Saturday 9 | Sunday 10 | Monday 11 November 2019

Once again there will be a fabulous program of speakers, nurseries, refreshments and surprises providing entertainment and inspiration for the thousands of visitors from across Australia who visit this dry lands garden.


Entry Fee: $12 & children under 18 free, stay in the garden as long as you like. Supporting the Rotary Club of Mt Barker and Operation Flinders. Gates open from 10am to 4.30pm daily.

Tickets:  Purchase on the day at the gates.  Correct money appreciated.

Hamlyn Cottage, 394 Springs Road, Mt Barker Springs
(Follow the signs from Mt Barker – no dogs allowed)

Program of talks

I have finalised the program of garden talks and I am very excited about it with talks on spring in the vegie garden, backyard chooks, urban beekeeping and native bees, insects and butterfly gardening, birdscaping, and cooking demos each day with Heather Hristovski.

I am exited to be launching the Butterfly Conservation Society’s new book Caterpillars, Moths and their Plants of Southern Australia at our open garden at their stand on Saturday 9th at 11am. This is fabulous book and is the perfect companion to Attracting Butterflies to your Garden – what to grow and conserve in the Adelaide region.


The nurseries present will be offering many of the interesting and unusual plants that I grow.

Supporting organisations

Organisations at the open garden may include:

Garden Art

We will have a range of our own creations such as butterflies, bees and dragon flies and the new ladybirds which featured in Balance at the Royal Show. We will also have a limited number of our large red metal poppies.

Recreate – Run by the Mt Pleasant Natural Resource Centre, they joined us at our Easter Open Garden for the first time and we are delighted to have them back. They create the most amazing things for the home and garden including incredible garden art, all from recycled materials.

For Kids

As usual we will be running free kids’ activities all weekend. On Saturday Kate Hubmayer will be running nature craft with kids making nature crowns. Having had Kate at each of our open gardens since we started them five years ago, I know how much kids will enjoy her activity. Kristen Messenger from Bugs ‘n’ Slugs will also be here on the Saturday supervising bug related kids activities and this is also always popular with kids and adults alike.

On Sunday Faye from Recreate will be showing kids how to make botanical prints using the natural shapes and colours of foliage and flowers. They will produce a unique card or picture with this fun hands-on printing technique and embellish with a selection of dried and pressed garden botanicals.

Both activities are a great way to show kids how to explore and appreciate backyards, gardens and natural spaces.


Hot & cold drinks, lunch options and our own delicious home baked cakes made from my home grown produce will be available on the day.

At this stage we will have pumpkin, new guinea bean, tomatillo, tromboncino and beetroot, as well as a few fruit based cakes and slices. We will have some gluten free and vegan cakes available too.

For coffee lovers we will again have Beans Talk Coffee Cart  here which is a wonderful initiative of the Hutt St Centre. We will also be raffling the mosaic table we created for them at our recent mosaic workshop and funds will support the amazing work that they do.

No dogs…

two checky children with no dogs signSherlock

Sherlock is our wonderful guard dog, flock protector, friend and family pet.  He is a breed called a Mareema, bred to protect stock from predators and to be intensely loyal to, and protective of, his family.

Sherlock is true to his breeding and we ask that visitors do not bring other dogs to our property.  Visiting dogs will unnecessarily cause Sherlock stress as he feels the need to protect his flock and family from them.

Your support is much appreciated.

Partnering with local charities

Sophie partners with local community groups and charities to organise the parking.  In the past few years, Local Rotary Clubs have managed visitor parking to raise money for their chosen charities including “Operation Flinders’.

What happened in previous open gardens?

Open gardens at Sophie’s Patch are more than just demonstrating sustainable gardening practices that I am always preaching, they are more like a fair or community event focused on community education.  Every open garden is different at Sophie’s Patch as the garden grows, different speakers and groups join, amazing sculptures are built and the garden evolves.