Glenice Shephard has poured much love and energy into her Peppermint Grove garden.
Understated and welcoming, this magnificent Forrest St property, Bouriah, purchased by Glenice and her late husband David in 1978, is a sight for sore eyes.
“It’s had three or four transformations. First there was the native plants phase – and later, the English Country Garden phase,” Glenice recalls with a smile.
Both phases ended badly.
Many of the natives carked it, and the roses didn’t take kindly to the harsh soil, or the property’s bore water system.
Glenice says she couldn’t have tried harder to keep the garden resplendent with flourishing roses, camellias, and gardenias.
“I’d go to England to look at beautiful gardens for inspiration, studying their roses and trying to emulate this back home, “ she explains. “It never really worked! And don’t get me started on all my David Austin roses!”
That was then.
“Now I stick to what I know will survive,” she gestures.
Around us, we’re treated to the sight of a robust Carob tree, Jasmine, Irises, Daylilies, NZ Rock Lilies, Wisteria, Liquid Amber, Agonis and other botanical delights, studded with the occasional statue or water feature.
“It’s definitely a pastel garden, they suit this place. I spend a lot of time out here.
“I find it very peaceful and meditative sitting here, looking at my gentle garden – that is, when I’m not working on it!” says Glenice, joined by her grandchildren, Nina, 5, and Denby, 10.
“When we bought it, there wasn’t really much of a garden at all,” she recalls.
“Just a tennis court, a hills hoist and a lot of grass. Not much else.”
On Friday, October 30, the public have a chance to wander through Bouriah and absorb the beauty and fragrance of Glenice’s garden.
It’s one of the ten Peppermint Gardens on display as part of PLC Open Garden Day.
“This is our 18th year and it’s a terrific chance to get to see just how many beautiful gardens are in the area,” says Winks Shephard, Glenice’s daughter-in-law, who’s garden coordinator for the event.
(She may well have had a hand in persuading Glenice to open up her garden; after all, Glenice went to MLC!)
“The gardens are all within walking distance of the school and some have never been opened to the public before.”
It’s a great chance to see some of Perth’s most impressive gardens, and landscape gardeners will be on hand during the day to answer questions.
Tickets are $25 ($15 for seniors and free for kids under 16) for access to ten gardens.
PLC’s string quartet, pipe band and choir will also be performing.
There will also be a garden café, lemonade stall and stalls selling handcrafted food and wares, ideal to pick up Christmas treats.
PLC “old girl,” soprano nightingale Sara Macliver will also be performing and chef Aristos will also be on hand, sharing culinary tips.
PLC Open Garden day will be on from 10am to 2pm on Friday, October 30. Tickets are available online at www.trybooking.com/IJCV or at the gardens on the day.
Starfish Photographs: Peter Rigby