More than 300 people flocked to see some of the region’s most inspiring nature and wildlife gardens that were open to the community as part of the annual Open Nature Gardens Weekend last weekend.

Hosted by Nature Conservation Margaret River Region, it was the third time the popular event returned, with all money raised by ticket sales going back into nature conservation activities.

Warm sunny weather made for the perfect backdrop as people toured the gardens spread among Cowaramup, Margaret River, Redgate and Prevelly. Many took home loads of ideas, knowledge and inspiration to apply to their own gardens, said organiser Peta Lierich, who runs Nature Conservation’s For Nature Landholders Stewardship Program.

“What a weekend! A huge thank-you to the gardeners who opened their properties to the community and shared an immense amount of knowledge. No doubt it has given lots of people some tools, ideas and inspiration to plant natives and give nature a boost at their place,” she said.

Gardens included the stunning native garden at Surfpoint Resort at Gnarabup, converted from a water-hungry lawn; a native wonderland on Mentelle Road at Kilcarnup made with a keen eye for design; and an eclectic fire-wise garden at Redgate.

Back by popular demand was Sally Coppin’s garden on Karri Loop, which has grown considerably since it featured on the program two years’ ago. Also a hit was Lisa Bell and Joel Hall’ property at Burke Circle in Cowaramup, which was landscaped on a shoestring budget and planted with native tube stock seedlings costing just a few dollars each. Rounding out the program was Dirk and Pam Hos’ property with remnant bushland on Loaring Place in Margaret River, and Margaret River’s new community native garden at Clarke Rd.

“The open garden weekend is all about educating and inspiring locals on the benefits of planting native species, and giving nature a hand in their suburban gardens or on their bush blocks and rural properties,” Peta says. “Thanks to everyone who supported the event. Hopefully you got some local, practical and hands-on information and inspiration for your garden.”

This event was part of the For Nature Landowner Stewardship Program, supported by funding from the West Australian Government’s State Natural Resources Management Program, the Water Corporation and the Shire of Augusta Margaret River.