Private gardens open for special weekend

November 30, 2021 BY

Green thumbs: Paul and Judy Sens and Lucille the shovel are ready to welcome visitors to their once-a-year garden opening. Photo: JONATHON MAGRATH

ALMOST three acres of private garden will open for two days, all in the name of raising money for the community.

Itchy Palms Garden, located in Mandurang, swings its doors open once a year for people to walk through, and this year owners Judy and Paul Sens are hoping to see more people than ever on 11 and 12 December.

The pair bought an empty paddock in 2004 which featured no more than an old gum tree.

Now, the garden features 31 themed “rooms” filled with exotic and native plants, hand-made structures and a central dam, all planted and created by Mr and Ms Sens with inspiration drawn on from all over the world.

Ms Sens admitted she may be addicted to gardening.

“My parents were addicted too they have big gardens and my sisters have big gardens,” she said.

“Once you have a nice big garden you want to show it off, and you may as well be helping a charity out at the same time.

“I’ve planted everything, my husband helps with lots of structures and helping fix things, but I’m usually the labourer.

“This is our fourth opening, the first two were for the Mandurang Hall and we did the Lions club last year, but we were down on numbers because of COVID. This year hopefully we’ll be up on numbers.”

Entry is $8, and there will be a stall selling flowers, plants and artworks, to help the Strathfieldsaye Lions Club raise money that will go back into the community.

“They haven’t been able to do any fundraising at all, so the more people we can get here there more it’s going to help them out,” Ms Sens said.

“I wanted an excuse to open and it’s nice to be able to raise some funds too, especially locally.”

With warmer weather, Ms Sens is expecting a burst of colour to take over the entire gardens.

The open garden event is cash only, no dogs are allowed, and closest bathroom facilities are located at the Mandurang Recreation Reserve.