Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ashgrove Iris Garden

Last weekend I visited Ashgrove Iris Garden at Gumeracha in the Adelaide Hills. Ashgrove began as a 1 acre cow paddock 27 years ago and has been developed almost singlehandedly by its owner Dianne Michalk. From the road it looks like an ordinary garden with an iris patch that appears to be under water during the winter, but as you walk through the gates a stunning garden reveals itself.

Dianne, who is, coincidentally an ex-student of mine, was named ABC Australian Gardener of the Year in 2013, an award she justly deserves. I'd like to be able to say I taught her gardening, but I was her Physical Education teacher -  a subject which she admits she did not like.

Looking across the rose garden to the house.

Looking back down the drive to the rose garden.

The rose garden is mass planted with David Austin varieties and has a central fountain with gardens encircling the fountain. Entrance is through rose covered arches.


Irises and roses look beautiful together. Below is a shot of the iris garden containing hundreds of irises.

                           Another lovely fountain with the house in the background.

My favourite part is the woodland garden.

This area is shaded by large mature trees under planted  with shade loving perennials, ferns and shrubs. You just can't resist following the winding path.

One of the self sown aquilegias.

"Just Joey" a favourite rose.

Some of the iris varieties

Dianne has plans to extend her garden with several projects in mind. We can only hope that there will be some way to continue the Open Gardens Scheme so we can revisit this delightful garden.

Liz Needle


  1. My Grandmother loved Iris, so many colours she would have loved this garden, and that Aquilegia! Very pretty but a bit weird as well.

  2. how neat that she is an ex-student of yours! quite gifted and devoted she is. (i never liked phy. ed. either.) :)