Peg's Garden Profile Peg Chartres, Christmas Lane, Lobethal, SA, Australia
Collage Our Garden
A collage photo of Our Garden.

Peg's Garden Profile

In November 2016 Peg was asked to do her profile for the Australian Garden Enthusiasts (AGE) Facebook Page.
This page is a copy of her presentation.

As a newer member of this wonderful group, I have been honoured to asked to write my profile.


My earliest memories of my life are of gardens.
I grew up on our family apple orchard at Cudlee Creek in the Adelaide Hills. This farm had been in my father’s family since the area was first settled, in the mid 1850’s. Both my grandparents, and parents were keen gardeners, and I learnt a lot from them. My grandfather, taught me many things in the orchard.


When Bill and I got married in 1967, we moved into our new home, on a ¾ of an acre very steep block at Cudlee Creek. We had started our garden while our house was being built. I can remember picking a large bunch of gladiolas when we come home from our honeymoon. In 1983 we lost our business (Fruit packing shed and coldstore), and much of the garden, but saved our home from the Ash Wednesday bush fire (February, 1983) .

After we realized that we would not be able to rebuild our business, Bill accepted a job in the Adelaide wholesale produce Market, working with tropical fruit (a bit of a change from apple and pears), and we bought our 1 ½ acre property at Lobethal and built our new home. With 4 school age sons, I struggled working full time away from home, and so Bill suggested that I grow flowers (Trading as Valley Flowers) for the cut flower market. This worked very well, because I was home when the boys needed me, and I loved gardening. Bill sold the flowers in the market. My main crops were dahlias, chrysanthemums, gypsophlia , plus smaller crops of asters and statice. I also did flower arrangements for weddings and gifts.

Lobethal, a small country township in the Adelaide hills of German heritage, has been putting on a light display for over 60 years.
When we moved there, we started to participate and designed our garden to suit lights. Thousands of people visit our garden every Christmas, and this is a wonderful time for us. In 2010 we decided to subdivide our property (Bill had to retire early after having 5 spinal fusions due to a work injury). We kept our home with ½ an acre of land, and I terraced the sloping area around the house with moss rocks, and concentrated on a smaller garden, which hopefully we can manage to look after. The council named our road for the subdivision Christmas Lane, because of our light display.

Christmas Lane now has three blocks on it, with a long driveway entering into it. There is a large area that is designated as a shared garden for all the blocks, and I designed and made the stone walls for this area. At the moment I look after this area too.

Although we have been on this property for over 30yrs, most of the front garden is less than 5yrs old, due to the subdivision. It has been exciting planning and buying new plants. I planted a lot of rosemary’s and lavenders to fill in spaces, because they were easy to strike, but I am slowly replacing them with different plants. This is one off the many reasons why I am enjoying AGE, because of the many different ideas I see from all of your posts.

After visiting many tropical growers, we tried to create a rainforest area in one corner of our garden, which is difficult in our climate. When we started this area, we used all rainforest plants which was not always successful, and so now use plants that will give us the same effect. This is a very relaxing part of our garden. Our water supply is only mains water, and as we live in the driest state of the driest continent, we are very conscience of what we water. Have had a couple of bill shocks, but do try and keep our two lots of lawn green because we do live in a bushfire area. I have always been the gardener. Since Bill has retired he likes to help out when he is able, and he grows some veg. We also have a few fruit trees. I still like to grow flowers because I just love the colours in the garden, but I am slowly changing to shrubs and trees, to make work a bit easier as we get older.

Peg Chartres
November 2016


Cudlee Creek House
Our house, Gorge Road Cudlee Creek, SA, Australia.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 1975)

Our Cudlee Creek garden
Part of our front garden, Cudlee Creek.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 1977)

Packing Shed Ash Wednesday
Our Cudlee Creek Packing Shed after the Ash Wednesday Fires.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 1983)


Valley Flowers
General view of Valley Flowers
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 1995)

Valley Flowers
General view of Valley Flowers,
(Chrysanthemums -background- and Dahlias -foreground-). (Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 1995)

Flowers ready for market
Flowers ready for market.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 1995)


Dried Flowers Arrangement
Dried Flowers Arrangement.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 1994)

Floral Display, Centennial Hall, Lobethal.
Floral Display, Centennial Hall, Lobethal.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 1994)

Floral Fruit Basket
Floral Fruit Basket.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 1990)



Photo -Front garden 2000
Front garden 2000.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2000)


The start of our
The start of our "Rainforest".
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2003)

Front garden 1992
Front garden 1992.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 1992)


Soil saved during subdivision
Soil saved during subdivision.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2010)

Front garden at completion of subdivision
Front garden at completion of subdivision.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2011)


Peg building Rock Walls

Peg building Rock Walls.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2013)

Photo -Work on the front garden starts
Work on the front garden starts, at this stage the rock walls have not been completed along the front bank.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2010)

Shared garden drivway 2014
Shared garden driveway 2014.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2014)

Front Garden 2011
Front garden before the rock walls and terracing, this section of lawn was levelled and rock walls built.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2010)


Peg building rock walls in our back garden
Peg building rock walls in our back garden 2009.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2009)


Photo -Lilly Pilly in our back garden
Lilly Pilly in our back garden.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2013)

Back Garden 2013
Our back garden 2013.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2013)


Photo -Front garden 2016
Our front garden 2016.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2016)

Our front garden 2016
Our front garden 2016.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2016)

Our front garden 2016
Our front garden 2016
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2016)


Our front garden 2016
Our front garden 2016.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2016)


Photo -rainforest 2016
Our "Rainforest" 2016.
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2016)

Our front garden during our Christmas Lights Display 2016
Our front garden during our Christmas Lights Display 2016
(Photo Peg & Bill Chartres' collection - Circa 2016)



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we would love to hear from you.

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Best Wishes, Bill & Peg


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Last updated 18th November 2017 4:30PM
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