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  • Cheryl Osborne

Patsy Durack's Rose Garden, Gooseberry Hill:

We were greeted by Patsy, cradling a cute, black, miniature poodle pup, and ushered on to the verandah of "Karelia", the beautifully restored former "summer palace" of the Catholic Bishop of the Archdiocese of Perth - there had even been a boat shed, now a gift shop. Patsy told us how she, her late husband and children brought the property in 1988 and of the time and energy it took to level the ground, build the retaining walls, and finally create the rose garden, now with over 630 bushes.

We spent a pleasant couple of hours wandering round the garden with Patsy, who answered enumerable questions about growing, pruning, fertilising, and watering and we were amazed to learn that she manages the property with the help of a long term "jack of all jobs" gardener once a week. The same pruner has been doing the job for 31 years! There wasn't much breathing space when we all stepped into the tiny 2-roomed restored cottage of the Bishop's housekeeper/s. Before leaving we browsed, and some folk bought from the Gift Shop. We enjoyed lunch at Embers before heading back to 'our' side of the hills.

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