Dianne says goodbye to her own open garden

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Dianne Anderson… “It’s very much like a park within the boundaries, with all its pleasant corners and space to wander, and we can close the gates and not hear much from outside.” Photo: Holly Treadaway

DIANNE Anderson’s park-like Red Hill garden will be open to the public in April for the last time, as she and her husband Brian prepare to downsize later this year.

“This will be our final open garden, after sharing it so many times. We will miss it,” she says of the beautiful space, which has often been used for hosting functions, concerts and music events. 

The 4000sqm garden will open on the weekend of April 4-5 as part of Open Gardens Canberra, and music-lover Dianne says she’ll give an impromptu organ performance at some point. 

Photos: Holly Treadaway

“We’ve made a lot of changes to the garden since we bought the house in 1997,” she says. 

“We designed it with events in mind, raising the lower lawns by a metre to create a place for people to gather near the music room.”

The lawns are the focus here, with a huge 150,000-litre underground water tank and an automatic watering system installed to keep them looking their best. 

With tall, shady trees and hedges creating privacy, the garden does double duty as a personal sanctuary for Dianne and Brian. 

“It’s very much like a park within the boundaries, with all its pleasant corners and space to wander, and we can close the gates and not hear much from outside,” she says. 

Inspired by Monet’s garden of perennials in Giverny, there’s an allée of Manchurian pear, and Dianne says every room in the house which matches the colour palette looks out to the garden over lush lawns and heartily crowded flowerbeds in mainly blue and white. The colours were chosen so that Brian would be able to appreciate the contrast despite his red-green colour-blindness.

“I’m mostly working when I’m out here, but it’s relaxing for me to have a day pottering in the garden. It’s my me-time,” Dianne says.

“The garden’s well-established now and though the gardeners do the hedges and edges, I still love to get out here and do a bit of work. 

“It will be hard to leave, but I’ll have more time for music, travelling to visit family and playing bridge.”

57 Arthur Circle, Red Hill, will be open on Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 24, 10am-4pm. Adults $8, children under 18 are free. Funds raised will go towards rebuilding St Saviour’s Church in Quaama, which burnt down in the recent bushfires. More at opengardenscanberra.org.au/members

Photos: Holly Treadaway

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Kathryn Vukovljak
Kathryn Vukovljak is a "CityNews" journalist with a particular interest in homes and gardens.

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