Wendy’s Secret Garden, Sydney

As their name, it is a secret spot in Lavender Bay, at the foot of Wendy Whiteley’s home.

View from the Wendy’s Secret Garden. Oct 2020.

The story is amazing. After her husband passed away in 1992, she decided to focused on create a gorgeous public garden so the whole Sydney community will be able to enjoy it.

To bring some control to her life, she needed «to clean up a mess so that she could found her obsessively attacking the piles of overgrown rubbish on the large land filled valley of unused railway land at the foot of her house. Wendy hurled herself into the forlorn site, hacking away at lantana, blackberry vines and privet, clearing up dumped bottles, rusty refrigerators, rotting mattresses, laboring till she was too exhausted to think or feel, then collapsing into sleep each night. Then doing the same, the next day and the next. Wendy never asked any authorities for permission, and no one told her to stop, so she kept going» (Wendy’s Secret Garden website, 2020).

Sydney Harbour Bridge from Wendy’s Secret Garden. Oct 2020.

Without any knowledge in horticulture, Wendy devotedly worked to create a balance in this magical place with colors, shapes and textures exactly like a paintings. Wendy comments “I didn’t know anything about horticulture when I started the garden. I just knew what I liked. I’ve since learnt what likes being here. It’s a symbiotic relationship between the plants, myself and my gardeners”.

In 2015 a Janet wrote a book with Wendy’s garden story and the Premier of NSW decided to give her a 30 years lease on the place to continue grow this garden up. There is a lot of picnic tables where you can easily spend the whole day working, dating or relaxing in this gem.

Picnic with a view. Oct 2020.

In addition, there are the local volunteer gardeners who gather in the garden on the first Saturday of each month to lend a hand with spreading mulch, weeding and generally helping to care for the garden. The volunteer gardeners are coordinated by Lavender Bay Precinct (lavenderbayprecinct@gmail.com) and it is a unique opportunity for local residents and newcomers to enjoy the camaraderie of a diverse group bound together by their love of the garden.

👉🏻 Tip: You can get into the garden walking from Luna Park to Lavender Bay in Milsons Point or from North Sydney train Station.

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