The Gardens of Anlaby - a utopian dream
Anlaby Station is the oldest sheep stud in South Australia (SA) dating back to 1839. The gardens have been noted as significant exemplars, Beames & Whitehill (1992), Swinbourne (1982), and in Pastoral Homes of Australia (1911) published by The Pastoral Review, wherein Anlaby was described as "being of no particular beauty architecturally. But the gardens are unique." The Anlaby property is on the SA State Heritage Register and the Anlaby Gardens are listed in the Oxford Companion to Australian
... nion to Australian Gardens (2002). The beginnings of Anlaby in 1839 are integral to the colonial expansion of the interior of South Australia. Anlaby at this time was a completely self-contained community within a sheep station containing a survival garden, much like a selfcontained English manor-village. The process of land sales offered by the SA government enabled Anlaby to expand, wherein wealth flowed and gradually the survival garden style at Anlaby was transformed into an extensive decorative garden style. This enabled the garden to act as a backdrop for major South Australian society and public gatherings. The driving force behind the garden during its height was the fashionable plant trends in the United Kingdom. This is evidenced by the inclusion of an extensive stove house, grotto, roses and the Gardenesque style of plantings. Traditional English head gardeners were also employed to manage the garden. The realisation of the beauty of native plants was never allowed in the inner world of this landscape; it always remained on the perimeter. The owner's vision of the garden was Utopian, however, due to climatic forces, the dream was not fully realised. The challenge now lies in preserving this Utopian dream for future generations. This paper considers the historical evolution of the property, its context as a historical exemplar and the challenges facing its future conservation having regard to Adelaide peri-urban, climate change, and differing owner economic circumstances.