Groove in a garden

Open Gardens at Evette Sunset's Etre in South Austalia.

It’s a Sunday in South Australia. I get my groove on in a couple of gardens.

My groovy Sunday begins in the garden of environmental sculptor Evette Sunset. Her Willungal garden “Etre” is just 630 square metres, but she’s reshaped the old mechanic’s back lot into a thoughtful landscape of textures, moods, and food plants.

Evette is a member of Open Gardens. Homeowners like her invite visitors like me past their gates and into their yards. For about eight dollars (which goes to a charity) we can nibble tasty treats, sip lemonade, explore exotic and local plants, and mingle with other green thumbs.

The Groove Garden

When afternoon rolls around, I hop on the bicycle to pedal to The Groove Garden Café in the village of McLaren Vale (map).

Groove Garden in McLaren Vale, South Australia.
The Blues Casters at the Groove Garden in McLaren Vale, South Australia.

I join new friends Leith and Sue for the season opener of the Sunday-only, pop-up venue.

It’s an old church on one side and a towering gum tree on the other. In between, a performance stage, tikki bar, and tables of rhythm-and-blues lovers fill the space with music, colour, and energy.

Each week local musicians play blues, rock, country, reggae and folk music. Samra Teague organizes the open-air jam session between serving cheese platters and ice buckets of bubbly wines.

When the music winds down at six, I get back on my bike and hit the Shiraz Trail bicycle route back into my home base of Willunga. The rail-trail connects the villages of Willunga and McLaren Vale on its route towards Adelaide.

The bike ride is beautiful as always, and it’s a great way to keep the day groovy.

Coast to Vines Shiraz Trail.
Way-finding signage on the Coast-to-Vines Shiraz bike trail in South Australia.