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Wendy's Secret Garden & Art & Fashion Kirribilli Markets

Where
70 Alfred St S
Milsons Point NSW 2061
Meet at Kirribilli Markets
When

Sunday 12 February 2023 from 10am to 3pm

10am meet at the markets, 12pm to 1:30 pm lunch and a chat, 2pm to 3:30pm explore Wendy's Garden

Explore a beautiful green oasis with harbour views and one of Sydney's oldest and most popular markets.

Wendy's story

Wendy and her renowned artist husband, the late Brett Whiteley, set up their family home in Lavender Bay in 1970 and lived there together for two decades.

Brett painted many of his iconic Sydney Harbour pictures in the house.

In the weeks that followed Brett’s death in 1992, Wendy’s grief-stricken need to regain some control in her life, to clean up a mess that she could clean up, 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, labouring till she was too exhausted to think or feel, then collapsing into sleep each night. Then do 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.

As Wendy cleared the site, she began creating a garden like a giant painting. Rather than being horticulturally inspired, Wendy’s gardening is driven by aesthetics, colour, form, beauty and whimsy.

“I didn’t know anything about horticulture when I started the garden. I just knew what I liked. I’ve since learnt what like about being here. It’s a symbiotic relationship between the plants, myself and my gardeners”. - Wendy Whiteley

What emerged was a place of nooks and crannies where a panoply of shrubs – both natives and exotics, herbs and towering trees run along winding gully paths, all attracting an odd collection of birdlife – colourful parrots, noisy gulls, watchful kookaburras and cheeky wagtails.

The Kirribilli Markets

These markets were first held on 21 January 1976 in the backyard of the then-newly opened Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre.

They are one of Sydney’s most popular markets known for the vibrant atmosphere, great products and delicious food. There are over 220 stalls selling new and recycled fashion and accessories, emerging local fashion designers, home and gift wares, arts and crafts, jewellery, plants, gourmet foods and a whole lot more. There's a vibrant atmosphere, fantastic stalls, great products and delicious food.

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