In the Beginning

Tieve Tara was originally part of an extensive property brought by W. Christian in 1854 and was known as Christian’s Orchard.

George Gratham purchased the property in 1907 and the original house was built on the present site.

In 1937 “Tieve Tara” was purchased by G Arthur Cooper and it remained in the family until 1966.

In 1983, the property was purchased by John and Dawn Wade. Shortly after, the Ash Wednesday fires that engulfed Mount Macedon, destroyed the house on the property and severely damaged the gardens.

The current owners, John and Judith Brand acquired the property in October 1995 and consider themselves blessed to be the current custodians.

Garden Development

It is believed two local landscapers’ Messers Taylor and Sangster laid out the original garden in the early 1860’s. Messers Taylor and Sangster were held in extremely high regard as they had worked for Governor Sir Henry Barkly at Governement House, Melbourne. The original garden extended to the present ligustrum hedge. Below that was a horse paddock and along the creek there was a lawn area with many deciduous trees.

Mother Nature has played a big role at Tieve Tara. In 1962 fire destroyed the original house and caused damage to the gardens.

In 1983 shortly after John and Dawn Wade purchased Tieve Tara, the Ash Wednesday fire that engulfed Mount Macedon, severely damaged the property. The house was destroyed and the gardens ravaged. While the Azalea Walk was completely destroyed and some of the large trees bordering the creek were lost, including a scarlet oak of some renown, amazingly many of the century old trees survived. These century old trees are the basis around which the garden has been rebuilt. The Wades built the existing residences and engaged in extensive landscaping of the former paddock.

Since John and Judith Brand purchased the property in October 1995 they have worked continuously to further enhance the beautiful garden.  With the assistance of landscape architect Peter McGain and head gardener David Johnston-Bailey, they have set about rejuvenating and developing the garden. The bottom lake was enriched and a top lake was added, enabling the slope to be recontoured which has created the amazing rolling lawns. New features have been established, including the rose walk and arbour, many new beds including the large perennial bed of the top lake, the fountain and bog garden area and “Treasure Island”, a fantastic children’s playground. An amazing atmosphere has now been created that ensures magical moments and breathtaking experiences for everyone.

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