Stunning private gardens throughout the coastal suburb of Beaumaris were put on public display as part of the annual Family Life Open Garden Day in mid-October. The Citywide team has proudly supported the event for eight years and are thrilled to have assisted in the growth of such a unique event as an active community partner.
The ominous skies didn’t hamper attendees as umbrellas were out in full force. Six gardens were opened up and ranged from the well-manicured and modern landscaping designs through to the more romantic, rugged presentations. Through the generosity of the hosts, the open gardens gave one the opportunity to peer over the fence and take in some wonderful treats, such as Devonshire Tea and a hearty BBQ, provided by one of the hosts.
Getting from garden to garden was simple, thanks to the donated fleet of delightful courtesy vintage cars on offer, with some more than ninety years old. From a 1923 Rolls Royce (named ‘Yellow Peril’ by its original owner) through to a 1936 Packard One-Twenty Roadster, complete with fresh white interiors and a ‘dickie’ seat, It was certainly a nostalgic trip for many to see these cars drive by, with some saying it was the most comfortable ride they’d had in years,
“What a wonderful idea! I haven’t ridden in a car like this for decades!’ exclaimed long-time Beaumaris resident Judith Andrews as she exited the bright red Roadster, grinning from ear to ear.
Since its inception twelve years ago, the Open Garden Day has raised more than $240,000 for the not-for-profit organisation, Family Life, which assists vulnerable children and their families who live in high-needs neighbourhoods.
With money raised, Family Life can continue vital projects such as Community Bubs, which helps vulnerable babies to thrive and live safely in the care of their own families and SHINE children’s mental health program. Other initiatives to reduce disadvantage and social isolation such as community run op-shops and pathways vocational programs will also benefit from the fundraising activities,
“The Open Garden Day is a wonderful community day; the generosity of the volunteers, garden hosts and the rest of the community are extraordinary. The volunteer team never loses sight of why they are doing the fundraising, which is to support the kids in our community who really need help” the Family Life committee says.
The event concept was born in 2002, when avid gardeners Pauline Reynolds, Paula Judson and Margie Thompson decided to raise money for Family Life by holding an Open Garden Day, showcasing five gardens, including their own, and encouraging a family-friendly event. The first event raised $5000, so the women decided to keep replicating this winning formula in other suburbs such as Brighton Beach, Hampton and Sandringham.
While the essence of the day remains, the event has grown to include local sponsorships, over 100 people volunteering each year and vintage cars donated as transportation for the day, with a continued focus on sustainability, community development and the environment.
Citywide is honoured to have been given the opportunity to support such a fantastic fundraising initiative creating better life situations of so many and will continue to strengthen the partnership with Family Life and the local Bayside community.
View the Family Life Open Day event photos.