Open garden / Flowers, variety and colour at every turn

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Photos by Andrew Finch

COLOUR and scent abounds in Ian and Maureen Davenport’s garden, located on a private sloping battleaxe block high on Mount Rogers, backing on to the wattle-filled reserve beyond.

“We ripped up the front garden and put in a lawn many years ago, but it didn’t survive and so we created the garden beds we have now,” says Ian.

“We’ll try to grow anything, and if it doesn’t work we’ll try something else.

“It’s definitely a gardener’s garden, rather than a landscape-design garden, and we love plenty of year-round colour and lots of variety.”

Ian and Maureen’s colourful Melba garden, with its views to Lake Ginninderra, will be open to the public for the first time through Open Gardens Canberra on the weekend of October 22-23.

Ian says the large, private front garden features meandering paths through a variety of spring blooms, shrubs and trees.

“We added a secret walkway that we call the dell, that winds past photinias, pink indigofera and Mexican marigolds and is completely hidden from the rest of the garden,” Ian says.

“The front is protected from frost by the house, so we can grow things like purple tibouchinas, which usually only grow in warm conditions.”

One of the loveliest elements of the garden in spring is the laburnum walk with its cascades of yellow flowers, and Ian says it should be flowering just in time for the opening.

The garden also features a productive veggie patch, several fruit trees, many varieties of roses, succulents, a hebes bed, camelias, tree peonies, euphorbias, natives, rhododendrons – a bit of everything, Ian says.

“We cultivate and propagate a lot of plants and I’ve just finished adding in a new greenhouse in the back garden so we can do more,” he says.

31 Bainton Crescent, Melba, open 10am-4pm, on Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23. Admission $8; free to under-18s and Open Gardens Canberra members. It costs $25 to join Open Gardens Canberra and gain free entry to all open gardens until August 31, 2017. More information at

Also open:

“Kasuca”, 21 Lort Street, Chisholm

KASUCA is a small garden with several distinct garden areas. Developed by the owner Valerie over a 10-year period with sustainability a key feature.

Come and smell the roses and myriad range of fruiting plants and hear talks by Valerie on designing small gardens. Refreshments available, as well as a charity stall.

Proceeds will go to Alzheimer’s Australia ACT.

Open 10am-4pm, on Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23. Admission $8; free to under-18s and Open Gardens Canberra members.

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Kathryn Vukovljak
Kathryn Vukovljak is a "CityNews" journalist.

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