Sunday the day to stroll through 10 of Tilligerry Peninsula's gorgeous gardens

WALK: Fran Corner from Tilligerry Community Association with Tanilba House owners Deidre Hall and Glenn Short in the house's garden. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts
WALK: Fran Corner from Tilligerry Community Association with Tanilba House owners Deidre Hall and Glenn Short in the house's garden. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

There are some things that the coronavirus pandemic cannot shutdown and one of them is the Tilligerry Open Gardens day, which is expected to be even bigger and better in 2020.

Ten Tilligerry Peninsula gardens, located at private residence's in Salt Ash and Tanilba Bay, will open for viewing on Sunday, September 27 from 11am to 3pm as a welcome to spring.

"This year we have a variety of sites and gardens, including rural, retirement, ferns, orchids, organic food and even a secret garden," said event organiser Fran Corner from the Tilligerry Community Association, adding that strict COVID-19 restrictions would apply for participants of the day.

Mrs Corner said a highlight of the 2020 gardens event, back for a second year, is historic Tanilba House.

"The garden at Tanilba House has evolved significantly over its 190-year history and has the oldest living olive tree in Australia. Today the gardens span three acres and embrace a cottage garden feel with a broad selection of plants and themes spread across various garden areas," she said.

Tanilba House owners Glenn Short and Deidre Hall, who are part of the event's organising committee, said they were excited to open the grounds to the community who would be able to see the work they have undertaken in the past year to formalise the gardens of the grand residence which will turn 190 years old on March 31, 2021.

More than 1000 plants, many rescued or gifted to the pair from residents of the peninsula, have been planted on the grounds.

"We have been doing many weddings and high teas in the past year, which has been going really well. Taking part in this event is about us giving back to the community, giving them access to the gardens for viewing," Mrs Hall said.

While the Tilligerry Open Gardens day is a public event, tickets must be purchased to take part. Upon buying tickets participants are given a map with details about where to find each of the gardens. There will be further directions at each location on the route to view the garden.

Tickets only grant the participant access to the garden, not the residences.

The Perpetual Gardens on Lemon Tree Passage Drive, Salt Ash. Picture: Supplied

The Perpetual Gardens on Lemon Tree Passage Drive, Salt Ash. Picture: Supplied

Heaven Gardens in Salt Ash is another highlight of the event, boasting five acres of manicured, landscaped grounds.

"The gardens are divided into two main areas: formal gardens and a natural wetlands. The formal gardens combine more than 20 themed gardens with 600 plants, manicured hedges, multiple water features and timber boardwalks," Mrs Corner said.

Another must-see is the Perpetual Gardens, located on a rural property in Salt Ash, consisting of various themed gardens surrounding the house from tropical to cactus and succulents to native, bonsai and traditional, as is Tilligerry Habitat, a 9ha parcel of regenerated native bushland in Tanilba Bay.

Tickets can be purchased on Sunday from Heaven Gardens (332 Lemon Tree Passage Road, Salt Ash) or Tilligerry Habitat (2E King Albert Avenue, Tanilba Bay). Tickets cost $5 per person or $10 per family.

All proceeds will go to Tilligerry Community Association.