Pattemore House joins Gardening on the Edge

1930: family standing under the Fairview sign contains both Val and Alma, both mentioned in the article

1930: family standing under the Fairview sign contains both Val and Alma, both mentioned in the article

Val Carbery remembers her visits vividly to the house in north Maleny that her mother grew up in. Alma Pattemore was nine when she was sent to “Fairview” (Pattemore House) to help look after her ailing grandmother, Emily Pattemore, a common practice in 1916.

Eventually, Alma married Maleny dairyman George Guille and they began setting up their own home and family. No doubt memories of the beautiful house and garden inspired them, as the Pattemores were known for their fragrant, flower-filled garden.

“The garden was important – not just for the cut flowers they brought inside to dress the table daily, and making into wedding bouquets, but it was a place of beauty they spent time in with the family,” recalls Val.

Now listed on the Queensland State Heritage Register, you can imagine how excited the Friends of Pattemore House (of which Val is Patron) were when the Maleny Garden Club invited them to be one of their six display gardens at this year’s Gardening on the Edge.

Built in 1907 and called “Fairview” by the family, once the pit-sawn farmhouse was completed they set about planting the all-important vegetable as well as busy flower gardens, growing corn in the fenced paddock nearby to feed their pigs.

The Pattemores left after JR Pattemore’s death in 1948 and since then, other families owned the farmhouse and developed the gardens to suit their own requirements.

The last family to live there prior to being purchased by the Caloundra City Council in 1995 were the Armstrongs, with Daisy Armstrong a keen gardener and involved in the Maleny Garden Club.

Today, the Friends have a lease over the house and garden, and work in partnership with the owners, Sunshine Coast Council. President of the group Gail Denver said, “Many years of patient research into the property’s earliest photograph, and interviewing family members enabled us to work closely with a team of expert heritage consultants and Council in the drawing up of garden restoration plans.

“These will play a significant role in how the garden will be revived in the coming years. Visitors at this year’s event will be able to see those plans on display – and see the very start of our interpretation of the different eras in the garden’s development through the years” she explained.

The Maleny Garden Club has played a vital role throughout the planning stages, attending meetings and providing advice, not to mention hands-on volunteering. “We can’t wait to get our hands dirty together!” said Gail with a grin.

This year there will be three gardens open in Flaxton and three in the Maleny and surrounding Hinterland at Gardening on the Edge, June 10 and 11. Reserve the date. Find out more: