Yanchep: cool oasis hewn from coastal scrub

Garden magic: A corner of Cynthia’s pride and joy, which will open to the public.        Picture: Bruce Hunt    d464139
Garden magic: A corner of Cynthia’s pride and joy, which will open to the public.        Picture: Bruce Hunt d464139

CYNTHIA Sinclair says she would spend “a few hours most days, depending on the weather” working in her Yanchep garden.

Now her efforts will be on display to the public when she holds an open garden this weekend.

Ms Sinclair said her front and side gardens at 62 Kaiber Avenue were an example of how to “turn challenging coastal conditions into a cool green oasis”.

“The garden began life as a scrubby sand dune among the many that made up the topography of Yanchep,” she said.

“Now, peppermint, pine, olive and gum trees, Chinese elm, weeping mulberry and an ancient Norfolk pine provide both shelter from coastal winds and a canopy for the many species of birds that have made the garden home.”

She said the garden also featured limestone walled courtyards with roses, lavender, seasonal vegetables and herbs as well as large pots with gardenias, geraniums and fruit trees.

“The garden overall has a lot of green to counter the bleaching effect of sun and wind that gardens close to the ocean are prone to,” she said.

Ms Sinclair, who has been gardening for about 40 years, said she liked to create landscape gardens because they were “relaxing” and “lovely places to be in”.

“I like creating spaces in the garden,” she said. “I hope people come and have an enjoyable time; have a cup of tea and sit in one of the garden spaces or on the veranda.”

Ms Sinclair is hosting the event as part of the recently established Open Gardens West Coast.

“I used to be part of the national open garden scheme but it folded about a year ago,” Ms Sinclair said.

“There was no scheme in WA so in August, a few people got together and formed a committee.”

The garden will be open from 10am to 4pm this Saturday and Sunday. It can only be accessed via steps and there is no wheelchair access.

Light refreshments will be available and entry is $7.

Open Gardens West Coast chairman Kieran Kelly said about 500 people attended another recent open garden in Karrinyup and one of last year’s events attracted about 1500 people “looking for inspiration”.

“We’ve got another five locked in so far,” he said.

For more information, visit www.opengardenswa.org.