Australian Plants Society Open Gardens: Aitkin Garden Bonnet Bay

So over the weekend some of the members of the Australian Plant Society Sutherland Group opened their gardens to the general public, for me this is like a dream come true, theres nothing I like more than having a sticky beak in someon-elses garden especially if it is a native garden! Unfortunately I could only make it to half the gardens…The Australian Native Plant Society NSW  is a wonderful organisation, the Sutherland group is particularly active with regular evening talks, bushwalks and study tours. There are APS groups all over Australia, check them out, they are an excellent source of information. The first garden I visited was a rainforest garden with a very tropical feel. It was very shady but full of foliage contrast and a remarkable amount of flowers. Dendrobium speciosum was everywhere as was the odd Doryanthes excelsa spear.

Below you can see an excellent example of a shady garden bed planted with an excellent plant selection. There are Xanthorrhoea spps., Lomatia silaifolia, Macrozamia communis and Doryanthes excelsa.

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These decorative fruits from Cordyline petiolaris (the red)and Cordyline stricta (the purple) made an un-expeceted feature.

P1070452But the main thing that made this garden come together for me was the repetition of plants, giving unity and making it a peaceful place to stroll and relax. The Omalanthus popufolius below popped its head up often as it made its way to the upper storey.

P1070446There was plenty of diversity in the foliage, with weeping contrasting with upright and fine with broad, I’m sure it was all planned that way! Below you can see the two different species of Cordylines with the Graptophyllum ilicifolium in the middle and a clump of Asplenium nidus behind.

P1070473There were also wonderful stands of Dicksonia antartica which looked as if they had been there for centuries.

P1070430The garden was wonderful inspiration for looking at different understory plantings, where a natural balance has been achieved and a small micro climate created.

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