A Barossa couple will open their breathtaking western ridge property to the public next weekend as part of Open Gardens SA.
Green thumb Beryl Hunter and husband Craig, who moved to the area at Patterson Hill six years ago in June, named the property Orrapoora – indigenous for magpie.
"We have a load of magpies here so it seemed appropriate," Mrs Hunter said.
She explained how the couple left Adelaide to take up life in the Barossa when essentially the property was full of weeds with very limited plantings and only a few established trees
In the spring of 2011 the couple set to work planning their garden by engaging a local landscaper, Ted Farrell. His support helped to construct paths around the house, create the dry creek beds and plant trees.
“This (paths) provided a structure to the garden and allowed us to break the garden into smaller areas before we began planting out the under story,” she said.
On the weekend of October 21 and 22 the couple will provide access to their garden, plus their hill of native scrub, which is home to fabulous views in all directions.
She encourages visitors to follow the mowed path up the hill and enjoy the perspective of this Western Ridge across the Barossa.
People will also have the opportunity to view garden beds, which were progressively planted, irrigated and mulched.
“This is an ongoing exercise and new beds are planned in the future to extend the garden to the house-block fence line.”
And just last year, more diggers and rocks were brought in to create the lower level lawn and surrounding garden.
“The plantings you see today are a mix of native and exotic trees, with a native and Mediterranean under story, including numerous grasses.
“Our aim has been to provide an interesting mix of hardy plants that create contrast with foliage and colour, and complement the ‘outer garden’ of native scrub,” she said.
The clay soils and variable rainfall are ever challenging and result in mixed success with some plants.
“It’s an ongoing experiment; learning about our location’s particular micro-climate,” she said.
Mrs Hunter explained, while the garden is a haven for their family and friends, there are also many obstacles and hazards, so she urges to take care and supervise children at all times.
“We see the occasional snake at this time of the year and there are hidden rabbit warrens and logs in the grass up the hill.
“Enjoy a walk up the hill but stay on the mowed paths to avoid dangers. Also stay away from the quarry area which has steep and unstable sides.”
Mrs Hunter said the garden wouldn't be possible with the help of friends and family, and all of the hired help who have contributed their time.
“Lots of those people have also volunteered for this weekend which we greatly appreciate.”
Cost of entry is $8, which covers public liability, while those under 18-years are free.
The open garden, at 8 Gerald Roberts Road, off Seppeltsfield Road, will be further supported by Greenock's Connections Café and Seize the Day Wines for refreshments and Barossa Valley Icecream.
You can follow the Hunter's garden progroess on Instagram @my_barossa_garden.
For more details about the Open Gardens SA or more locations to visit, opengardensa.org.au/