Garden lovers flock to ‘Open Gardens’ display on the Tilligerry Peninsula

Tanilba House owner Deidre Hall flanked by Fiona and Michael at the historic homestead.

A BREAK in the weather saw garden lovers flock to the annual ‘Open Gardens’ display on the Tilligerry Peninsula.

On purchasing a ticket, visitors were given a map of the participating properties which ranged from Salt Ash through to Tanilba Bay, Mallabula and Lemon Tree Passage.

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The most popular exhibit was at Historic Tanilba House, now a private home which caters for events such as weddings.

The surrounding grounds and gardens were a riot of colour.

These were framed by manicured lawns despite the heavy rains of recent weeks.

We caught up with Fiona Cooper and Michael Ford from Raymond Terrace who were impressed by the gardens they visited.

They found the owners of the gardens polite and friendly, with “many smiling faces” in attendance.

“We heard about it on Port Stephens FM radio,” Fiona said.

“It’s a great way of bringing the community together.”

Meanwhile at Mallabula, self confessed gardening tragic Michelle Mc Gregor saw her role in the event as a way of bringing local residents together.

She finds gardening a great stress release activity which she has been passionate about for most of her life.

“This is my second year participating and it is bigger and better than the year before,” she stated.

“I was quite surprised at the number of visitors from outside the area,”

The long term resident has a business – ‘Kindred Living’ – in Lemon Tree Passage which specialises in indoor plants.

Tilligerry once had a very active garden club and annual flower show but insurance issues and lack of volunteers saw it close down.


Michelle Mc Gregor displays her front garden at Mallabula.

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