We developed a love of gardening from landscaping previous homes and, excited by the idea of developing a much larger garden in retirement, purchased a 3 acre property in the year 2000. A few obstacles like a very rocky block, a lack of water and the odd drought trimmed our grand plan, nevertheless we’ve developed just over an acre of garden and derived enormous pleasure watching mother nature paint our canvas. We’ve seen family and friends enjoy the seasons in our garden and they’ve encouraged us to share it more widely. Fortunately our daughter is a beautiful graphic designer and has made this possible. We hope you enjoy sharing our journey.
Rob and Danice Duffield – that’s us. Rob grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, and developed his keen interest in building while working as a builder’s labourer during his uni holidays. I, on the other hand, am a country girl and grew up on a fruit and citrus property near Mildura. Working with my parents I learnt about gardening on the job. We’ve both developed a love of gardens and classical architecture, so really enjoy roaming through other peoples’ gardens. However throughout the development of Tour Rouge, although we regularly call on each other for help and advice, Rob’s been the builder and I’ve been the gardener.
We designed our house and then engaged a builder to complete the build. Every construction since then we’ve completed ourselves. The pump house, our first project, confirmed that we could build footings, lay bricks and render walls, build roof trusses and tile a roof. Since then we’ve built and sand-stoned two terraces, numerous retaining walls, a columned arbour, an archway and sunken garden, a courtyard, a loggia with kitchen, open fire, wood fired pizza oven and finally a two storey round tower with belfry. Each structure has provided an opportunity to imitate some enchanting feature we’ve seen on our travels.
We love Italy and France for their history and culture. The architecture of their houses, churches, castles and palaces reflects the way people lived in much earlier times and when this is blended with a garden it becomes enchanting. Small architectural elements can catch the eye and complete a composition, so as we’ve travelled we’ve collected many of them photographically. We’ve seen each new construction in Tour Rouge as an opportunity to include some of these elements.
Tour Rouge will be open to the public for the first time on the weekend of November 11-12 through Open Gardens Canberra.
The garden will be open from 10am to 4pm each day and entry is free for Open Gardens Canberra members, $8 non-members, children under 18 free if with an adult.
The garden will also be open in support of The Cancer Support Group who will be providing morning and afternoon tea.
Tour Rouge is located at 21 Meadows Lane, Carwoola NSW.
View the Tour Rouge cover story feature in the Canberra Weekly.
Download the Tour Rouge Brochure & Garden Map