The Past (1980)
Since the early 1900's several families had purchased this property but one family (John and Joy Hosking) in particular also purchased neighbouring land increasing the total land size to approximately 1.5 acres. They then landscaped the combined property in the 1980s with a variety of exotic trees and plants, many of which were imported and rare. They opened their garden in its early days to gardening groups but unsure about to the general public.
John and Joy Hosking
The house was built at the turn of the 20th century and today is remnant of a bygone era. At the time of its first occupancy, tree-logging and milling in Balook was at its peak and about one-hundred other buildings existed in the town. Today the tree-logging, milling and all but a few of the buildings have long since gone leaving only remnants of their existence as places of interest. This property and three others were purchased by the Country Roads Board (CRB) in the 1960's to house their employees who replaced tracks with bitumen roads as the Tarra Bulga National Park increasingly became a popular tourist destination.
Since then, John and Joy Hosking have both passed on and today the garden is now in the present. And so a new chapter begins continuing their vision and labour.
Over time, descendants of John and Joy Hosking have visited Tarradise Gardens and have left with the knowledge that it is being brought back to life with a continuation and celebration in the memory of their grandparents and of their own time spent here with their grandparents.
The Present (2005)
We were attracted to this area in 2005 through family (Jim and Sue Delaney), specifically to Tarra Bulga National Park. Hikes through this park included Balook, where we sighted Tarradise Gardens for sale. We were destined to take this opportunity to rescue both the house and garden as renovators delights and make them our home, sanction, and a place to develop and share. Much of the flowering plants where the property remained unfenced, have disappeared, died or been eaten over the following years leaving only the established trees and mainly Rhododendrons, Conifers, Spruces, Maples and Hydrangeas, and pathways covered by lawn.
Richard and Jane Florey
From this canvas, we have added much structure in the way of new paths, arbours, steps, garden beds, and covered areas creating an enjoyable and tranquil garden keeping in theme of its bygone era. Since reopening Tarradise Gardens in 2012, we have paid homage to the origin of Tarradise Gardens created by John and Joy Hosking and continue to develop the gardens to enhance its orignal exotic theme. In addition, the gardens have enjoyed over 700 visitors, many from gardening groups and visitors at the open garden days from many destinations.
Take the opportunity to read our story 'A Little Piece of Tarradise' published in Gippsland Country Life Magazine. Then head over to The Gardens page on the menu to read about our climate, trees and plants, and images of the gardens today.