DESPITE the unforgiving heat of recent weeks, Christine Gascoyne’s garden is still thriving and blooming behind the blue gates that conceal the large battle-axe block from the street.
“It’s been a tough summer, and certainly not everything in the garden is looking its best,” she said.
“Watering is a constant job this time of year and I do it all by hand, so it means I can’t go away in the summer. And a couple of the plants are simply scorched from the heat, or dropping leaves to survive.
“But I’m still happy for people to come and have a look – after all, everyone is in the same position.”
Christine’s lush, shady Gowrie garden will be open to the public on the weekend of March 1 and 2 as part of Open Gardens Australia.
Everything in the garden has been done by Christine herself – the landscaping, building the parterre, some steps and several retaining walls, as well as all the heavy lifting, drilling and digging, and all the planting and propagating. Plants will be for sale at the event, all of which come from the garden.
Brick paths wind around the 1200sqm garden, with new things to discover around every corner – art, sculptures, Pierre de Ronsard roses, dahlias, flowering camellias in pots, a little pond, and countless shrubs, trees and perennials. There’s even a tiny gnome which moves around the garden, thanks to visiting grandchildren.
Christine says her favourite spot to sit is the pretty table under the rose arbour, which gets streams of winter sun and provides the perfect place for her morning coffee.
Christine has opened her garden several times under the scheme, although she says she took last year off.
“I kept getting asked why it wasn’t open!” she says.
“The lovely thing is, people are prepared to come back here again and again.
“When people come here, they always walk around two or three times. And when they bring their kids, I find they don’t want to leave.”
Christine’s garden at 48 Weathers Street, Gowrie, will be open Saturday, March 1, and Sunday, March 2, 10am-4.30pm. Adults $7, children under 18 are free. Funds raised will go to Open Gardens Australia. More information at opengarden.org.au
Photos by Gary Schafer