Ashcombe Maze has a vision: To create a sustainable garden of great value for future generations.
Natural springs feed two dams/lakes on the property. Water is pumped by windmill from the lake to holding ponds at the top of the property. The natural landscape of the property fills the stream and fountains as the water makes its journey back to the lake at the bottom of the hill. This water is then re-circulated and used over and over. Native plant species are prioritized where possible as natives use less water.
“Plants grow best in conditions that suit them. In a public garden this is even more important.” Tony Baker, Head Gardener
Many of the trees/plants on the property are drought resistant and receive no watering other than from rainfall. The Cypress used in the hedge maze is drought tolerant and since its establishment in the 1970s has received no water other than rainfall. Roses and Lavender are drought tolerant and hardier perennials are chosen over annuals that require more watering. Plants that require similar growing conditions are grouped together and mulch is used extensively for water retention and weed suppression. In the café, rainwater from the café roof is stored in two large underground tanks.
Ashcombe Maze has plenty of Koala–friendly varieties of native Australian gum trees to sustain the local population who regularly visit. Chemical use is kept at a minimum to reduce the potential negative impact on the water table. The policy benefits the soil’s microorganisms and protects the indigenous population of Pobblebonk & Growling Grass frogs while encouraging benefits the “good” bugs such as ladybirds (who eat the sap sucking insects that damage the plants) and bees.
“The frog population is at its most vocal in the spring – leading to request for the CD of ‘frog-songs’ playing in the gardens. Visitors are amazed to learn that they are real frogs singing.” Tahlia – gift shop staff
Environmental Awareness for visitors
Using the Gnome & Fairy Hunt as a motivator, parents are often surprised at the amount of time, energy and fun their children have exploring the gardens at Ashcombe Maze. As there is no set route or trail, visitors are free to explore. The 100+ signs scattered throughout the gardens emphasize this sense of discovery while educating visitors about the property, its plant, flowers & trees and its native wildlife.
“Funny things, gardens, I think they like to be discovered, not shown off.” Edna Walling; Famous Gardener