After raising more than $17,500 over the last six years, Helms Gardens will hold its seventh annual Open Day to collect much-needed funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
This year’s Open Day will be called the ‘Garden of Knowledge’, with passionate local gardeners on hand to share their expertise and answer questions.
The Open Day will begin at 10am on Sunday, October 7, with a sausage sizzle lunch as well as morning and afternoon tea by the ladies of the Flying Doctor.
Secret Wishes will hold a fashion show from 1:30pm, followed by a raffle and several items to be auctioned.
Helms Gardens owner and creator Lyn Ling said she was grateful people wanted to be a part of the day and could not believe she had not thought of the idea before.
“I asked one person if they’d like to come along and talk about making compost and the ball started rolling from there,” she said.
“I invited three others and then people begun ringing and telling me what they’d like to discuss.”
“We’ll have someone speaking on soil, how to make good compost, permaculture, worm farms, bees and hives, cacti plants and succulents, indoor plants, herbs, wicking beds, pruning and seed saving.
“They’re all local people who are happy to share what they’ve learnt.
“I just think it’s great that all of these people want to be a part of it, giving up their Sunday to come along.
“If it’s a success, we’ll certainly look at doing more each year.
“To be quite honest, I don’t know how we hadn’t thought of it before - it is a ‘Garden Day’.”
Despite her luscious green garden, Ms Ling insists she has made a lot of gardening mistakes herself.
Having moved to Esperance from Tasmania, Ms Ling said she realised the importance of improving and nourishing different soil types and learned a lot through trial and error.
“When I came here [to the property on Helms Drive], it was all Esperance sand and I didn’t know the first thing about growing anything here,” she said.
“I have made a lot of mistakes – I have learnt so much and most of it has been about improving the soil.
“I use anything I can to feed it, coffee grounds and shredded paper.
“It’s nice to be natural and recycling everything, it’s a nice feeling.”
The Open Day provides gardening enthusiasts the opportunity to wander the garden, which has become a hub for generous donations from local businesses and the Esperance community.
“It’s a nice excuse to spend time outside together relaxing,” she said.
“It’s a big garden and you’ll need more than just half an hour to have a wander around.
“People do keep coming back because it’s a work in progress but anybody who hasn’t visited before needs time to have a proper look and enjoy it.”
“I love gardening and I love it when people want to be part of the garden and add something that has belonged to Mum or Dad or a relative.
“There are lots of little things in the garden that are recycled and, in this day and age, everybody should be thinking about what they can recycle.
“It’s a passion; I love coming home from work, driving down the driveway and seeing all the coloured glasses and plants.
“It’s restful, especially if you’ve had a stressful day, and it’s full of life.”
Admission for this year’s Open Day will be $5 per person and children will be free, with all proceeds raised going directly to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
The Open Day at Lot 28 Helms Drive will be held on Sunday, October 7, from 10am until 4pm with a sausage sizzle lunch as well as morning and afternoon tea.
For more information, contact Lyn Ling on 0429 886 200.