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Where the best leaves will fall this autumn
The first Open Gardens SA season is coming to an end, and what a marvellous season it has been to date. Over 44 garden openings, 14,000 visitors and in excess of $48,000 has been raised for the chosen charities. But the season has not yet ended with 11 more gardens opening their gates for visitors to admire and marvel the colours of Autumn.
Featuring an abundance of colourful flowering frangipanis, hibiscus and bougainvillea, ornamental gingers, palms, yuccas, cordylines and cycads, this garden has a real Balinese resort feel. A steep terraced site plays host to numerous tropical plantings as well as a unique outside toilet (a must see !), and a cleverly rendered pool. Bold colours star throughout summer and autumn.
This "Gardener's Garden" is an English influenced garden with over 60 roses and formal hedges sitting alongside natives, yuccas, aloe trees, Japanese maples plus many more plants and trees. The garden and the trickling water keeps the keen gardener enthralled for hours with a plant or style for everyone.
Wide paths line this garden with rocks meandering through beds planted with a huge selections of roses, oleanders, disosma, ornamental grasses, verbena, salvias and butterfly attracting buddleias. The plants are all drought tolerant and from Mediterranean areas of the world with similar climatic conditions to SA. Representatives from the Butterfly Conservation Society will also be present each day to highlight the beautiful Monarch butterflies that inhabit the garden.
Cork's Cottage was built in 1875 and has been in Val's family ever since. Val moved into the cottage in 1989 and undertook extensive renovations and started the garden. The garden was never planned but just evolved over time with a sunken lawn, moss rock walling, running water and pergolas stealing only part of the attention from a garden of colour and interesting plants.
Maurjoy (26-27 March) 36 Berrett Road, Gawler East
This pretty cottage garden is filled with old favourites of roses, lavender, catmint, santolina and succulents. Arches add height, while a weeping mulberry with lovely extending branches has pride of place and there are also a crab apple, weeping apple and prunus trees. The garden is relatively young but crab apples grafted onto tall trunks have added a sense of maturity and provided privacy.
Casuarina is an inspiring hardy and drought tolerant garden designed and developed over two decades by its artistic owner Jane Juttner. Bold sculptures and installations made from quartz and sandstone gathered on the property, fallen branches and recycled rusty metal and terracotta have been carefully placed to provide focal points in an otherwise informally laid out garden which sits peacefully in its rural surroundings.
This large country garden set up on a gentle sloping block shows the thoughtful selection of plants and the landscaping involved in this garden. A sweeping drive of Claret Ash Trees with Crab Apples, Desert Ash Trees and showy eucalypts gives extra dimension. Walking along the paths a visitor can stroll effortlessly from one section of plantings to another, with interesting sculptures guaranteed to make any visitor smile.
English box hedges, stone walls and steps lend definition to this award winning formal garden hosting a dazzling array of flowers and beautiful autumn foliage. Landscaped on five levels, themes include a secret garden, rose parterre, rotunda and Japanese water garden with cascades and pools.
A series of magnificent mature trees are a dominant feature in this elegant hills garden. Built as a Victorian villa to escape the summer heat, it boasts chestnut trees, Atlas cedar, golden elm, oaks, birches and maples. The garden is one of light and shade which takes advantage of the trees but also uses the brighter more open areas to explore the possibilities of water wise, sun loving plants.
Glenalta (24 April)
55 Old Carey Gully Road, Stirling
In 1860 a row of six Lombardy poplars attracted the attention of a future State Premier so he bought the property. A garden was gradually developed including the planting of many deciduous trees. After several changes in ownership, the garden has now landed in to the hands of loving gardeners who have not only returned the property to its former glory, but arguably have taken it beyond.
Sunningdale Farm is 180 acres of rich certified organic and bio-dynamic land producing an abundance of healthy food. Vegetables, herbs and flowers mingle together in attractive garden beds with companion plants such as marigolds and salvias in this interesting property where the emphasis is on growing nourishing, tasty food using a holistic approach.
Open Gardens SA is a not-for-profit organisation that coordinates the opening of some of SA's best gardens. Entrance fees are typically $8 for adults and less for concession, and all are open from 10am-430pm daily. Each open garden donates some of the entrance fees to the gardener's chosen charity. For further details please refer to the Open Gardens SA website or their facebook page.
These can be a wonderful experience for all the family, just do a bit of research on the gardens you think you will be interested in first, my wife and I took the grandkids along to a couple recently, at 8$ per head it adds up pretty quickly, we spent 64$ to visit two gardens, they were nice but we wont do it again at that price.