I first learned of William Martin and his iconoclastic garden, Wigandia, several years ago when he spoke at the Vista lectures in London (I listened to all the Vista podcasts). Shortly after, he discovered my garden through my blog, and an intermittent dialogue and friendship began. Wigandia has been widely publicized in books and magazines, and has been chosen as the best Australian garden twice. But it is not an easy place to get to, situated as it is on the side of an ancient volcanic cone, Mount Noorat, about three hours drive east of Melbourne. When Phil and I planned a trip to Australia and New Zealand in February of this year, a visit to meet William Martin and see Wigandia was at the top of my list.
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.