HE­LEN YOUNG

OPEN GAR­DEN

The Weekend Australian - Life - - GARDENING -

DE­SCRIBE THE GAR­DEN: Our beef cat­tle farm is on the beau­ti­ful south­ern Fleurieu Penin­sula, 60km south of Ade­laide. The ram­bling 4000sq m pro­duc­tive, bio­dy­namic gar­den is the heart of the farm, sit­u­ated next to the house on top of a hill. It’s in­spir­ing to be work­ing in the gar­den and look out over un­du­lat­ing, gum-stud­ded pad­docks to the South­ern Ocean, 8km away.

Phillip and I pur­chased the prop­erty in 1997 and the en­tire farm, in­clud­ing the gar­den and or­chard, is cer­ti­fied bio­dy­namic or­ganic.

We’ve es­tab­lished a di­verse col­lec­tion of lo­cal na­tive plants, peren­ni­als and ed­i­bles to at­tract bees and birds and to cre­ate a bal­anced, peace­ful, sus­tain­able gar­den en­vi­ron­ment. We have many gar­den “rooms” in­clud­ing a cov­ered or­chard with free-rang­ing hens, kitchen gar­den, berry fruit gar­den, med­i­ta­tive prayer gar­den, herb gar­den and saf­fron bed.

There are lovely walks through the 2.4ha of dense her­itage scrub, where we see kan­ga­roos graze in the morn­ing and at least 60 types of birds.

WHAT MAKES IT SPE­CIAL: Our aim is to cre­ate an in­spir­ing, healthy gar­den, pro­duc­ing en­livened, whole­some food to heal and in­spire our­selves and vis­i­tors. We came down this path af­ter mov­ing from a heav­ily sprayed prop­erty in Ren­mark and my can­cer di­ag­no­sis. Hap­pily, I’ve been healthy again since 2000.

BIG­GEST CHAL­LENGES: Be­ing at the top of the hill, the top­soil had washed away, leav­ing heavy clay, im­pos­si­ble to dig. So we built raised beds piled with lay­ers of lucerne hay, com­post and straw, and now we have beau­ti­ful, deep, black soil that is full of worms and pro-

Sun­ning­dale Farm 630 Mos­quito Hill Road, Mount Jagged, South Aus­tralia

Own­ers: Anne and Phillip Duguid Open 10am-4pm; $8, un­der 16 free

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