It’s been a mammoth effort to bring this central Maitland garden back to life.
And that’s not an understatement.
When Clint Marquet bought the Regent Street property, called The Regents Park, two years ago the garden had been neglected for at least a decade.
Plants were overgrown, or had died, the pool had been deprived of sunlight and there was piles of rubbish and tree branches growing in long grass.
He started the massive challenge without a green thumb and has proved that perseverance – and some help from two gardeners – can help you conquer the plant world.
“All of us have this great sense of satisfaction that we’ve brought it back to its former glory,” he said.
“A lot of the garden had been in shade for many years so the hedging had died off and things that hadn’t been pruned had gone all woody.
“The swimming pool looked like it hadn’t seen sunlight for 10 years and the canopy in the garden was about 20 foot high in parts.
“The acreage took us three months to clear it. That had 30 years of garden debris in long grass, we had old hoses, hose reels, wire, trees that had been chopped down and thrown into piles.
“We’ve been working towards this for two years.”
In the past two months 70 cubic metres of mulch, several tonnes of rock, river sand and new plants have been delivered to complete the look.
Mr Marquet used a large lotus pond in the middle of the garden to depict Monet’s garden in Giverny. He added a Japanese bridge and some hand-carved stone lanterns.
Sharing the garden with the region through Maitland Black and White Committee’s Maitland Garden Ramble, which raises funds for Vision Australia, is the perfect celebration.
Mr Marquet’s grandmother was legally blind for more than 50 years of her life and received support from Vision Australia, so he was keen to support the fundraiser.
Organisers have called his garden the jewel of the ramble.
“What really makes the garden is it’s diversity,” he said.
“At the top end of the pool and the terrace it’s a very tropical garden with 10 to 15 metre bamboo and banana trees … and then it moves into a very French style of garden … It’s very formal and structured with blocks of colour and roses around the perimeter.
“Then that leads into a beautiful abour which is covered in a wisteria, which again is quite formal.”
“At the rear of the garden, again it’s very formal, it’s very English style. It has a rill, which is a water channel feature. It’s 50m long and full of water lilies,” he said.
The garden also features a citrus orchid with mandarins, oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, rosemary and artichokes.
Tickets to the event, which runs on Saturday and Sunday, are $35 for adults and $25 for concessions.
Visit www.maitlandbandw.com to book.