Moonta Open Gardens 2012

Saturday 13th October 2012

The tickets cost $8 and the ticket itself was a short description of each garden and a map with directions for each garden.

The main theme for this year was “Art in the Gardens” with the following preamble.

We are delighted to present a varied collection of gardens, some of which have been here for many years, while some are just starting out. One thing is certain though, they are all owned by passionate gardeners, and/or artisans of varying persuasions. All are happy to share their love of nature, their knowledge, their art, and their experiences. Please, indulge your senses by visiting as many of the gardens in and around historic Moonta as possible. Enjoy!

Garden 1 – Juie’s Garden Caroline Street.

You know as soon as you walk through the gate, this garden will be interesting! Local artist Julie’s garden in Moonta is full of inventive art works, whimsical focal points and an eclectic range of plants, all skillfully combined to create an imaginative garden, container plantings, lush fernery, and even the cottage itself have been decorated or created with her colourful artistic flair. Julie’s artwork will also be on display and for sale.

My Observations:  This was a very tiny garden and although tiny was not that inspiring to me. I did see that the bromeliads were growing in hanging homemade planters using shade cloth on pine backing. Not a bad idea and was unobtrusive as she used beige shadecloth.

Garden 2 – Michael & Tina’s Garden NorthTerrace

Michael and Tina’s original idea, when moving from the city to Moonta, was to have a sustainable garden, with veges, natives and an orchard to complement their growing passion for bromeliads. A bio-cycle watering system is in use, and the area housing the bromeliads has been enlarged to accommodate Michael’s ever-expanding collection. The garden is also home to a variety of natives, roses and more.

My Observations: I did not get to this garden this time but did visit when they had a garage sale in about February. There was a very nicely laid out area under the porch to highlight the bromeliads but none were actually in flower. Although vegies were mentioned then and we had a tour of the garden there were only token quantities of vegetables and would only give an occasional taste than make any serious contribution to the family diet. People seem to think that having a 5000 litre tank will make a difference to their water bill but 5kl of water is worth $10-50 depending on your total usage.

Garden 3 – Ron & Brenda’s Garden Brokenshire Terrace

One for the boys – As Ron and Brenda’s garden is a work in progress, and like most of us, they are getting accustomed to gardening in our tough conditions – limestone (rock) under a minimal layer of subsoil, blustery winds, hot summers and frosty winters, it’s a wonder they can get anything to grow! Ron has a shed full of engines and boys stuff, including a railway under construction which he would love to show to interested fellas, and Brenda’s particular artistry speciality is doll making, and a large collection will be on display.

My Observations: We didn’t spend long here. A very sterile property. A few recently planted plants which neither occupant was particularly interested in and Ron was really only interested in showing off his engines and Brenda wanted only to show off her dolls. Hardly an open garden and of no interest to either of us.

Garden 4 – Ron & Betty Wilson’s Garden Truer Street

A  150 year old Cornish miner’s cottage garden, full of imagination, artistic flair, and diversity. This is not your typical cottage garden – it has many areas with succulents, ponds, bonsai, orchids, an Australian display, a vege garden, a gargoyle tree, an Asian inspired peace garden and so much more. Plants and art on display & for sale.

Ray and Betty Wilson’s Garden 14-10-12 showing the name plate at the entrance to the property.

Ray and Betty Wilson’s Garden 14-10-12. Through the gate leading to the front of the house.

Ray and Betty Wilson’s Garden 14-10-12. Turn right at the front verandah and head towards the ponds with a bridge and filled with fish and waterlilies while smaller ponds have frogs.

Ray & Betty Wilson’s Garden 13-10-12. To the right of the large pond is this rockery incorporating a topiary duck.

Ray & Betty Wilson’s Garden. Small pond with artificial lawn in front which actually spoils the look of the garden.

Ray & Betty Wilson’s Garden. Fireplace and ephemera.

Ray & Betty Wilson’s Garden. Shade-house area incorporating bromeliads and bonsai trees looking towards the side of the house.

Ray & Betty Wilson’s Garden. Pergola with a water feature to left of the picture and solar lighting.

Ray & Betty Wilson’s Garden. Water feature gazebo viewed from the bonsai house.

Orchid section of the Wilson Garden.

Bonsai section of the Wilson Garden 2012.

Ron & Betty Wilson’s Garden. View towards the gazebo.

Garden 5 – Wattle Grove Cottage Garden Karkarilla Road

A delightful cottage garden filled with old favourites from grandma’s day, including geraniums, daisies, roses and many more, all varieties which have resurfaced in recent years with our need for more drought tolerant gardening methods. Stay and have a chat with Bev, whose tea and home-made wood fired scones & tea served in a delightful collection of china will be available all day.

My Observations: This was a fairly small garden but one owned by a true gardener with various nooks and crannies crammed with plants and lots of tables and chairs outdoors. It was a relaxing garden and an interesting arbour covered with all and sundry. We enjoyed a relaxing Devonshire tea here late in the afternoon.

Garden 6 – Jeanette’s Farm Garden Paskeville Road

Just out of town is the garden of Jeanette, who started her farm garden from a blank canvas nearly 10 years ago. Since then she has created a garden full of features, including a wide array of plant life including bulbs, citrus, fruit tress, groundcovers, vegetables & herbs, ferns, natives and perennials. Stonework and fish & frog ponds provide interest whilst views of surrounding vistas create a sense of serenity. Jeanette is also an inspiring artist, and her work will be on display and sale, along with her home-made jams, some of her birds and plants from her garden. Paskeville Road.

My Observations: This is one of the top two gardens I visited in the scheme. I saw this around lunch time on Sunday and the weather had turned very windy. Despite this the garden was still quite relaxing. Shadecloth fencing surrounded the perimeter and this help cut down the wind at people height. There were several aviaries with happy birds and many ponds with tadpoles and fish. A feature were numerous gazebos and structures built of local stone.

Jeanette Benson’s garden 2012. Stone hand built planter.

Jeanette Benson’s Garden. Small frog pond.

Jeanette Benson’s Garden. Frog pond to towards the house.

Jeanette Benson’s Garden. Fish pond.

Vegie Garden – Jeanette Benson

Vegie Garden at Jeanette Benson.

Garden 7 – Jeanette & Franco’s Mediterranean Garden Maitland Road

Treat yourself and be inspired by Franco’s imaginative and artistic use of building materials – scores of pre-loved treasures have been recycled then put to use again with flair, creating many useful and artistic objects in the garden, plus an award-winning gelateria and Tuscan inspired bed and breakfast cottage.

My Observations: I ran out of time and could not get to this one unfortunately. I would have liked to have had a closer look. I pass this occasionally on the way home. Maybe next year.

Garden 8 – Trish & Kym’s Garden Cambridge Street

A stunning border of “Seduction” roses, framing a front garden of palms, agapanthus & perennial shrubs welcomes you to Trish and Kym’s garden. Wander through to the rear, where a covered alfresco eating area leads you through to the deck, a cool escape from hot summer winds. Here a new collection of orchids reside, along with varied potted plants. The pleasures of this neat garden are enhanced by the fruit trees and a vegetable garden. Trish’s artistry is in her card making skills which are on sale.

My Observations: There doesn’t seem to be much point in displaying and listing orchids when not one is in flower. The rest of the garden is very basic and didn’t excite me, maybe it would excite others.

Garden 9 – Kaye & Neil’s ‘Atley Cottage’ Kadina Road

Water wise garden – this is a very drought proof garden of a large collection of a variety of succulents, complemented by plantings of annuals and perennials, geraniums, stocks, lavender, Statice, roses, agapanthus, and even a lilac tree manages to grow well in these tough conditions.

My Observations: Did have enough time to get back to this one.

Garden 10 – Lorraine’s Cottage Garden Kadina Road

A Packed to the rafters garden overflowing with a wide array of waterwise garden plants, including many hardy shrubs and tough perennials, all vying for their share of sunshine and space. Lorraine’s beautiful art is on display and for sale.

My Observations: Did not get to this one either.

Garden 11 – National Trust Miner’s Cottage Verco Street

Your ticket includes a visit to the garden and also entry through the heritage listed cottage. Plants and home produce are on sale. Many old favourites grow in this garden, tended and hosted by the volunteers of the Moonta Branch of the National Trust.

My Observations: This was deleted from the programme by the organisers. I am not sure why.


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