Green thumbs open gardens to public

Sean and Janine Hegarty’s Haddington home is open this weekend.
Sean and Janine Hegarty’s Haddington home is open this weekend.

IF the ageing camphor laurel in the front yard of 54 Locke St could talk, it would surely tell a story of cubbie houses and gardening feats.

Sharing the history of the century old house and yard it shades will be in the hands of its current owner Clint Kenny, this weekend.

The local landscape designer is one of three Warwick home owners opening their gates and gardens to the general public as part of the Australian Open Garden Scheme.

Organised by Queensland OGS co-ordinator Fiona Rafferty, the trio of local properties offer a unique combination of history and modern garden design.

“These homes are all stately Queenslanders built more than a century ago,” Mrs Rafferty said.

“Their gardens have grown with them: creating an appealing combination of established trees and modern design and plantings.”

She said the “town” gardens were part of a focus on Warwick weekend.

“We have also organised a Rose City Heritage Garden Tour tomorrow, but that trip is now booked out,” Mrs Rafferty said.

A total of 300 tickets were pre-sold for day trip, which takes in the following homesteads: Banchory (Cambooya), Talgai (Allora), North Toolburra and Assmanshausen Winery (Warwick).

Mrs Rafferty said interest in the homestead tour had been extraordinary.

“I am really thrilled by the response, there are some incredible gardens in regional Queensland and it is great to be able to focus on them,” she said.

“We have gardening clubs coming from places like the Sunshine Coast to be involved in this tour.

“So I would like to think it will be positive for Warwick tourism.”

There were plans to organise a similar tour in the region every second year.

Yesterday not even the forecast of wet weather was able to dampen the enthusiasm of Mrs Rafferty as she packed for two days on the Southern Downs.

“I have spoken to our gardeners and they have all said the rain was needed and settled the dust,” she said. “It has freshened things up and the gardens are looking fabulous.”

She urged anyone interested in gardening, beautiful homes or history to visit Warwick’s open gardens this weekend.

“These are beautiful, inspiring places and a visit will include some history,” Mrs Rafferty said.

The three gardens: Merilees at 177 Palmerin St; Haddington at 118 Ogilvy Rd and The Laurels at 54 Locke Street will be open Saturday and Sunday.

For more details go to


Merilees, 177 Palmerin St

Haddington, 118 Ogilvie Rd

The Laurels, 54 Locke St

These Warwick gardens are open Saturday 10am to 5.30pm; Sunday 10am- 4.30pm

Cost: $6 adults, children U18 free

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