Our gardens are the result of time, time combined with the efforts & the care & consideration of a succession of families over many years. Gardens like this you just can't buy, they have to be evolved.
The property was first settled more than 100 years ago originally as a mixed farming property with grazing, dairy, pigs & chickens.
Since then it's gone through a few transitions, more recently it was a plant nursery, then a mock period village, but now it is a wonderful home to our family & a place to relax for our guests.
There's a mix of mature & new plantings throughout the gardens. We're adding & making adjustments to try improve the overall balance & interest, also to cater to our wild bird population year round.
More than 90 Roses of all styles & colours are spread throughout the gardens, & they bloom prolifically over extended periods, but these are just the beginning.
There are also Day Lilies in early winter, Iris Beds that burst into colour in Spring, native gardens, shrubs, trees that flower & fruit, bulbs by the thousands, water features here & there, large lush lawns, a lots of little secluded places, a lovely paved courtyard & a shade house full of plants. We're slowly creating a vegie garden & putting in more fruit trees & vines.
Water for the garden comes from our own spring, and we are able to maintain a green and vibrant garden all year round. In summer the garden becomes a green oasis set in dry a brown land, attracting hundreds of small birds to the property, Including Honey Eaters, Fly Catchers, Tree Creepers, Robins, Finches, Swallows, & Parrots.
The garden has been carefully design so that different seasons compliment different plants & so each season has its own particular attraction.
No mater what the season the garden is always a welcoming place, with a sheltered or shaded nook somewhere in the garden for visitors to enjoy a relaxing sojourn.
We know you will enjoy your time in our garden, there's something for everyone.
The bird life in our garden is quite remarkable, being in such an undeveloped area & having large ranges of open fields mixed with woodlands, wetlands & coastal reaches it's exciting just how many & how wide a variety of birds we have in & around our garden.
The seasons change & the resident & visiting bird life correspondingly.
In the summer our garden becomes a green oasis in a dry brown landscape, our water features remain when the seasonal wetlands around us dry out, the lawns are green & lush while the surrounding fields turn dry & brown, the trees & shrubs flourish & the flowers continue to bloom, when all else in the wider area seems dormant. Consequently our gardens attract a very large number & variety of birds into a relatively small area.
One little pond in the bottom corner of our garden is a veritable hive of activity during summer. The birds come there for a drink, to bathe, & seemingly just to mingle.
We sit there often & just watch the comings & goings, we see dozens of different birds coming there for refreshment.
The smaller birds bring with them the larger predatory birds, so we also see a lot of Kites, Hawks & Eagles around the place too.
Autumn sees the surrounding area becoming green again, & the birds are not so dependent on our garden, they move on, some migrate. But quite a lot stay, and we get some new visitors too, such as the Robins, Rosellas, & Galahs.
Winter gets wetter & so the area's seasonal wetlands fill up & we start to see more wetland birds coming here, such as Ibis, Shellducks and Swans.
As the seasons turn, the bird occupants revolve again, early spring sees the Goldfinch coming back singing their lovely songs all day & evening. Then we see all the familiar Finches, Honeyeaters, Flycatchers & Treecreepers increasing in number.
Summer comes on strong, & the surrounding land becomes progressively dryer & dryer & the birds start to congregate again in our gardens & we're back where we started, with a mass of bird life.
If the bees disappeared off the surface of the globe then mankind would only have four years of life left. No bees, no pollination, no fruit, no seed or plants, no animals, no man . Albert Einstein
The humble bee plays a vital role in natures intricate plan. And not least of all in our garden, you'll find several beehives around our garden, but don't be alarmed, bees won't hurt you, they're not even interested in you, unless you threaten their hive.
You might notice our hives look a little bit different from the classic image of a beehive, that's because we use a hive design called 'Top Bar Hive' (TBH), it's a simple design which incorporates aspects of design more in keeping with the natural hiving habitat that bees use, and the earliest known hives used by man.
Honey flows year round on our property, but there are natural peaks and troughs associated with the seasons.
Bees are pretty cute guys actually: they work hard and generally mind their own business. Some of our hives have observation windows, and you can see what's going on inside, which is fascinating, we find it very relaxing just sitting near the hive and watching them come and go.
So, please don't be alarmed when you see a bee in our garden, you never know, if you had our honey carrots with diner last night, this bee quite probably contributed to your meal. so instead of being frightened, just let the little guy get on with his job, because that's all he really want's to do.
Bees fly about 80,000 klm's to produce half a kilo of honey, that's about 1.5 times around the world. All our bees came from swarms, we find them and put them in a hive.
If you don't like Frogs look away now!
We have four kinds of Frogs on the property, that we know of;
Growling Grass Frog(top two 2 on right)
Southern Smooth Froglet
Southern Brown Tree Frog
Eastern Common Froglet
Frogs are a good indication of a regions ecological soundness, we love our Frogs and they assure us we are doing the right thing (by nature) on our property.
We have a lot of water features around the garden, keep the sorts of plants we know these frogs like to have around, and use almost no chemicals on our garden.
You wont see Frogs unless you go looking for them, and even then you might not find them, but you will hear them singing, during the day & at night, especially when the first rains come.
They spawn in all the ponds and water features around the property.
Late in summer the little bottom pond gets rather noisy, even in the day time, as the frogs call for each other.
While cutting the lawns Geoff has to be very watchful as he often comes across a Grass Frog making it's way across the lawn.
We are not talking Elvis here, we're talking about The Southern Cross (top left) & The Milky Way (middle top), you know, those sort of stars, in the sky.
The nearest street light to Codrington Gardens is about 7 klm away, and that's a single street light over a bus stop. The nearest town is 27 klm away, and we can sometimes see just a faint glow over the horizon in that direction, & so light pollution is virtually non existent here, & the stars are about as bright as they can be.
When the sky is clear & if there's no moon the sky seems to envelope you, it's so full of stars it's amazing to see & it all seems to be so close.
The Milky Way runs right across the whole sky from horizon to horizon.
The large & small Magellanic Clouds are clearly visible beside the Milky Way, the only time you get a chance to see a sky like this is at a place such as this, where light pollution is so minimal.
One family that stayed with us, mum, dad and two kids, sat outside the train one night, each of them looking at a different quarter of the sky. As they sat and chatted they told me they saw more than 17 shooting stars in about 2 hours.
There are shooting stars every single night, it's just a matter of looking in the right direction at the right time, or doing as our visitors did and manning a concerted effort to spot them.
It's things like this that can make your stay at Codrington Gardens a special event in the memories of the whole family. Quality time together, doing simple and satisfying things, different things from everyday life in a City.
It's a pace change, time to relax and reflect.