Bernard's Backyard



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.

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