& We Shall Write In Gardens All Misty & Wet

Ian Marr 2009 - Slate
















 Sweet Thing  from Astral Weeks  1973, Van Morrison.

Carved in slate, these words greet you at the entrance of Wendy Whiteley’s Garden. A not quite secret, but usually quiet, idyll of lushness created from waste ground abandoned by City Rail.

It’s a garden of narrow paths meandering over it’s steep, terraced slope with handmade stone walls and staircases to paths that may or may not lead you somewhere. It has dark glades with hidden benches that beckon lovers, or camouflage the secret lairs of dragons and fairies. Other paths lead you to sunlit lawns or open onto views of Lavender Bay, the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park.

Throughout the garden are pieces of sculpture and objects that are no longer functional, but have become far more interesting, amusing and inspiring in their second life. It’s a place of texture and contrasts, of foliage rather than pretty flowers.

It’s a wonderful place for a writer. A natural den to escape to and let your thoughts wander, to have your creativity replenished. To be reminded that when the rubbish is cleared something of great beauty can emerge. If like Wendy Whiteley you’re willing to start at one end and see where it takes you.

Of the garden Wendy Whitely says, ‘It will never be finished. That’s the thing. Like a life is never over until you’re dead.’

Head - Joel Elenberg 1970

2 thoughts on “& We Shall Write In Gardens All Misty & Wet

  1. This gorgeous garden is right in front of the Sydney Writer’s Centre training rooms where I recently taught a creative writing course and one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets! I absolutely loved it. You’re so right about it being the perfect place for a writer. So inspiring. Unfortunately my classes were held at night so I wasn’t able to take my students there, but what a setting for a day-time class! Much more fun than sitting in an air-conditioned room with the doors and windows shut. The view from the terrace outside the training rooms looks straight down at this lovely little garden and Lavender Bay beyond. Paradise.

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