The program has been finalised with seven new inspiring nature and wildlife gardens open to the community when the annual Open Nature Gardens Weekend returns this weekend.

Hosted by Nature Conservation Margaret River Region, it’s the third time the popular event returns after sell-outs in both 2022 and 2021. Tickets are $15 to attend all seven gardens on the program during the October 14-15 weekend, with three gardens on Saturday and another four open gardens on Sunday. All money raised goes back into nature conservation activities. Reserve your tickets here.

Gardens include Lisa Bell’s property at Burke Circle, Cowaramup – which was landscaped on a shoestring budget and planted with native tube stock seedlings costing just a few dollars each. “Everyone who’s building a house now is going way over budget, and it seems no-one has any money left for landscaping,” Lisa said. “But this garden is a really good demonstration of how you can grow a decent garden on a shoestring. For the size of our garden and what we’ve done, it was pretty cheap.”

Remnant bush abounds on Dirk and Pam Hos’ property which is home to their 4-bedroom bed and breakfast at Loaring Place, Margaret River. The couple wanted to retain as much of the original bush as possible, complete with a bounty of wildflowers and orchids, including the endangered Giant Spider Orchid plus a swathe of other orchids. This is no manicured and landscaped garden, instead it’s a rambling waterwise native garden featuring local grasses and groundcovers that blend into the bush.

Also on the program is Margaret River’s new community native garden, which doubles as an educational space for waterwise gardening, growing natives and creating wildlife habitat. Ticket holders can tour the garden and hear from those who played a role in its creation. The tranquil, biodiverse and waterwise garden was completed by Nature Conservation earlier this year with the assistance of Backyard Creations, and is located on the same site and compliments the Margaret River Community Garden and Margaret River Community Pantry on Clarke Rd.

Other gardens include

  • the stunning native garden at Surfpoint Resort at Gnarabup, converted from a water-hungry lawn to a thriving native paradise
  • Ryan Harvey’s (pictured, with his children) native garden on Mentelle Road at Kilcarnup made with a keen eye for design to complement a modern home upgrade and an arum lily success story
  • back by popular demand is Sally Coppin’s garden on Karri Loop, which has grown considerably since it starred on the Open Nature Gardens Weekend program two years ago
  • an eclectic fire-wise garden made to withstand the elements at Redgate

Event organiser Peta Lierich, who runs Nature Conservation’s For Nature Landholder Stewardship Program, said backyards and gardens were vital places for nature and biodiversity because 70 per cent of land in the region is privately owned. “These spaces can support wildlife and biodiversity, help cool down our living spaces and by choosing local native species we can reduce our use of water resources,” she said. “The open garden weekend is designed to educate and inspire locals on the benefits of planting native species, and give nature a hand in their suburban gardens or on their bush blocks and rural properties. You can visit them all over the weekend, or pick and choose the gardens of most interest. Come and get some local, practical and hands-on information and inspiration for your garden.”

“As well as coming along to this inspiring weekend, we’re urging people to register with our For Nature Landholder Stewardship Program – registration is free and takes just a couple of minutes. And it comes with benefits like grants for conservation work at your place, free equipment hire, and access to loads of information and workshops to give nature a hand at your place,” Peta says. See www.natureconservation.org.au/for-nature to join.

 

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