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Garden treats for Australia Day

Catherine Stewart

Catherine Stewart

January 16, 2013

australia flag

With Australia Day coming up soon (Saturday Jan 26 in case you’ve forgotten), I thought I’d check out what’s happening around the country for gardeners. Show your Aussie spirit at open gardens in NSW, Victoria, SA and Tasmania!


‘Woodgreen’, the home garden of well-known Plant Collectors’ Fair extraordinaire Peta Trahar will be open Jan 26-27 through Open Gardens Australia. 10am-4.30pm, entry $7, under 18 free. Peta’s garden is full of beautiful perennials, salvias, ornamental grasses & roses.

Meredith Kirton in her home garden. Photo Sue Stubbs

Gardening personality and author Meredith Kirton is opening her own home garden ‘The Top Place’ at 132 Stewarts River Road, Johns River (37km north of Taree). Meredith says: “The garden is mostly planted for a combination of picking flowers and colourful foliage, so that at any time of the year there is something beautiful to bring inside for decoration or something wonderful to eat.” Open 10am – 4.30pm, Jan 26 & 27, entry $8, under 18 free. Meredith will give talks at 11am and 2pm each day about her family history in Johns River and the development of her garden. “We’d love people to visit, have a good look around and see what we’ve been able to build in a relatively short time with big dreams and a fair bit of hard work!”

Gum blossom at Sydney RBGThe Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens Friends have a Australia Day Botanic Gardens Walk 10-12 noon which explores the history of the Gardens including the indigenous Cadigal and important plants in the Australian landscape. Member $15, non-members $22. More information and bookings.



Two gardens are opening on Jan 26 for a beautiful twilight viewing from 4-8pm. $25 for both gardens, (under 18 free) with wine and food available.

BagnolsBagnols‘, at 525 Tucks Rd, Shoreham is an elegant garden designed by Paul Bangay. Mediterranean-style plantings complement the French-influenced house. Wide grassed steps lead to an impressive terrace overlooking the countryside and Westernport Bay. The garden also features box hedges which retain roses, salvias, irises and nepeta, while olives and rosemary blend with mature eucalypts.

Musk Cottage


Musk Cottage‘ at 371 Musk Creek Rd, Flinders (near Shoreham). Enter from Mitford Rd. is landscape designer Rick Eckersley‘s own garden where he has created a quintessentially Australian contemporary garden full of character and style. The natural flowing landscape incorporates wetlands and woodlands using native and exotic grasses, strappy-leafed plants and shrubs selected for position, site conditions and aesthetic appeal.

May GibbsSouth Australia

Jan 26 – visit the Brummitt garden, 33 Statenborough St, Leabrook. Open 10am-4.30pm. Entry $7, under 18s free! This wonderful Australian plant garden has been inspired by Snugglepot and Cuddlepie author May Gibbs. Jane Brummitt, garden owner and co-author of the recently released May Gibbs: More than a Fairy Tale, will talk about May, her life and far reaching influence on Australian culture. There will be book readings, by children’s author Christobel Mattingley, original artwork by May Gibbs and kids are encouraged to dress up for this special garden opening.

Tupelo Grove, Mylor, SAJan 27-28 visit Tupelo Grove, 104 Bradbury Rd, Mylor. Open 10am-4.30pm. Entry $7,  under 18s free. The deep borders of this garden hold an enormous selection of hardy, Mediterranean, climate-compatible plants that are perfect for Adelaide’s hot summers. Salvias and perennial aquatic plants are a specialty in Ian, Robyn and Chris Powell’s delightful garden. Check out the highly productive vegetable garden, fruit and berries and even the trout farm. There will be advice on growing perennials and establishing aquatic systems.

Brackenridge TasTasmania

2 gardens are open on Saturday Jan 26 for $7 each or $12 joint ticket (under 18 free)

Bracken Ridge‘, at 4167 Channel Highway, Flowerpot – a standard wisteria, beautiful plum tree and majestic eucalypts were the noteworthy beginnings of an exquisite garden with breathtaking views. The wisteria now shades a casual dining area, and delightful cottage plantings surround the house. Terraced kitchen garden, orchard, shrubberies and parkland.

Greenslade, TasGreenslade‘ at 4685 Channel Hwy, Gordon – roses smother the trellises and verandah posts of an old renovated farmhouse surrounded by a European-style country garden on shores of D’Entrecastreaux Channel. Perennial beds, rose arbour, large vegetable and herb gardens, orchard, lily pond. Rivulet walk with rock pools and waterfalls.

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