IT was their home for 42 years.
Built on nothing but an empty Strathdale paddock , Nanga Gnulle was transformed into one of the city's most iconic wedding venues with an award-winning garden.
But sadly it is now time for owners Rob and Peg Green to say goodbye to the stunning property which has just come on the market.
“It is horrible,” said a visibly moved Peg.
“We don’t want to go, but we have to be realistic.”
“We are very sad to be moving on,” added Rob.
“But the time has come when the maintenance of the large garden is catching up with us.
“It was a terrible decision to make. But one has to face up to the fact I am no longer 37 as I was when I came here,” said Rob.
“We are getting a little longer in the tooth and the things we were able to do back then we’re not doing quite as easily.
“But we are going to miss the absolutely fantastic vibes of the place; it has just been an absolutely fabulous place to live.”
The couple first purchased the property in Harley Street in 1971 and later moved to Nanga Gnulle with their four children on Good Friday 1974.
It was a barren piece of boggy land, just short of five acres, which had been totally cleared of trees by the previous owner.
The site for the house was ankle deep in mud due to seepage from the water race and the area was completely windswept, but Rob and Peg believed that with imagination and a lot of hard work the site had great potential.
“Our youngest daughter had been to New Zealand for a heart operation and there was very little in the bank,” explained Peg.
“So we thought if we’re going to have a home we’re going to have to build it ourselves and we did.”
“It was nothing but a bare paddock with an old horse grazing in it and boggy dam down at Harley Street when we arrived,” added Rob.
“We researched mud brick building, built our bricks, and gathered reclaimed materials from all over Bendigo and made our home.”
The house itself, right down to the bricks, is full of history with every item having its own story, for example the line of bricks on the mantelpiece which date back to 1846 and were made by convicts at Variety Bay on Bruny Island.
You can still see the thumb prints left behind by their maker.
But the main attraction has got to be the stunning garden which won the major prize in the Bendigo Garden Competition in 1990 and 1992 and for several years participated in the Australian Open Garden Scheme.
Like the phoenix from the flames Nanga Gnulle, under the slogan a peaceful haven from the busy world, has risen from nothing to become a magical place to play host to hundreds of weddings, funerals, conferences and special occasions.
“We’d hope in the future that the place is nurtured and the gardens cared for. It has been our creation and it’s provided an almost spiritual aspect for a lot of people and we’d love to see that happen,” added Peg.
“The name goes back to the early days in the lives of two of our ancestors, Peg’s grandfather and my great uncle who both had blocks of land on the Badger Creek near Healsville,” explained Rob.
“One day my uncle was down diverting water to make a stream and one of the local aborigines came up and said Mr Clarke you make Nange Gnulle, and it was a reference to the little stream he was making through his veggies.
“So when we arrived here in the early 70s we noticed there was a leaking water race and there was always a stream running down through the valley so it seemed appropriate to resurrect the name.
“I would love to come back and visit the place in the future, in fact I’d love to think that whoever might buy this property might carry on with the themes we've started.
“If they did do that, I would love to come back and be a source of information about so many things a new owner is going to need to know about this property.
"But only if it is looked after , I would hate to see it slip.
“We are going to be very sad to leave but we d like to have a little bit more time to do some other things like travel and visiting friends and relatives which has been a little bit limited in the 40 odd years we've been here."
“We are going to have our last big celebration this Christmas” added Peg.
The property is now being sold through agents Tweed Sutherland First National with price on application.
Agent Matt Leonard said there was a lot of scope for a new owners to further develop and enhance the business that Rob and Peg have started.
“To see what they have achieved over the past 40 years is amazing, it is a labour of love and is an absolutely stunning property,” he said.
Do you have fond memories of Nanga Gnulle? Were you married there or did you have another special occasion in the gardens? Contact Wendy Williams on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 5434 4480.