Tipsy Hill, a one-of-a-kind property atop a hill in Blewitt Springs is opening its gardens this March, welcoming in members of the public to explore its extensive, captivating grounds and take in the breathtaking views. It is home to wine royalty Bec Hardy, who has devoted herself to creating a charming and curious garden for her young family since acquiring the property in 2016.
Tipsy Hill is set high on a hill in Blewitt Springs surrounded by vineyards with views over McLaren Vale and out to the Willunga Hills. Evocative of Mediterranean landscapes, the three-hectare garden incorporates winding paths, arches and a vineyard. Bec and her family, supported by gardener Marian, have kept many of the original features in place for the garden, while adapting it to meet their needs.
Tipsy Hill is abundant with flowers, and also incorporates terraces for growing herbs and vegetables for the family to enjoy and for hosting their special intimate dinners for guests. The colourful flower-filled terraces are a maze of exciting smaller, almost secret gardens all linked by paths and offering a variety of seating spots which take advantage of the magnificent views.
Robust climate-compatible plants from the Mediterranean regions of the world are favoured – bougainvilleas, cannas, grevilleas, flowering gums, sedums. The red of berries contrast with the blues of Duranta repens, solanums, iochromas, Hibiscus syriacus, salvias and succulents. There are both modern and heritage varieties of roses at Tipsy Hill – the property takes its name from a lovely old tea rose, intriguingly named Tipsy Imperial Concubine.
Bec Hardy took over the reins of the Pertaringa wine label from her father Geoff in 2020 to become the first female in the famous Hardy family of wine to both own her own vineyard and produce her own wine. In the six months since taking over, Bec Hardy Wines and Pertaringa have gone from strength to strength, including the 2017 Tipsy Hill Cabernet Sauvignon achieving a near perfect 99 point score from renowned wine critic James Halliday – these grapes were sourced from the small vineyard which is also part of the Tipsy Hill property.
Together with her husband and co-MD, Richard, Bec hosts exclusive dining experiences at Tipsy Hill – where visitors can enjoy a meal of seasonal, local dishes paired with premium wines, and hear stories of the Hardys passed down through six generations.
Bec comments, “Tipsy Hill is a very special place for many South Australians, so when we moved here six years ago, we didn’t take the privilege lightly, and always planned to open the garden and again make it accessible to garden-lovers. We’ve taken steps to put our own stamp on Tipsy Hill, but without removing many of the aspects that the previous owners established. We can’t wait to welcome old and new friends this March to while away a late summer’s afternoon in the garden and share the haven that we love.”
Tipsy Hill has long been one of South Australia’s most loved gardens, with previous owner Margaret Burrell and designer Pam Hailstone initially opening it up to the public. Bec and Marian continue to honour their hard work, while putting their stamp on the eminent estate.
Tipsy Hill will be open on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 March 2021 from 10am to 4.30pm both days. General entry to the garden is $8 and $6 for OGSA Members and for those with a Commonwealth Government Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card (not Seniors Cards). Current Season Garden Owners and TAFE Horticultural Tertiary students are also entitled to the $6 concessional entry. Children Under 18 are FREE. These cards must be shown at the gate. Full details are available on the Open Gardens SA website.
Visitors also have the chance to taste some wines from the Bec Hardy Wines portfolio, and purchase cheese platters.
Story and photos by our media partners, Glam Adelaide