Clover Cottage and gardens, at 54-60 Manuka Road Berwick. The significant elements of the place are:
. The collection of Camellia species and varieties, many of which were bred, grown and or planted by Frederick Tuckfield c. 1955-1973.
. The garden design, planting, layout and materials, designed by John Stevens c.1955, incorporating earlier plantings and residential garden immediate to the dwelling
. The specimen of Quercus macrocarpa Bur Oak at the rear of the modern restaurant building
. The red-brick glasshouse and remnant paving and timber camellia shelter remains c. 1955-1960
. The timber residence c.1900 with later additions, to the extent of its location on the lot, the form of the building and roof.
. The boundary plantings of Cypress and Pine
The following structures and elements are not significant: all modern shelters, pergolas, carports, garages, rotundas, the 1980s restaurant, paving, garden beds and stone walls at the front of the modern restaurant, front entrance gates, carparking areas, the fountains imported from France and England c. 1980s (with the exception of the c.1802 hand-carved convict sandstone fountain imported from Tasmania), c.1850 gates and fence at the front of the restaurant.
How is it Significant?
Clover Cottage and gardens are of local historical and aesthetic significance to the City of Casey.
Why is it Significant?
Historically, the timber residence c.1900 and the early mature specimens of exotic trees (now part of the c1955 garden, are significant as fabric which represents the late nineteenth century development of small self sufficient farms on the Suburban areas immediate to township settlements such as Berwick. Although the timber cottage itself is altered, and the trees from this period have been incorporated into a later design, the cottage's form and materials, and its location and setting clearly denote it as a Victorian farmhouse. Its location on a large (if reduced from the original 21 acres) lot, and placement, set well back from Manuka Road, on a rise above Cardinia Creek clearly distinguish it from other similar building types from the same period in the township of Berwick. (Criterion A)
Of further historical significance is the remaining John Stevens' garden design, as a rare surviving example of this prominent landscape architect's early residential work, which survives with a high degree of integrity. There are no other known examples of a designed residential landscape from the mid twentieth century within the municipality. Other examples of designed landscapes are generally public, or much earlier Victorian designs (although few are associated with a proven designer), or have been substantially altered through subdivision or simplification, such as 'Edrington', 'Hillsley', 'Eyre Court' and 'Tulliallan'. The only other comparable example from this period is the home gardener designed cactus collection and exotic garden at Hallam Park, which is a modest residential garden. (Criterion A, B and G)
The garden is of aesthetic significance as a design which creates a sense of overall enclosure, with a series of enclosed spaces within, represented by intimate walks and spaces, garden rooms and large shrubberies which separate broad swathes of open lawn. The design, which incorporated existing mature trees, creates a sense of anticipation through its use of the shrubberies and serpentine lines to create contrasts between light and dark spaces, provide contrasts in texture and create filtered landscape views. (Criterion E)
The mature exotic garden commissioned by Frederick Tuckfield sand designed by John Stevens' is of historical (associative) significance for its direct and strong association with both Stevens as evidenced through:
. the integrity of Stevens' surviving garden design (including layout, materials, planting) specifically designed as a display garden for Tuckfields's substantial Camellia collection;
. the high percentage of Camellia species, varieties and forms which survive throughout the garden, many of which were bred, grown or developed by Frederick Tuckfield;
The direct association with both Stevens and Tuckfield is evident both in the physical fabric set out above, as well as through documentary and oral sources, including verbal recordings of John Stevens, local and stat newspaper articles relating to the community and scientific use of the place and the Camellia collection and records of the plants developed by Tuckfield held by the Camellia Society of Victoria. The now mature layer of mid twentieth century planting, in particular the Camellia collection, along with the remnant Camellia shelter, the brick glasshouse and paving enriches and historical and associative significance of the place to Frederick Tuckfield as it clearly demonstrates the passion and interest of Tuckfield in collection, breeding and creating new Camellia varieties, and furthering the genus. (Criterion A and H)
The Camellia collection itself, in its setting is of scientific significance as a rare and unusually large collection of the genus, particularly in a residential setting. In addition, the mature Bur Oak Quercus macrocarpa is of scientific (botanical) significance as a particularly outstanding specimen of its species. (Criterion F)