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Published August 3rd 2015
A lovely place to stop by when driving in the hills
This peaceful garden is located at the fringe of the town of Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills. This area has seen much development in recent years and is now considered an extension of Adelaide's suburbia. However, the land where the garden is located was once a large property and farm. In the 1800's, this land was once part of the Barker homestead who were early settlers in the area. The stone cottage here was erected from stone quarried on this land.
Part of the garden. Image copyright to this writer
The facilities at this venue include a tea room and op shop and piety shop. The garden is open to the public, and is free to wander and sit to reflect. Morning and afternoon teas are available in the tea room at very reasonable prices. The venue is very popular with bus tours and social groups who stop for a break and to have a meal or teas. Groups are kindly requested to call ahead to ensure that they are catered to. Toilet facilities which are wheelchair friendly are available, as is a mother and baby room.
Afternoon tea for a group in the tea room. Image from ourladys.weebly.com
A walk in the garden is more enlightening with the guide booklet, which informs the visitor of the plants and the reason they were planted here. Most plants were chosen for their historical connection to the bible, such as daisies and roses. Rosemary is planted for remembrance. There is even a Judas tree. Shrubs were selected for their historical connection to many saints. The old pine trees on the edge of the garden are a reminder of a sacred place of Garabandal in Spain where there have been many apparitions of Mother Mary. I found reading the booklet very informative and helped to look at the garden in a different way. Everything in this garden is significant in some way and holds meaning for the creators and those who work here.
The labyrinth is for walking and reflecting on your life. Image from garden website, ourladys.weebly.com
The caretakers of the garden are proud of the fact that the small chapel and prayer room was once the dairy, and the tea room was once a cow shelter, for a stable is where Jesus was born. The prayer room holds mass on the first Saturday of the month, however anyone is welcome to go inside and sit and reflect or pray during opening hours.
The garden is a lovely area to walk and reflect. When I visited, the work on the labyrinth walk was still underway and not able to be walked upon as yet. The marble has been donated, and volunteers were still completing the garden. I am pleased to see on their website this project is now completed and has had an official opening and dedication. Gardens are a lot of work and a labour of love. Perhaps you are recently retired or have no paid work on at present. Your time and efforts would be well appreciated here. I'm sure the volunteers here could do with another helping hand. The Trust is planning to have retreat accommodation in the onsite stone cottage in the future, but this all takes volunteers.
The tea room area is large enough to cater to groups. Image copyright by the writer.
I was pleased to come across Our Lady's Rosary Garden by chance while out driving in the area one day. I found it a peaceful place to be. Unfortunately, the roses were not in bloom when I visited. The roses are of course best in Spring in November and continue to bloom though the summer. The work here continues to keep this historic area of land away from development and to be enjoyed by all who visit.