Bernard Abadie, our resident gardener and passionate horticulturist, began his
life's journey in the old silk-weaving textile quarter of Lyon, France.
As a young adult, he led a colourful, itinerant life, before eventually setting
his sights on New Caledonia as a possible place to hang his beret. Soon realising
the island was prohibitively small, however, Bernard elected to make the world's
largest island his home.
So, hot on the heels of Taltarni's other great French import, Loïc Le Calvez, Bernard found
himself at Taltarni for vintage. More than seven years later, Moonambel and Taltarni
have very much become "home".
Shortly after arriving, and with the help of a seasoned local botanist, Bernard
quickly discovered Australian natives (those of the flora variety - Sanne, his wife,
isn't Australian!) and Taltarni, in turn, soon discovered Bernard's green thumb.
According to Bernard, "A garden without a gardener isn't a garden." Suffice to say,
this "gardener" turned what was once a mix of overgrown native and exotic plants
into what is now Taltarni's stunning natural "garden". Gradually removing non-indigenous
plants and making other improvements, Bernard's goal was always to showcase Australia's
distinctly wonderful wild flora.
Having stumbled across a handwritten letter from our owner to the previous gardener
regarding which native plants to purchase from whom (a famous Grampians-based botanist)
and where to plant them, Bernard not only carried out these wishes, he also reproduced
local plants, including rare and endangered ones specifically indigenous to the
Taltarni property. As such, Taltarni showcases its own unique flora, unseen anywhere
else on the planet.
Acutely attuned to the natural environment, Bernard has learned much about plant
adaptability first hand: particular Western Australian plants, for example, prosper
in the Pyrenees despite their very different natural environment.
So, as long as
Bernard can protect the flora from the native fauna, our perennial garden is simply
a magical place to visit all year round.