Ballarat Gardens in Spring open on November 11 and 12

Andrea and Mark Weigall’s English cottage-inspired garden Amlee has been a labour of love and landscaping for more than 22 years. 

Starting with only “a house in a paddock”, Mrs Weigall said the garden on 20-acre wasn’t expensive to create.

“We’ve done everything ourselves, the cherry laurel hedge and hydrangeas were just from cuttings,” she said.

“I always think you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a good garden, particularly if you’re willing to take pieces from other people.

“That said, we’re really lucky because of the bore on the property, over Summer we can keep everything going.”

The garden will open as part of the Ballarat Gardens in Spring program, which is showcasing six different gardens on November 11-12. 

Amlee hosts a diverse range native and non-native trees, including an expansive Ash tree and Manna Gums populated by koalas. 

Flowering plants and two bountiful vegetable patches keep the couple busy, spending at least four hours per week in the garden each. 

Mrs Weigall said the DIY nature of their garden stemmed from their fields of study, as she has a degree in agricultural science, while her husband studied natural resource management.

“I guess it fitted in with what we like doing, because we like being outdoors and active,” she said. 

“We built the tennis court ourselves. We originally got people to come out and give a quote and it was $22,000.

“My husband said, ‘you’ve got to be kidding’, so we decided we’d do it and it became a multi-year project.

“It’s a very practical garden, and when it comes to the veggies and raspberry bushes, we just want enough produce for ourselves.”

Ballarat Gardens in Spring’s Wendy Taylor said the event, now in its 10th year, is a great opportunity to get inspired. 

“You might see a certain plant you like, or appreciate how another gardener has approached something, and get some little hints for your garden,” she said. 

“The event is quite social, and something you can’t do normally.”

Find out more information at