Then we kept going to the “Red Garden” – with the Westringa Balls

At the back once you get past the native garden and the Wisteria Colonnade – you will find the “Red Garden” – this marks the boundary of Uccello Lane – with a row of Claret Ash, some grasses, Red Hot pokers and the red Fire Bush plant! The westringa balls with their grey foliage provide a great contrast – with the tall gums signaling that we are at the fence line.

Orchard & Fruit trees

We planted an “orchard” next to Il Pergolato Di Rosa with mainly apples and pears. It has been slow growing in size but every year there are cherries, apples and plums – and some great blossoms. Crab apples were a favorite of Edna Wallings and Paul Bangay has them in his white garden at Stonefields – he calls them “2 week wonders” but for those two weeks they are amazing to look at.

The queen of the fruit trees is the amazing Cherry Blossom near “The Bank” – it just takes your breath away – with amazing bark and twisted trunk.

Early days

We moved into Uccello Lane in 2012 – it was a mudbrick house on a lane that led to the Yarra River – with a garden that was very natural and overgrown but all the hard landscaping and rock work had been done.

Every room had floor length windows so you really felt like you were at one with the outside.

For the winter there was a conservatory to sit in and catch the winter sun.
It had been a good winter so the flowing lawns looked lush – just as well since our first summer here was long and dry.

The first thing we noticed were the birds – they were every where so that is why we decided to name this wonderful landscape Uccello Lane – Italian for Bird.


Birch Forest

“Walling’s style was demonstrated with her magical method of placing silver birch trees in subtle harmony with one another, she took five potatoes from a bucket, threw them all in the same general direction and said “There!” It was no more haphazard than nature’s way.”

The Birch trees are now in their 7th year – they are not quite a forest yet but soon. The Pear Tree is more than 40 years old and is covered in moss and mold but produces pears each year to feed the birds and possums.

In winter when all you can see is the pale bark of the Birches we underplant with daffodils, iris and hellebore.


So we found an area at Uccello Lane that seemed perfect for the silver birch “forest.  Firstly the area had to be cleared and the soil prepared. Trav’s Trees came and removed undergrowth and weed “trees”. Adam and his men from Three Colors Green prepared the soil and then Heather Allen decided on the plantings – sort of Edna Walling style!

Trees – Ghost Gum

Eucalyptus, commonly known as gum trees, form an integral part of the Australian identity with the bush. The Ghost Gum “Corymbia aparrerinja” is especially majestic and there are about 10 at Uccello Lane all many metres high

From the children’s song Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree through to the distinctive smell of eucalyptus to iconic paintings and photographs, eucalyptus are an essential part of Australian culture, featuring in art, music and literature.

Trees – ‘Louis Van Houtte’ Elm

There are over 100 trees at Uccello Lane – magnificent Ghosts Gums, wattles, banksia, olives, fruit, birch  – with the Ulmus procera ‘Louis Van Houtte’ Elm being the King of the Hill!.

As you drive up to the Secret Garden it is standing there with the almost citrus green foliage and this year after it’s Elm Tree Beetle injection it has grown an extra metre or two!

It has taken ages for the tree to get ready for autumn and it is only now with winter here that the leaves have turned and are getting ready to drop

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Trees – Wattle – Glorious Color (even Pink)

Wattles belong to the genus Acacia, in the Mimosa family. Uccello Lane has many wattles but the favorite is the Pink Blaze.

There are over 600 different species distributed throughout Australia with shapes varying from low, spreading shrubs to large, upright trees. Most are early spring and summer-flowering, there are wattles that bloom all year round – and provide a welcome burst of color when everything else is just sitting waiting for the warmer weather.