Rural restoration a labour of love

By Morgan Dyer

Years of painstaking restoration will be unveiled next month, bringing more than a century of rural history back to life.

Yackatoon Gardens features a circa 1900 homestead and 6.4ha of spectacular sprawling English-style country gardens complete with scenic lake, towering hedges, a 50m-long wisteria tunnel and a bountiful vegetable garden.

It has taken owner Carmel Arena 10 years to breathe life back into the abandoned property, and her labour of love officially goes on show from Saturday, October 19.

Just 10 minutes' drive from Mooroopna, the property is a subtle blend of the rustic with all the advantages of the 21st century. For example, the disused dairy has been retro-fitted as Yackatoon’s team rooms, providing a shady retreat for visitors.

Visitors will have the opportunity to stroll through the 16 acre property.

Ms Arena said she particularly wanted to welcome fellow garden enthusiasts to share in her hard work once she throws the gates open every weekend from October 19 to Sunday, December 15.

“I am delighted what began as a vision long ago, has finally become a reality I can share with other garden lovers.

“The formal gardens are bordered by towering leylandii hedges and, in the springtime, showcase an outstanding display of colour in the massive rose beds surrounded by flowering annuals,” she said.   

Ms Arena hopes many of the people who see her accomplishments will be inspired to turn their hand to their own gardens — and to kick-start that dream she has also created a nursery so that people can buy their own piece of Yackatoon to take home.

Opening weekend is free (RSVP essential). From then entry is $10 per person.

For more information visit Yackatoon Garden's website.