Gardening at The Shambles

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Welcome to "The Shambles"

a private garden at Montville

in Queensland

Proud to be part of

'Open gardens Australia'

registered collections of

ornamental salvias  & heritage roses

Garden Plant Conservation Association of Australia

click on our blog link at





Apologies for tear streaked cover photograph. Not indicative of the real product.

"A Year in my (Gulag) Garden" available 2014, by Kyleigh and Chris Donlen. This book anwsers all sorts of gardening questions without the serious 'hoo haa'. We were all thinking it but this light hearted book comes out and says it. ISBN 978-0-9804304-3-

Book Launch  8th February 2014, welcomed many garden visitors. Only a handful of books left available after the day.

Kyleigh with roses

Rose 'Professeur Graniviat'

'Ally's Rose' (multiflora cultivar)

Gatehouse in the background "The Shambles"

The climate of the coastal ranges in South East Queensland , such as the Blackall Range, favours a large range of temperate climate and subtropical plants. In our book "Over the Fence and Overlooked, Traditional Plants in Queensland's Garden Heritage" we inventory and describe many of these.

Our 1/2 DVD "A Garden in the Rain, 'The Shambles' at Montville", illustrates many wonderful garden plants and travels through the scenic borrowed landscape of the Blackall Ranges with dramatic coastal and rural views

Grandbaby Leo and Kyleigh in the garden

We are also developing Leo's garden in Brisbane. We have spent the last 4 years redeveloping the gardens at the Montville Village Hall and the Montville Uniting Church

Yellow Buddleja 'Wattlebird' at               "The Shambles"

Abutilon x hybridum Double Pink, grown with double pink old fashioned roses.

Camellia sasanqua Edna Butler. East

border garden

North Rose garden, "The Shambles"

Our House imagined as it was from 1912 and certainly up to the 1930s as a Pineapple and citrus farm












































































'Buff Beauty' and 'Zepherine Drouhin'

Relaxing in "The Plough Inn" , Ben, Grace, John, Mum holding grandbaby Leo

Our beautiful garden is set in Montville which is located on the scenic Blackall Range in the Sunshine Coast hinterland ,in South East Queensland, Australia. "The Shambles" is a delightful ornamental country garden and has a large inventory of plants. The garden has a rambling design with large trees, meandering pathways and many interesting garden spaces. It is a collectors garden, not an exhibition garden and has inspired four books and our 1/2 hour DVD.

.This garden around our century old farm house has been described and photographed during research for our 2010 book

"Australian Gardens Making History, The Vital Role of Making and Keeping Garden Inventories" for official launch with Australian Garden History Society, Noosa Botanical gardens 17/4/2011

which joins our others books including, "The Shambles, the story of a Montville Garden" 2007&

"Over the fence and Overlooked, Traditional Plants in Queensland's Garden Heritage" 2009

and  our 1/2 hr Garden DVD (Hd DVD) ,"A Garden in the Rain, 'The Shambles' at Montville" Both these limited edition and rare publications can be obtained by contacting us. through our e-mail address below, or by printing and posting the order form in this website.

Also at Le Jardin, Garden Centre, Flaxton

Rosetta Bookshop, Maple St. Maleny

Springfields Garden Centre, Wacol, contact Noel Burdette


Tea rose "Comptesse de Labarthe" syn. "Montville Rose" and also "Duchesse de Brabant" at "The Shambles"                                                                

Rosa 'Beauty of Glenhurst' at "The Shambles"

Rustic fountain or coral and shell at "The Shambles"

Brunfelsia latifolia and our 'wishing well' overhung by Michelia champaca.

Lichen, barbed wire and old fence post, product of a moist elevated environment with pure air.

Iochroma cyaneum, near South Rose Garden


































































































Our recent gardening book. 2012 explores the

experience of opening a garden and visiting

some special places. This is a grown ups picture

book but has plenty for the serious gardener

and garden historian with chapters on hosting

an open garden, preparation for opening a garden

the roadside as a garden, garden history, beautiful

homestead gardens,  visiting gardens in a group and

more. Sold out. Sorry!

Grandbaby Leo helping at our Open garden,


Kyleigh at her favourite thing to do (which is mowing of course)


"The Shambles" is small in area but with lots of

interesting paths and secret places, a place which is

very popular with children and with our dog "Cooper"


Our garden has featured in the recent publications "Earth Dreams

Magic" published to illustrate the diversity of interests of people

in the Blackall Range region.

Also  in issue 19 of Subtropical Gardening Magazine

EVENTS at 'The Shambles'

Open Garden September 2000

1st Prize, "Gardens in the Sun" Home Garden over 1000m'


Book Launch "The Shambles, the Story of a Montville Garden"


Book Launch "Over the Fence and Overlooked, Heritage Plants

in Australian Gardening Heritage"  2009

Christmas Party, Australian Gardening History Society 2009

The Open garden here 9th and 10th June 2010 for the Maleny

"Arts and Gardens" festival had 1200 visitors

Enjoyed the visit of the International Tropical Foliage

and Garden club, 26/6/2010

5th October 2010: National Tour by large group from

Heritage Roses in Australia enjoyed lunch and our garden

Roses especially in great display , on a lovely fine day.

9th and 10th October 2010: Open Days for Australian

Open Garden Scheme. Fantastic plants for sale by

Hunchy Community Association, and a large number of

rare Heritage Roses displayed beautifully by Kate Stock.

Book launch "Australian Gardens Making History"

Noosa Botanical Gardens , with Australian Garden

History Society 17th April 2011

Australian Open Garden Scheme. saturday and sunday

17th and 18th september 2011. Beautiful fine weather

over 400 visitors enjoyed a beautiful spring display

Conference speakers at the Australian Garden History

National Conference , Maryborough , 19th August 2011.

Visit: Cross Country tours, 30 folk 24/1/2012

Open Gardens Australia : Easter saturday, sunday, monday

2012, Beautiful weather and about 1050 paying visitors plus

100 or so children. A highly successful event.

Bus touring groups on the Saturday 12 May  20 from

Bellflower Garden Club, Sunday , 13th May 40 from

Toowoomba . Beautiful fine weather. Plenty flowers

38 visitors from Victoria Point, 24/5/2012

20 Visitors from Hervey Bay , 15/8/2012

About 100 guests at Garden party, Book Launch and

grand re-opening of the "Plough Inn". 22/9/2012. A

very enjoyable event and the book "An Open Garden",


Talk to Roselovers Group at Brisbane 1/12/2012

Bus trip, about 30 visitors from Glasshouse Mtns.

Talk to Maleny Garden Club at Witta School 28/5/13

Visit by Vintage car Club, Blackall range Horseless

Carriage club, 23/6/13

Townsville Garden Club, 40 visitors for lunch and a garden

tour July 2013.

Garden visit and morning tea, 31 Red Hat ladies 19/8/13

Visits to Kyogle, Grafton and Tenterfield with Heritage

Roses in Australia Oct 2013

Annual Conference Australian Garden History Society

Armidale Oct 2013.

Book Launch "A Year in my Gulag/ Garden" 8/2/14

Very well attended, garden in great condition and

fine weather on the day. About 100 visitors.

"Easter in the garden" Giant Plant stall Easter 2014

about 700 visitors, lovely fine weather , garden in full

display. Very successful fundraiser for the "Hunchy

Community Association" and the "Blackall Range

Horseless carriage Club"

Bus trip with 46 memebes of Green Park garden Club

28th April 2014.





























































































































































































































































































    Kyleigh & Michael Simpson - The Shambles
     07 5442 9542 (Evenings) 0458 429 524