A home among the gum trees

Nothing says ''Australian outback'' quite like an outhouse. Pictures: STEWART CHAMBERS. 184323

Complete with its own outhouse, rustic feature pieces and iconic golden soil, William Noble’s front garden is a sight to behold.

In what has been a ten-year project, William has brought the Australian outback to Cranbourne North.

“I’ve always like (the Australiana) style. And what we wanted to do was take an outback farmstead and just plonk it out the front,” William said.

“When we first started the garden we had a whole range of natives but over the years I’ve worked out what will survive and what won’t. The grevilleas seem to want to thrive in the soil I’ve got.”

Along with a host of colour-studded grevilleas, the Nobles’ garden also features an elegant silver princess gum and popping yellow flowering gum, which, as William explained, have both invited a number of locals into the garden.

“The biggest thrill that we’ve got now is after the first garden bed went in a breeding pair of wattle birds moved in and they go nuts through here all the time,” he said.

“We’ve also got bees galore – the bees are in the silver princes and they are getting seriously drunk before they get up and fly away.”

To top off his outback theme, William has built a (non-functional) outhouse and has even given his corrugated iron a rustic look. Throughout the garden also exists B grade and A grade sleepers that give the yard its iconic Australian look – and of course, the Australian flag flies proudly above the garden.

“Everybody loves the garden and the neighbours didn’t mind,” William admitted.

“And I’ve really enjoyed doing this … I don’t know why more people just don’t do it (redesign their gardens). You don’t have to do it in a hurry and you don’t have to do it all in one go. You can take your time and enjoy it.”

William’s three tips for creating an Australiana themed garden

1. To give corrugated iron a ‘rustic look,’ put copper in hydrochloric acid and let it melt down. Then, paint the melted copper on the iron gently and let it sit before hosing it off. It can take half an hour to an hour on a cold day, but if it’s a hot day, paint it on and wash it straight off.

2. Expect to spend money and lose plants and be prepared to spend months of trial and error when it comes to which plants will survive.

3. Be prepared to take your time – you’ve got to give the plants time to grow. Don’t fill in every nook and cranny, either. Be patient and give plants time to shape themselves.

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