Open Gardens is returning to support Albany Community Hospice again this year. Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s eight gardens open over the next two weekends. All gardens are open from 10am to 4pm. 1 GIRRAKOOL’S RETREAT 66 Deloraine Drive, Warrenup Established from a blank canvas in 2018, this garden has been a project of discovery for the owner. Local advice was sought and a basic planting plan was developed for the cottage-style garden. Work on the garden started with lots of manual work to remove coffee rock with manual tools eventually being replaced with a bobcat and truck to remove subterranean boulders. Garden beds were marked out and new soil trucked in. Fencing was installed last to define the garden. The backbone of the garden is winding pathways, deciduous trees, roses, camellias, perennials and annuals that are allowed to self-seed each season. Many older roses were transplanted from the family farm in the Wheatbelt. Devonshire morning and afternoon teas available all day. 2 LINDA’S GARDEN 82 Riverside Drive, Kalgan Carved out of a bare paddock, the timber structures and stonework have been added gradually as time permitted. The garden was originally quite structured with hedges and roses but has evolved into a casual cottage garden with the owners selecting plants that require less intensive care and maintenance. Native plant borders offer habitat for a huge range of birds, frogs, small mammals and reptiles. There is an enclosed orchard with berries, stone and pome fruits where the chooks provide fertiliser and clean up fallen fruit. Together with vegetable gardens and beehives, the owners grow a great deal of their fresh food needs. The vista from this garden is rural and peaceful, surrounded as it is by farmland, bushland and the river. Devonshire morning and afternoon teas available all day. 3 LINGA LONGA 88 Gladville Road, McKail A dry creek bed is the feature of this garden, beginning at the side of the house and meandering to a Zen pond area. It can be crossed via a red bridge, onto a stepping-stone path, which leads to the tea house. The garden view is framed through two sliding doors from the Japanese tea house. The driveway entrance is bordered by native plants and a lilly pilly hedge. There are a variety of native plants, fruit trees, vegetables and herbs throughout the garden which attract many birds and insects. The garden provides many seating options inviting you to sit and linga longa with some rustic farm garden art pieces set among the garden. Tea and coffee available all day. Lamb rolls and sausage buns from 11am–1pm each day. 4 HAVEN ON NEILSON 74 Neilson Road, Warrenup This garden started as a bare block around the year 2000 by a previous owner. The current owners of three years have minimalised the garden beds to make this huge garden more manageable, yet to appreciate it as a beautiful haven. There is an exceptional variety of big evergreen and deciduous trees, attracting many native birds and a structured rose garden. A water fountain forms the centrepiece leading to many garden paths amongst the trees throughout the one-hectare private garden. Devonshire morning and afternoon teas available all day. Parking on the verge of Neilson Road at the entrance. Music: Simone Keane from 1-3pm on Sunday, November 5. 5 SHERWOOD COTTAGE 102 Willyung Road, Willyung Sherwood Cottage is a heritage-listed cottage on 15.5 acres (about 6ha) of parkland. Large elms and a century-old oak tree provide an ever-changing canopy. The garden has evolved with the current owners since 2020 from a garden that had good bones. Meander through the grounds to discover an espaliered fruit orchard, beehives, a lake created in 2022, duck pond and the runner ducks that call it home, raised native beds complete with the constant chatter of birdlife and many deciduous trees. Willyung Creek flows through the rear of the garden and a huge waterwheel built by the owners produces power to light the garden at dusk. Part-proceeds of food sales go to Hospice. For the first weekend only, cakes from Town Cakery available; hampers can be pre-ordered via Get Grazing Co; Messy Fingers Catering in the garden for lunch; Zazzies Jazz Band playing from 12noon–2pm each day; and plants for sale by Doug Coxall. 6 ALAWA ON BARFLEUR 15 Barfleur Place, Marbelup The garden is set on six acres (2.5ha) with a wonderful outlook over the valley with a garden filled with natives and cottage plants. Items of interest transferred from the family farm are scattered throughout the sprawling property. Large lawn areas provide space for children to run and be in nature. Art in the garden with easels and paints placed around the garden for you to play and express your joy (no experience needed, just have fun). The Lelebirds and Bird on a Wire will be playing. For the first weekend only, light refreshments available all day. Lelebirds playing Saturday, October 28, 11am–1pm, and Bird on a Wire playing Sunday, October 29, 11am–1pm. 7 HILLSPRINGS 19 Patterson Road, Lowlands Hillsprings farm, has been in the Martin family for about 100 years. The current custodians built their home in 2001 at the top of the hill with a dam for water supply. The garden commenced from a bare paddock and has evolved into a 3/4 acre (3035sqm) paradise. Features include a bridge, water feature, productive veggie patch, roses, natives, cottage plants hydrangeas, hibiscus and mostly deciduous trees. Many plants were cuttings from friends or garden club, the structures are made from mostly recycled timbers. Come and enjoy the garden with hill views of Denmark Inlet and the Porongurups which are also seen from the veranda. For the second weekend only, lunch is available from 10.30am–2pm, sausage sizzle and sandwiches, plant and book sale. 8 SUN IN SPLENDOUR 171 Golflinks Road, Collingwood Park This garden had the structural bones of design and established trees when the current owners moved in 2½ years ago. Gardens have been added and extended to the collective gardens with many reoccurring plants located and kept. The planting up of the above-ground septics has given a different meaning to the backyard. Two large patios of potted plants are a work in progress and provide spaces of peace. Local artist Kayla Bertola painted the front fence, which represents the four gardening seasons and the native animals and insects that visit. The owners have also brought in sculptures from their previous large property. For the second weekend only, a sausage sizzle is available at the van in the park at Lake Seppings, 10.30am–3pm.