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Your guide to SA's sunniest open gardens
It's summer in South Australia which means bright sunny days, extensive greenery and another series of classic gardens for all of us to visit and enjoy. Open Gardens SA, in conjunction with regional gardeners, have arranged for another seven popular gardens to be opened for everyone's pleasure and inspiration this summer.
Aberfoyle is a large country garden with many roses beautifully combined with numerous annuals including lilies, daffodils, jonquils, freesias, iris and day lilies with additional colour provided by agapanthus, fuchsias, windflowers, lavender, catmint and a huge variety of shrubs. Flint stoned garden beds are sheltered by many established trees including silver birches, spruce, corkscrew willows, viburnums and dogwoods. With an old orchard and a two large duck ponds, this garden will keep visitors entertained for some time.
31 Oct – 1 Nov : Ashgrove Iris Garden
53 Albert Street, Gumeracha
Gumeracha is normally known as the town with the giant rocking horse. However Ashgrove Iris Garden is fast challenging the rocking horse with a country style garden of meandering pathways, extensive garden seating and many "old fashioned" and unusual plants. This well established garden also features over 800 named varieties of bearded iris and more than 200 roses, with the mass plantings of irises blooming in late spring and early summer each year.
Ashgrove Iris Garden
14-15 November : Frosty Flats 2891 Onkaparinga Valley Road, Birdwood
Tucked on the main road just outside of Birdwood, Frosty Flats is a true cottage garden full of colourful flowers and a mass of foliage textures. Exciting garden paths meander past roses, perennials, geraniums, succulents and numerous large and flowering trees. Garden furniture is also a feature of this garden with a pond, birdbaths, arbours, pots of succulents, logs are placed as seats, several old ladders and some rusting machinery to add context to the color of the garden.
14-15 November : Gate Cottage 66 Leslie Creek Road, Mylor
Located on the verges of suburbia, and near the Aldgate Valley Nature Trail, Gate Cottage is a delightful garden with a spectacular display of colour and perfume from over 500 flowering roses. Supported by madly growing perennials and self-sown annuals over a slightly sloping garden, the garden blossoms under the shady canopy of a large tree, and provides contrast to the garden structures, and the herb and vegetable garden.
14-15 November : St Mary's Vineyard 563 V & A Lane, Penola
Penola, that significant town in the southeast of SA is host to an open garden at St Mary's Vineyard in mid-November. The hundreds of roses will be blooming and creating a magnificent display, while the iris, salvias, verbenas, lavenders, sedums and agapanthus help create this beautiful display of colour and foliage textures. A unique feature on this property is the quarry and its abundant source of sandstone, with demonstrations all weekend to those interested in creating sandstone structures. Meanwhile next door the St Mary's Sanctuary is home to a large variety of flora and fauna including over 100 species of birds, some of which are rare and endangered.
St Mary's Vineyard
21-22 November : Wyndbourne Park
Mawson Road, Forest Range
Nestled on the top of the aptly named Forest Range is Wyndbourne Park, a garden that takes its inspiration from the Mediterranean with landscape features designed to maximise and enhance the great views that are available from the top of the range. Hardy sun loving plants are complemented by a large shade house for the more sensitive plants including hydrangea and hosta collections, a walled Mediterranean courtyard, a sheltered creek garden, a conifer collection, a large rose arbour and bold perennial borders as well as a dry garden and productive vegetable gardens.
5-6 December : Caroline Hills
489 Norman Road, Yahl (via Mount Gambier)
Caroline Hills in the far southeast of SA is a large rambling garden with a focus on form, texture and perfume. Colour comes from the widespread plantings of perennials, shrubs and deciduous and native trees, while the vegetable gardens, herbs, citrus trees, a large orchard and a chicken coop encourage productivity. Large lawns, winding paths, box hedges, a sunken circle garden, a glasshouse and a lily pond round out this great garden alongside the Caroline Hills wines.
Open Gardens SA is a not-for-profit organisation encouraging and supporting gardeners across the whole of South Australia to enjoy. For further details on these gardens and more, refer to the Open Gardens SA website or their facebook page.
All photos in this article are courtesy of Open Gardens SA.