Merryl likes to mix it in her blended garden

Share Canberra's trusted news:
Merryl Bradley… “I’m not a native purist, I believe in plants co-existing alongside each other.” Photo: Holly Treadaway.

SO-CALLED for its mix of natives and non-natives, as well as the seamless integration of old and new plantings, Merryl Bradley’s “blended garden” also combines veggie beds with striking foliage and ornamental shrubs carefully trimmed into curves.

“I’m not a native purist, I believe in plants co-existing alongside each other,” Merryl says. 

“There are so many beautiful Australian natives and non-natives, and gorgeous variations in foliage, there’s no reason why not.”

The garden, which has an easy flow from front to back through rock-lined paths, ferns, shady white cedar and flourishing natives, will be open to the public on the weekend of April 10-11.

It’s part of Open Gardens Canberra’s “dual delights” event with Christine Gascoyne’s garden, located just 200 metres away, at $15 to visit both. 

Merryl moved into the house 17 years ago and says she’s been gradually reducing the landscaped lawns ever since, starting with the front, though she’s kept a tiny patch in the back. 

A deciduous crabapple, malus trilobata, Merryl’s favourite, takes centre stage in the shady front garden and turns a beautiful deep red in autumn, planted next to a gleditsia sunburst, with mostly native groundcover underneath. Grevillea, correa, coprosma, camellia and creeping geebung line the surrounding beds. 

Photos: Holly Treadaway

Through a thick ficus hedge are raised veggie beds, a thriving blackberry vine, experimental potatoes and a laden kalamata olive tree, thanks to the veggie garden’s location in the full sun on the south side of the house. 

Equally loved by Merryl are the garden’s formal touches; English box and Double Delight roses sit alongside lobelia and Japanese maples that were original to the garden. 

“I think it’s a shame to pull out everything when you take over a garden, and it’s possible to work with some of what’s already there,” she says. 

“I like a lot of plants that might be considered old-fashioned, like the English yew and gorgeous little zinnias.”

Merryl also keeps an elderly, eight-year-old little bantam called Henny (her friend Penny is long gone) who is still laying.

“I’m a real composter, resuser and recycler, so all the garden waste gets mulched and thrown in the compost,” Merryl says.

The small garden is water-wise, too, with a total of 6000 litres of rainwater tanks.

Merryl’s mosaic art can be spotted all around the neat, structured garden, and she’ll be selling her mosaic plant pots and artworks on the open weekend.

The Blended Garden, 2 Corser Close, Fadden, April 10-11, 10am-4pm. Entry $10, children under 18 free. Bookings essential on Eventbrite. There will be no ticket sales or memberships available at the gate. Also open is Christine’s garden, 48 Weathers Street, Gowrie. Join Open Gardens Canberra for $25 and all gardens are free for a year.

Photos: Holly Treadaway

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleHundreds of cannabis plants seized in Dunlop
Next articleMovie review / ‘Nobody’ (MA)
Kathryn Vukovljak
Kathryn Vukovljak is a "CityNews" journalist.

Leave a Reply