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mt barker, south australia

Open gardens at Hamlyn Cottage

Since 2013 fellow gardeners have been visiting Sophie’s Patch in Mt Barker to see the growth of what is going to be one of South Australia’s iconic dry lands gardens.  Sophie loves the opportunity to share her successes, failures, ideas and experiments with fellow gardeners, and the Open Gardens have become one of the best ways to do this as gardeners of all levels and experts come along to share and enjoy this inspiring garden.  Sophie opens Hamlyn Cottage and Sophie’s Patch twice a year, in Autumn and Spring, so people can come and explore, learn and enjoy the development of this garden as it grows and evolves.

Each year the open gardens are a little different from the previous as different speakers, nurseries and organisations are involved, however some things remain constant.

  • Inspirational, expert speakers talking about all things organic gardening.
  • Kids activities to engage with kids of all ages.
  • Browse and buy quality plants from a selection of nurseries and garden suppliers.
  • Eat and drink delicious food and beverages made with produce from Sophie’s Patch.

What to expect

Plants to buy & specialists to talk to

As always, local nurseries will be sharing their knowledge and selling plants. This year Diggers Nursery is joining us as well.

Supporting organisations

Organisations at the open garden will be:

Three great different activities on two different days…

  1. Kate Hubmayer will teach nature craft for kids on Saturday.
  2. Bev Manthey will make Easter Baskets with the kids on Sunday.
  3. Kristen Messenger from Bugs ‘N’ Slugs will supervise bug related kids activities on Monday.

Expert presenters

Costa will be presenting at 11, 12.30 and 2 on Easter Saturday.

On Sunday and Monday hear from experts between 11am and 3pm on backyard poultry, how to attract butterflies and birds to your garden, urban beekeeping, and what to do in the vegie patch.

As a special event Heather Hristovski will be running cooking demonstrations on ‘dealing with summer abundance’ on both Sunday and Monday.

Plan your visit here.

talk program

Homemade refreshments and great coffee

We will have lunch, tea coffee and drinks available as well as cakes made with produce from Sophie’s Patch.

This year we welcome Coffee Connoisseurs.

Coffee Connoisseurs is a Youth Social Enterprise Program that is ran through the City of Salisbury at Twelve25 Salisbury Youth Enterprise Centre.   The is aim to upskill young people in the Salisbury Area and provide self-employment opportunities.

Quality coffee at a low price from trained local young people. ALL COFFEE $4.00! – we also do Iced Coffee, Chai Tea, Vanilla and Caramel Flavorings, Decaf Coffee and an assorted range of tea.

Partnering with local charities

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


Garden is open from 10am until 4.30pm each day.


394 Springs Rd, Mt Barker Springs, South Australia


$10 Adults, children under 18 Free.


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.

How to get to Sophie’s Patch

Some images from previous open gardens