Canberra gardens are ready to bloom. Photo: Melissa Adams
Canberra's spring open gardens program will go ahead despite the announcement by Open Gardens Australia that it will close after 27 years.
Open Gardens Australia announced on Monday it would cease operations in the middle of 2015 after almost three decades of organising public visits to Australia's most beautiful gardens .
First Canberra Garden Club president Paulene Cornish was sad to learn of the end of the organisation.
She said "there is nothing else that will take [Open Gardens Australia's] place".
She said even though there would be fewer gardens open to the public, there were still ways to peer inside gardens, by becoming a member of a garden club or horticultural society.
"There are several garden clubs within Canberra and all of those take members to see local gardens. But there certainly will not be as many gardens accessible by people as has been in the past," Ms Cornish said.
Open Gardens Australia chief executive Liz White said the non-profit organisation was hit hard by the economic downturn, with the increasing financial pressures over the years.
"It wasn't a light decision taken by the board . . . we've been experiencing rises in cost and falls in revenue," she said.
"We [had] been actively developing and implementing measures to counter those developments but we have not been able to do that effectively enough, unfortunately.
"We have a guide out for the entire season until June 30, 2015, which includes close to 500 garden openings and special events. We plan to celebrate the past 27 years by having a terrific last season."
Ms White expected the organisation's supporters to continue its legacy on a local level.
"I expect that there will be a number of community groups and organisations that will rise up out of our demise and continue on a lot of the work that community groups, charities and garden clubs are already doing out there."
Open Gardens Australia's ACT and NSW regional liaison officer, Bronwyn Blake, recommended that anyone interested in gardens and gardening look to their local garden clubs.
For more information about Open Gardens Australia openings and events in the ACT, visit http://www.opengarden.org.au/events/nsw_act_events.html