This biennial weekend-long event, run by the Rotary Club of Kew, is chaired by well known Melbourne landscape architect John Patrick (also a presenter on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia), and encompasses over twenty-five private gardens across Melbourne and surrounding countryside, which have all been professionally designed.
The purpose of the event is to raise the profile of the charities that Rotary supports; fundraise for these charities; and by means of opening these gardens, to encourage creative, bold, versatile and responsible gardening. All funds raised go directly to the nominated charities which have included: Camcare (supporting families under stress), Breast Cancer Network (informing women and men), Alola Foundation (running support programs for women in East Timor), Friedreich Ataxia (supporting research) and Rotary medical and humanitarian projects.
The decorative blockwork, remnant walls of a previous house gave rise to an enclosed, walled garden, creating a whimsical and welcoming entry to a recently renovated country home.
Approaching the house along an established avenue of trees, a sweep of lawn addresses distant views to the sea. The broad deck allows outdoor dining and enjoyment of this open aspect and a view to potential ball games on the lawn.
A line of trees draws the eye and invites visitors through the gate into the walled garden area, where productive and ornamental plants create an enchanting outlook both during the journey into the house, as well as views down from inside the house.
Under the canopy of an old Oak tree, fire pit and strategically placed rock platforms create another seating area. Beyond the walled garden, refurbished buildings and meandering paths create further invitations to wander and explore through copses of fruit, native and exotic trees. Character and whimsy abound with changes of material in the enclosed garden, sculptural elements, found objects, an outdoor bathroom and pathway edging created from repurposed materials.