Spring brings bevy of open gardens

Bronwyn Blake... “People’s gardens are where they live, socialise, nurture family, entertain; it’s a beautiful thing.” Photo by Gary Schafer

Bronwyn Blake… “People’s gardens are where they live, socialise, nurture family, entertain; it’s a beautiful thing.” Photo by Gary Schafer

WITH spring in the air, it’s time to get back into the garden… yours or one of Bronwyn Blake’s.

Bronwyn is the NSW ACT regional liaison officer for Open Gardens Australia and it’s from this time of the year that proud householders  across the region open their gardens to the public.

“Gardening is about learning, it’s good for the soul, and it keeps you very grounded and in touch with the weather, the soil and the seasons,” she says.

“You’re connected to it all in a way that’s so satisfying.”

This year grand estates, highly designed spaces and small boutique courtyards will be opening alongside productive veggie patches, rare species, natives and family friendly spaces.

“The lovely thing is, gardens are all so deeply personal,” Bronwyn says.

“There may be things that you love or feel challenged by, but visiting a garden always makes you come away with new ideas or ways to solve problems in your own garden.”

Two-thirds of the 38 ACT/NSW gardens for the 2014-15 season have never opened before, Bronwyn says, with the volunteer selectors unearthing more gems than ever.

The first garden to open locally will be Yeumville near Hall, on September 13-14, but the season kicks off with the special event “Natives on the South Coast” on August 30-31.

“People’s gardens are where they live, socialise, nurture family, entertain; it’s a beautiful thing,” Bronwyn says.

“Gardening is a form of creative expression, people are artistic in so many ways and it’s so important to be able to express your creativity.”

Bronwyn says there’s a garden open somewhere pretty much every weekend in the ACT or NSW for the whole season.

“We have a lot of new gardens, but even with ones that have been open before, there’s always something different to see.

“A garden is never finished – it’s a work in progress,” she says.

There are some really interesting garden journeys this season, Bronwyn says, with a well-known garden in Red Hill opening up for the first time since a radical overhaul.

“It was a beautiful garden as it was, and had been open to the public many times, but the new owner wanted it to reflect her preferences and make it her own – and it takes a lot of courage to start over,” she says.

“They have taken out most of the plants that were there and completely changed the whole focus.”

Bronwyn says the best part about organising the open gardens is meeting each garden owner and hearing their stories.

“They’re always such good people, and they courageously share their gardens with the public, welcoming people into their private space, and with that comes a vulnerability that you have to respect.

“We choose gardens that are the best of their type, but they are all so different. There might be two gardens near each other on the same soil line that solve their issues in totally different ways.

“That’s what makes it so interesting.”

Win a guide to gardens

“CityNews” has five copies of the “Open Gardens Australia Guide 2014-2015”, worth $19.95 each, to give away. Available through ABC shops, newsagents and bookstores, or online at opengarden.org.au. Enter at citynews.com.au/competitions




One Response to “Spring brings bevy of open gardens”

  1. August 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of “Open gardens Australia Guide 2015-2015- I have recently retired after 47 years of nursing so I would like to see the beauty, peace. design and love of gardens opened by
    generous people to allow others to experience this delight.
    regards Nancy smith

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