mary and Bede Gibson.
Fourteen years ago, Mary and Bede had just sold their house in Sydney when they received a phone call from their daughter asking them if they would look after Mica Grange while she resettled in Melbourne. Reluctantly they agreed, but only on the basis that it would be for no longer than a year. Instead, they fell in love with the property, purchased it and set out on a project to create a studio/catering facility and a vast garden using the contours of the land.
“We wanted the garden to feature the many granite boulders surrounding the house” said Mary. “Finding soil gaps between the granite was a daunting task, as in many spots we would hit rock just a few centimetres below the surface. We just kept following the contours and expanding the gardens until they surrounded the house.”
The garden starts with a fairy garden followed by a terraced garden featuring mixed plantings of roses, perennials and ground covers, all mingling happily together beneath a majestic 200 year-old Yellow Box gum tree. Expansive lawns and trees surround the gardens. A sunlit studio which can cater for up to 50 guests sits amongst the lawns. This is used for art and craft workshops, special occasion celebrations, lunches and teas. Close by is the orchard, a large raised vegetable and herb garden and a large Protea garden featuring several huge King Whites.
“The 350 plus roses are a feature of our garden, so when some 3 years ago a friend suggested I use Neutrog’s Sudden Impact for Roses to enhance the blooms, I gave it a try” said Mary. “The result has been thrilling. I feed them in autumn and spring and achieve 3 to 4 flushes each season.”
A huge attraction at Mica Grange is their spring and autumn Open Garden Sculpture Exhibition. Some 16 sculptors exhibit new works each season, which is complemented by lots of garden art, preserves and plants.