Ramblings of a "New American" Gardener

First Contact: Meeting William Martin

February 8, 2014

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On Thursday, Phillip and I rented a car and headed out from Melbourne to meet William Martin and see his garden–Wigandia–in Noorat, Australia. Before we got to Noorat, we lunched with William in Camperdown and a conversation (or several) ensued–photographed by Phillip. That plant behind us is the eponymous Wigandia caracasana. (William,  correct me if I’m in error.)

For me, this visit was an experience of legend.

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(Well, William has a better version of this shot!)

A post on Wigandia, the garden, will follow after our travels are over.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

michael B. Gordon February 8, 2014 at 7:48 am

You look like old gardening buddies! If I scroll down the page quickly, I can almost hear you two talking. Well done, Phillip.

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James Golden February 16, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Michael,

It wasn’t just pleasant. It was exciting and a lot of fun to finally meet Billy. And though he says Wigandia probably has not been more stressed than now by drought and heat, it was beautiful. An eye-opening experience I’ll not soon forget.
James

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Faisal Grant February 8, 2014 at 7:56 am

How very good, after all this time, the connection’s been made real. Obviously, there’s alot you have to say to one another. There will be many more conversations between you I hope.

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James Golden February 16, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Faisal,
Our personalities are very different, and manifested very differently in the world, but deep down I feel a similarity of spirit.
James

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Tony Adams February 8, 2014 at 8:26 am

That giant verbascum looks like a candelabra. It would fit into Federal Twist.

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James Golden February 16, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Tony,
You’re so right. It looks exactly like the wild verbascum so that pop up in my garden.
James

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Little Big Bushwhacker February 8, 2014 at 9:01 am

Cripes! This was shot in a garden i designed for the local municipal authority (Corangamite Shire) just 20 months ago. It is a garden for the staff and i am not sure if they actually use it! BUT James and I had a fine chat on my Conical Frustum based seat..the slab of timber is Californian Cypress!
Of all the people I have wanted to chat to for years the day did not pan out as planned..we arrived at my blot on the landscape as they should have been leaving! They were spared my legendary (some say otherwise) 5-6 hour tours………… lucky chaps!
I am looking forward to the wee article i arranged (an action packed visit!) for fun and posterity in the local newspaper ”Camperdown Chronicle” next week i think! Last time we met in ink was the ”New York Times” ..my how we travel! Tally Ho!

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James Golden February 16, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Billy,
The sun was so blazing and almost directly overhead. My pics are really bad. I hope to rescue some.
The Drover’s Dog

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James Golden February 16, 2014 at 5:43 pm

To clarify, I refer only to the pics of the Corangamite shire garden. Wigandia photos are turning out quite well.

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Little Big Bushwhacker February 8, 2014 at 9:34 am
Cindy at enclos*ure February 8, 2014 at 10:18 am

Nice bench and overlapping rebar barrier!

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James Golden February 16, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Cindy,
Yes, Billy does interesting work with rusted rebar and gabions. I’ve been trying to use rusted construction fencing in my garden, and I have new ideas.
James

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Rob (OurFrenchGarden) February 8, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Brilliant.

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James Golden February 16, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Thanks, Rob.

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Diana Studer February 8, 2014 at 4:50 pm

thanks to Phillip, this is almost like meeting face to face.

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Judy February 8, 2014 at 5:37 pm

You look very happy!!

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James Golden February 16, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Thanks, Judy. I was.

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Anne Wareham February 8, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Yep, there’s our Billy, holding forth! Happy times….

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James Golden February 16, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Anne,
Had you been there we’d have had a lively discussion.
James

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Anne Wareham February 18, 2014 at 9:51 am

I imagine! Shame I was stuck over here…

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Desert Dweller / David C. February 9, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Thanks for sharing some garden nerd conversation scenes (English mixed with botanical Latin?), as I ponder what was said. The warm weather looks nice, too…

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James Golden February 16, 2014 at 5:41 pm

David,
This is a garden I believe you would love.
James

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Lynda Harris February 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm

It looks like an animated conversation between like-minded gardeners! Love the giant verbascum. Looking forward to seeing the next post.

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James Golden February 16, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Thanks, Lynda. Yes, quite animated. Breathless because time was so short.
James

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Silly Billy March 7, 2014 at 3:49 am

I hope you have both recovered from you journey to the Antipodes!

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Denise March 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm

We need a caption contest for this post. Looking forward to reading more of your adventures, James!

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