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Top Open Gardens in Canberra

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by Steve Hudson (subscribe)
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Catch the last of the Open Gardens this Season
The first half of the year is a great time to be in the garden with shady trees, warm glows, bright colours, falling leaves and pretty flowers. And what better way to experience summer and autumn gardens than to pop in to someone else's garden and to admire their wonderful handiwork over the previous winter and spring? For the last time ever, Open Gardens Australia have arranged for 10 gardens across the greater Canberra area to be open for admiration and inspiration.

Preston Garden (31 January 1 February)
21 Boobialla St, O'Connor

This garden features a successful blending of natives and exotics amongst striking basalt columns. The blue agapanthus contrast well with orange tiger lilies while the proteas and leucadendrons harmonise in subtle greys and pinks. The scent of roses and other fragrant plants permeates the bird-friendly, productive and waterwise garden.

Preston Garden
Preston Garden

Woowoolahra (7 8 February)
6 London Bridge Rd, Burra

This mature garden is divided by rock walls and old trees which embrace lawns and frame valley views. The magnificent stands of flowering hydrangeas oversee a cypress woodland which opens to a dam abundant with bird life and water lilies. Take your time in this garden and also relax while browsing the antique jewellery for sale or when taking a seated massage.


Diana's Garden (14 15 February)
72 Fidge St, Calwell

This excellent Australian native garden was designed as a continuation of Tuggeranong Hill bushland with white flowering shrubs, pink kunzeas, banksias, yellow chrysocephalum apiculatum and lomandras. Sensitively placed rocks enhance a beautiful naturalistic pond which is fed by a narrow tumbling creek providing for a very relaxing setting.

Diana's Garden
Diana's Garden

Cottage Garden (21 22 February)
18 Ebden St, Ainslie

An abundance of healthy standard roses, espaliered fruit trees, groundcovers, annuals, numerous salvias and other cottage perennials are complemented by vegetables thriving in raised beds in this unique cottage garden. There is also a very clever use of mosaics on pots and ornaments and a nature strip filled with a striking array of native species.

Cottage Garden
Cottage Garden

Tina's Mosaic Garden (21 22 February)
28 Vasey Cres, Campbell

Cleverly incorporated mosaics and stained glass panels provide a striking complement to this beautifully maintained Australian plant garden. With London planes and other mature trees sheltering cool-climate shrubs, perennials, box hedges, a delightful fairy garden and an enclosed vegetable garden this garden is an absolute delight on the eyes and ears.

Tina's Mosaic Garden
Tina's Mosaic Garden

Shirley (14 - 15 March)
604 Monaro Highway, Nimmitabel

The lovely garden of Shirley has been redesigned and extended in recent years by Paul Bangay, one of Australia's leading landscape designers. Paul will be in the garden on Saturday and will describe the intent behind the garden which features beautiful oaks, elms, ashes, poplars and birches underplanted with shrubs and perennials in a romantic woodland.


Lanyon Homestead (21 - 22 March)
Tharwa Drive, Tharwa

A Plant Fair adds to the beauty at Lanyon Homestead where you can purchase the best of the best plants directly from the growers, with everything from bulbs to trees, natives to exotics, garden art, sculpture and top quality garden tools. The Fair is in the beautiful grounds of historic Lanyon Homestead, where you can stroll through the carefully preserved gardens with the flowing perennial beds, spectacular roses and a vegetable garden containing many heirloom varieties.

Lanyon Homestead
Lanyon Homestead

Silverdale (18 - 19 April)
200 Lachlan Valley Way, Yass

With pillars of star jasmine overlooking a sweeping front lawn towards views of distant paddocks, a large 1860 olive tree, an informal rose garden, mixed plantings of natives and a herb garden, this is one of the more beautiful gardens in Yass. Market stalls selling olive oil, lavender oil, jams and honey, garden sculptures, aprons, tableware, jewellery and baskets will also be available over the weekend.


Christine's Garden (2 - 3 May)
48 Weathers St, Gowrie

Many unusual and rare shrubs and trees flourish in the enriched soil in this garden, together with salvias and other cottage perennials. Rock walls and an eye-catching parterre add great interest and mirrors provide an extra dimension to a colourful autumn oasis where surprises await around every corner.

Christine's Garden
Christine's Garden

Jackie and Bret's Garden (2 - 3 May)
14 Raphael Close, Oxley

An informal raised native garden facing the street leads through to a lovely and very productive cottage garden of roses, salvias, sunflowers, fruit trees, grapes, vegetables and herbs. Beyond that is a very impressive collection of interesting and sculptural cacti and succulents.

Jackie and Bret's Garden
Jackie and Bret's Garden

All gardens are open from 10am to 430pm everyday, with the exception of Woowoolahra which is open from 11am to 7pm on Saturday 7th. All gardens have a token entrance fee of $8 to help cover costs except Shirley and Lanyon Homestead where the entrance fee 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 and hence these will be the last Canberra gardens on show it is time to get in to these top gardens for a piece of history. For further details refer to the Open Gardens Australia website or their Facebook page.
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Why? Great gardens mean relaxation personified
When: Jan - June 2015
Where: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Cost: $8 - $10
Your Comment
Lots more trees in the Canberra Open Gardens than other states. I like the look of the Mosaic garden.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4191) 2233 days ago
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