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The lovely gardens.
The lovely gardens.
The magnificent pond.
Ben joins the happy couple for lunch.

Lunch on the pond

Thursday, November 23, 2000
If you're a lover of early Australian political history, and strolling through beautiful gardens, this is the perfect day out for you.

In the 1880s Sir Edward Stirling created St Vigean’s Gardens in the Adelaide Hills. Stirling was an important figure in South Australian history in politics, exploration, surgery and botany. He was also critical in giving the vote to Australian women.

Judith Quigley is the third owner of his gardens and is passionate about their history, as well as the wonderful plants growing there. She takes people on walks through the two-hectare gardens, telling stories about the property and giving information about significant plants.

There are 200 rhododendrons of 19 varieties which blossom in October. The plants, native to Nepal, are between four and six metres tall with delicate pink petals which give a wonderful display.

Among the most beautiful plants in the garden are the wisterias, as old as the rhododendrons, climbing 30m up their host tree.

The rose gardens have more than 200 bushes of deliciously coloured blooms and many azaleas rival their hues. Two patches of lily of the valley provide a wonderful heady fragrance.

More than 50 years old, camellia trees with glossy green leaves and beautiful blooms grace the gardens and walkways, with fountains adding to the ambience.

There are many secret paths and the fairy garden is covered by a canopy of English oak and California redwoods.

The pond has colourful water lilies and a little blue boat.

Apart from having a deep knowledge of her garden, Judith is a mean hand in the kitchen. She cooked for the corporate sector for many years and attended the famous cooking school at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. So be prepared for a special treat after a gentle stroll through this beautiful place.

Lunch is served on the deck of a 1956 timber cottage. Judith uses fresh local produce, including cheese, lamb, veal and vegetables, great salads and special desserts. A ploughman’s lunch of soup, poultry, cheese, crusty bread, tea and coffee is also available.


Stirling, 15 minutes from the centre of Adelaide.

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