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Rustic leaves and themes through these stunning gardens
Autumn in Adelaide. Mild days. Colours. Leaves. And an absolutely beautiful time to view some of the best gardens in the Adelaide region. And for the last Autumn ever, Open Gardens Australia have arranged with garden owners to open eight of the best gardens that Adelaide has to offer.
Joe's Connected Garden (7-8 February) 6 Argent Street, Elizabeth Grove
A fine example of neighbourhood co-operation with highly productive and low maintenance gardens feeding the owners of all the interconnecting properties. Heavy clay soils have been transformed into a feast of figs, stone fruits, pome fruits, citrus, pomegranates, avocados, guavas, mangoes and even coffee.
With a sausage sizzle, hot and cold drinks, talks from the Rare Fruit Society at 11am and 2pm each day, food growing information, planting and pruning demonstrations, guided tours, sustainability workshops and gardening advice these are sure to be two full and enticing open days.
A Balinese theme with tropical and foliage plants, some rarely seen in Adelaide, contribute to this garden. The well-landscaped steep slope features frangipanis, cycads, yuccas, cordylines, hibiscus, giant bamboo, triangle palms, bougainvillea and begonia. Balinese structures, a waterfall feature and innovative use of recycled materials are accompanied by the BBQ lunches and the Balinese background music.
A beautiful cottage garden featuring 750 glorious roses, arbours, an old swing and aged fence posts support clematis and climbing roses. There are also penstemons, cannas, geraniums, sedums, agapanthus and alstroemerias thriving beneath prunus, with Chinese elms and other trees, giving further colour and structure and surrounded by water features, rustic ornaments and some old farm machinery.
Antique iron gates lead into this abundant one acre vegetable garden enclosed by a Portuguese Laurel hedge. There are four large vegetable plots divided by wide gravel paths and edged with locally quarried stone. And surrounding these are medlars, quinces, figs, cherries, apples and pears with perennial beds of strawberries, asparagus and herbs.
Croyle Vegetable Garden
Tipsy Hill (14-15 March) 309 Blewitt Springs Rd, McLaren Vale
A beautiful terraced waterwise garden with a choice selection of plants that are attractive as well as tough. There are imaginative plantings, artworks and spectacular views which all contribute to the Mediterranean feel supplemented by bougainvillea, roses, sedums, succulents and flowering gums. And at 11am and 2pm, there are walks and talks on plants which survive hard times, something which is in the mind of every Adelaidean.
Rockford (19 April) 665 Strathalbyn Rd, Mylor
A beautiful and historic estate garden of stunning century old European trees, many on the National Trust Register and in full autumn glory. Oaks, London planes, Bunya pines, Cedrus deodora and cork oaks punctuate expansive lawns hosting perennial borders. Views of the Onkaparinga River provide a highlight to this historic garden.
Wairoa (9-10 May) 142 Mount Barker Rd, Aldgate
A captivating Victorian era garden enclosed in a world of its own by huge conifers and gloriously colouring maples, pin oaks and copper beeches sheltering the many rhododendrons, camellias and hydrangeas that flow across the slope. And on the open days there will also be some art and craft stalls with locally produced goods for sale.
Beechwood (9-10 May) 36 Snows Rd, Stirling
Beechwood is a superb historic garden with National Estate and State Heritage listings featuring fresh spring foliage and a glorious autumn display. With towering trees, expansive lawns, formal rose garden, a significant collection of rhododendron cultivars, the original rock garden and pool and the Victorian cast-iron conservatory, this is sure to be a highlight of the Open Gardens season.
All gardens are open from 10am to 430pm on the open days, with all having a small entrance fee of $8 each except Tipsy Hill which is $10. Open Gardens Australia have recently advised that as a result of rising costs and falling revenues, Open Gardens Australia will cease to exist with effect from 30 June 2015. For further details refer to the Open Gardens Australia website or their facebook page.