Thursday, August 4, 2011

Things You Discover Walking – Nellie’s Garden

General view of Mitcham Railway Station
Just around the corner from home is my local train station. Mitcham railway station is one of a number of stops on the Belair line. The station opened in March 1883, and over the years has played a major role in the South Australian rail system.
Modern commuter train speeding through Mitcham station

Mural painted on side of station building

For example: the "Melbourne Express" (now The Overland) used to stop at Mitcham; and the station once operated as a parcel shipping depot. During World War I, the station served as a pick-up and drop-off point for troops stationed at the Mitcham Military Camp, and finally, the railway enabled huge quantities of stone to be moved from nearby Mitcham quarries, including much of that needed for the construction of the Outer Harbour breakwater in the early 1900s.

But that’s not what this blog post is about.

This post is about Nellie’s Garden.
Detailed view of station building and mural

Alongside the heritage buildings that compose the Mitcham railway station is a delightful area of well maintained landscaped garden, known as Nellie's Garden.
General view of station building and murals

The garden is named in honour of Nellie Iris Ellis (1920-1983) who established the garden during the 1950s and 1960s. Mrs Ellis was the wife of Bob Ellis, a former stationmaster.

General view of Nellie’s Garden

General view of Nellie’s Garden

The Garden features huge old trees, many large camellias and other shrubs as well as some native species. Nellie died in 1983 and her ashes were buried here. At the northern end of the garden a plaque commemorates her association with the garden which is maintained by a volunteer group supported by the City of Mitcham.
Plaque commemorating the life and legacy of Nellie Iris Ellis

Autumn colours in Nellie’s Garden

Old station outhouse or ‘dunny’ as we like to call them in Australia.

Another in my occasional series of Things You Discover Walking posts. You never know what you will discover in your local neighborhood or town when you get out of your car or subway line and take to the streets - walking. Try it yourself one day. You may be surprised at what you find just around the corner.


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