• Cindy Young and Judy Waters

    Cindy Young and Judy Waters

  • Fiona Fleming and Diana Ryan

    Fiona Fleming and Diana Ryan

  • Bruce Harper and Bronwyn Vincent

    Bruce Harper and Bronwyn Vincent

  • Janet Hawley chats with Fiona Fleming

    Janet Hawley chats with Fiona Fleming

  • Anne Purtill and Julie Stevenson

    Anne Purtill and Julie Stevenson

  • Gai Berzins and Gina Howlett

    Gai Berzins and Gina Howlett

  • Gail Kinsella, Rebecca Wight and Selina Arnaudon

    Gail Kinsella, Rebecca Wight and Selina Arnaudon

  • Wendy Whiteley

    Wendy Whiteley

  • Philippa Edquist, Isabella Edquist, Nancy, Nikki Anderson

    Philippa Edquist, Isabella Edquist, Nancy, Nikki Anderson

  • Jane Smyth and Margie Salmon

    Jane Smyth and Margie Salmon

  • Helen Hemphill and Claudia Hyles

    Helen Hemphill and Claudia Hyles

  • Wendy Whiteley

    Wendy Whiteley

Wendy Whiteley's Secret Garden

20 October 2015

I have a few favourite gardens. Once upon a time The Lodge was a favourite place to scamper around as we accompanied my grandmother to some charity occasion she was involved in and playing in the ‘Fairfax Garden’ on Mugga Way where we lived so long ago has many happy memories. But most of all I love Jardin Marjorelle in Marrakech, Morocco, opened originally in 1947, and from 1980 owned and maintained by Yves Saint-Laurent and partner Pierre Berge. In complete contrast, but definitely a favourite is the Hillwood Estate museum and gardens in northwest Washington DC, owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post, business woman, socialite and collector whose extraordinary creation is a must see on the DC tourist trail.

That joy of gardens and the pleasure of having one is a preface to a new treasure to add to my list, The Secret Garden of Wendy Whiteley , sweeping across the arc that is Lavender Bay in Sydney and created over 20 years by a lady with a vision, passion and determination to restore a railway siding dump into the garden of her dreams. It’s not a planned garden as such, it has evolved over the years and now has a certainty in its future with the granting of a lease from the Baird government to lovely Wendy who wrote to this premier and invited him to tea. She doesn’t use emails and must make a fine cuppa to at last achieve security for this gift to Sydney.

To assist in the plan of attack to secure the site the ABC’s Australian Story had us all on side and a book appropriately called Wendy Whiteley and The Secret Garden written by Janet Hawley is now sold out and into a second printing. We the garden lovers who love a bit of ‘garden porn’ as much as getting the dirt between the fingers enjoyed a double header chat with Janet Hawley and Wendy Whiteley as they zipped all around the beginning, the process and the current state of this treasure with photos, anecdotes and memories.

We were ensconced at Muse, where food, wine and books come together at East Hotel in Kingston, and loved the space and the ambiance. They have a program of events too, so take time to check it out.
She doesn’t use emails and must make a fine cuppa to at last achieve security for this gift to Sydney.
To assist in the plan of attack to secure the site the ABC’s Australian Story and a book appropriately called Wendy Whiteley and The Secret Garden written by Janet Hawley is now sold out and into a second printing.

We the garden lovers who love a bit of ‘garden porn’ as much as getting the dirt between the fingers enjoyed a double header chat with Janet Hawley and Wendy Whiteley as they zipped all around the beginning, the process and the current state of this treasure with photos, anecdotes and memories.

And next time you’re in Sydney pop over to Wendy’s no longer Secret Garden.