Heather Cant’s Garden Revisit

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Heather Cant’s Garden Revisit

Burke’s Backyard first filmed “Gowan Brae” at Burradoo over four years ago, so we decided it was time to pay Heather Cant another visit. The property is 11/2 acres (0.6ha), and consists of a charming old turn of the century cottage and a beautiful garden which has been created around the established trees and shrubs. The garden has been described as a colour co-ordinated tapestry of flowering plants.

Don chatted to Heather in an area she calls the “Remembrance Garden”. It features an old seat left to Heather by her parents, which was brought out from Essex in England. Underfoot, herbs including Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) spread across the ground, and their scents waft up as you sit on the bench and relax. The croquet lawn is flanked on one side by a wide mixed border of shrubs, old roses and perennials. On the other side a formal vegetable garden is surrounded by a ‘circle of colour’ of climbing and shrub roses. Starting with a white rose arch, the colours progress through softer pinks, strong pinks and reds, then to a crimson arch and on to scarlets and oranges. The same colour theme is mirrored by a planting of perennials underneath the roses. At the far end of the croquet lawn there are wide stone steps (covered in self-sown flowers) leading down to another mixed border.

 A garden next to the house is mass planted with pink Japanese windflowers (Anemone x hybrida). They are hardy perennials which grow to about 1m (3′) tall. The flowers come as singles or doubles in a wide range of colours including white, pink and a rosy red with golden centres. They grow best in areas south of Brisbane and Perth, and they need protection from hot sun and drying winds in summer. 

Further information:

“Gowan Brae”, 14 Charlotte Street, Burradoo, NSW, is open this weekend, April 24-26, from 9.30am to 4.30pm. Admission $4. Phone: (02) 4861 3137. It will also open daily from 14th October to 28th November, 1999.