Ashby Family and Wittunga Botanic Garden photographs [B 70984] • Photograph

The lake in Wittunga Botanic Garden

The lake in Wittunga Botanic Garden

A view from the western side of the lake in Wittunga Botanic Garden showing the island. In the far distance on the left is Wittunga house. The lake was at first a dam that supplied water for the orchard and the farm animals. After enlargement it was often referred to as The Reservoir. It has only been called a lake since Wittunga farm was donated to the State in 1965.

South African plants in flower in Wittunga Botanic Garden

South African plants in flower in Wittunga Botanic Garden

A display of South African plants in full bloom in Wittunga Botanic Garden. The garden has a wide range of both Australian and South African plants.

The entrance to Wittunga farm house

The entrance to Wittunga farm house

Sandstone pillars, each bearing the name Wittunga, mark the entrance to the house. In front of the house is a circular driveway surrounding palm trees set in a lawn.

Edwin Ashby, founder of Wittunga

Edwin Ashby, founder of Wittunga

Photograph by Thelma-Duryea, 37A Rundle Street, Adelaide.

Ashby family group at their Wittunga farm home

Ashby family group at their Wittunga farm home

Standing are from left to right, eldest son Ivan, his father Edwin Ashby, and younger son Keith. Sitting in front are Edwin's wife Esther, their daughter Alison and the matriarch of the family Lucy Coleman (nee May), mother of Esther Ashby. Lucy Coleman lived the last 20 years of her life at Wittunga. She died in February 1926 aged 94 years.

Edwin Ashby with his sons in Wittunga farm's front garden

Edwin Ashby with his sons in Wittunga farm's front garden

A view from the front door of Wittunga house showing part of the circular driveway, lawn and beginnings of the garden, as well as Edwin Ashby and his sons Ivan And Keith. The Trott family's home is seen in the background.

The beginnings of Wittunga farm garden with children Keith and Alison Ashby.

The beginnings of Wittunga farm garden with children Keith and Alison Ashby.

Keith and Alison Ashby are shown in Wittunga farm in the vegetable garden with early fruit tree plantings of the Home Orchard behind them. Beyond the plantings is the natural scrub with eucalypt trees dominating. The home orchard later comprised a wide variety of both fruit and nut trees.

Weeding a garden bed of pansies on Wittunga farm

Weeding a garden bed of pansies on Wittunga farm

Young Alison Ashby, aged about 6 years, is weeding a pansy border helped by her Aunt Meta, one of Edwin Ashby's sisters. The developing Home Orchard and Wittunga house are in the background. Margaret (Meta) Ashby had first come to South Australia in 1888 with Edwin Ashby, returning to England soon afterwards. She visited South Australia from time to time.

The beginning of Wittunga farm's formal garden

The beginning of Wittunga farm's formal garden

Young Alison Ashby and her Aunt Meta standing next to one of the metal framed arbors, with the newly planted Home Orchard and virgin scrub beyond.

The circular rose bed in Wittunga farm's front garden

The circular rose bed in Wittunga farm's front garden

Young Alison Ashby and her Aunt Meta stand beside the bed of roses surrounded by the circular driveway in front of Wittunga house. Sheoaks and eucalypt trees are in the scrub behind the new formal garden.

Cliff Street, Blackwood, looking west to Wittunga

Cliff Street, Blackwood, looking west to Wittunga

Cliff Street, Blackwood (renamed Shepherds Hill Road in 1971) winds through the virgin scrub past Wittunga front gate. Sherbourne Road goes off to the left adjacent to the gate.

The top dam on Wittunga farm

The top dam on Wittunga farm

The top dam or reservoir is about 100m west of Wittunga house. The windmill on its southern bank pumps water into the tank close by. From the tank water reticulates to the vegetable garden and the Home Orchard. The dam was filled in when Shepherds Hill Road (formerly Cliff Street ) was widened in 1971.

The Ashby family trap (surrey) in Wittunga farm house driveway

The Ashby family trap (surrey) in Wittunga farm house driveway

Esther Ashby, wife of Edwin Ashby, at the reins of horses Nimble and Jet in the family trap with young Alison in front of Wittunga home early in 1914.

Native orchids in the Wild Part of Wittunga farm

Native orchids in the Wild Part of Wittunga farm

The uncleared scrub to the south of the garden is known as the Wild Part. It is a woodland of eucalypts, sheoaks and golden wattles with a rich variety of understorey species including these colourful native orchids Glossodia major. There are many native grasses, sedges and lilies including tussocks of Lomandra species.

The Ashby family's first motor car in Wittunga farm house driveway

The Ashby family's first motor car in Wittunga farm house driveway

Ivan Ashby is in the driver's seat of the Ashby family's first motor car, a Ford. The circular rose bed is well developed with a large palm tree in the background. A sprinkler watering system is shown for gardens on both sides of the driveway. In the background is a telegraph pole.

Wittunga front gate on the corner of Cliff Street and Sherbourne Road

Wittunga front gate on the corner of Cliff Street and Sherbourne Road

Wittunga farm. Wittunga front gate stands at the corner of Cliff Street (renamed Shepherds Hill Road in 1971) and Sherbourne Road, Blackwood. The telegraph poles along Cliff Street were installed in December 1910. The Ashby family were early subscribers with their telephone number, Blackwood 9. The photographer, Edith Walker, who married Keith Ashby in 1921, first visited Wittunga in 1917.

Wittunga farm front entrance

Wittunga farm front entrance

The name 'Wittunga' stands out on the front gate. There is a wooden paling fence on either side. A few palm trees are established in the rose bed in front of the house. The gabled extension seen on the northwest corner of the house was built as Edwin Ashby's office in late 1914.

Wittunga farm house viewed from Sherbourne Road.

Wittunga farm house viewed from Sherbourne Road.

A view looking west across Sherbourne Road to Wittunga house. English ash trees, about six metres tall, are growing either side of Sherbourne Road. These ash trees remain in Sherbourne Road to this day (2007).

Wittunga farm house viewed from the south

Wittunga farm house viewed from the south

Hannah Elizabeth (Bessie) Savage (later Ashby) visiting from Sydney, standing in the formal garden on the south side of Wittunga house. The walls are covered with Virginia creeper. Many garden plants, including a clump of watsonias, are flowering. The garden bed closest to the house has a piped sprinkler system. There is no balcony on the house, an extension which was built some years later.

Orchards of young apple and pear trees on Wittunga farm

Orchards of young apple and pear trees on Wittunga farm

A view of extensive orchards on the south of the railway line. Which dissects Wittunga farm. In the foreground is the Pear Orchard and beyond are many rows of apple trees. The apple orchard is called 'Uteka', a Maori name given to the area by a family from New Zealand.

The big reservoir in Wittunga farm

The big reservoir in Wittunga farm

The view is taken looking north across the big reservoir, through a small pear orchard towards Cliff Street (later Shepherds Hill Road). Behind the pears on the left hand side is the local Pound where stray stock are impounded. Many eucalypt trees are in the background. The big reservoir is filled with run-off from Cliff Street. The water from the reservoir is used to irrigate orchard trees and fill troughs for stock.

Enlarging the main reservoir on Wittunga farm

Enlarging the main reservoir on Wittunga farm

A view of the earthworks undertaken in 1920 to enlarge the big reservoir. Keith Ashby drove horses pulling scoops (not shown) to move the soil, deepening the reservoir and building the retaining wall.

Cultivating the orchard on Wittunga farm

Cultivating the orchard on Wittunga farm

Keith Ashby steers a horse-drawn plough between apple trees in the young orchard.

Lucy Coleman on her ninetieth birthday outside Wittunga farm house

Lucy Coleman on her ninetieth birthday outside Wittunga farm house

Lucy Coleman on her ninetieth birthday seated outside her son-in-law Edwin Ashby's office window. She lived the last twenty years of her life at Wittunga, the home of her fifth and youngest child Esther Ashby. She had arrived in the colony of South Australia in 1839 on the 'Anna Robertson' when she was seven years old, the youngest of eleven children, with her parents Hannah and Joseph May. Photograph by Fulford Bros, 118 King William Street, Adelaide.

The house and front garden of Wittunga farm

The house and front garden of Wittunga farm

A view of the well-established formal front garden with a circular rose garden and palm trees. The gabled extension to the house was built in late 1914 to accommodate Edwin Ashby's office.

Four generations by the Wittunga farm front gate

Four generations by the Wittunga farm front gate

An informal photograph of four generations of women, and a little black dog, standing in front of Wittunga gate at the corner of Sherbourne Road and Cliff Street (later Shepherds Hill Road). L-R: Edith Ashby (nee Walker) wife of Keith Ashby, holding the hand of her eldest child Hazel (born July 1923), Lucy Coleman (aged 93) mother of Esther Ashby, Alison Ashby (born 1901) daughter of Edwin and Esther Ashby, and Esther Ashby.

The Wild Part of Wittunga farm

The Wild Part of Wittunga farm

A view of the section of Edwin Ashby's garden known as the Wild Part. It is deliberately uncleared scrub beyond the formal garden, one end of which is marked here by a post and flowering creeper.

Alison Ashby with a cat and pet lamb in Wittunga farm garden

Alison Ashby with a cat and pet lamb in Wittunga farm garden

Alison, daughter of Edwin and Esther Ashby, in the garden of Wittunga farm. Alison lived most of her life at Wittunga. As a child Alison vowed to paint all the Australian wildflowers. She painted specimens from the surrounding bush in watercolours and on china. Her life's work of almost 1500 water colours is housed in the Adelaide Herbarium. In the background, to the right in this photograph, is the Vine Trellis enclosed by wire netting to protect from birds the 25 named varieties of table grapes.

Overhead sprinklers watering the Maluka Beds in Wittunga farm garden

Overhead sprinklers watering the Maluka Beds in Wittunga farm garden

An overhead sprinkler system watering the Maluka Beds. Edwin Ashby built these raised beds especially for Australian plants needing good drainage. Esther, Edwin Ashby's wife, called them the Maluka Beds after the boss, Maluka, in the book 'We of the Never Never' by Mrs Aeneas Gunn. Esther said that was where the boss, Edwin, could usually be found. The water could be directed to one or other side by use of a simple lever. The three Maluka Beds run at right angles to Sherbourne Road.

Succulents on one of the Maluka Beds in the garden of Wittunga farm

Succulents on one of the Maluka Beds in the garden of Wittunga farm

In the foreground is Edwin Ashby's collection of the genus Stapelia growing in one of the Maluka Beds. Edwin Ashby became especially interested in Stapelias, succulents from South Africa. Most Stapelia flowers have a putrid scent which has earned them their common name of carrion flowers.