Away from the polar blasts of winter, spring is blooming and October sees a wonderful flower festival come alive again in Bathurst with 10 private gardens, 9 of which are new, opening their doors. A spectacular showcase for the senses awaits with your nostrils set to enjoy the perfume of flowers and your eyes set to enjoy an abundance of colour, whilst your ears take in the live music in each garden and your taste buds salivate over a selection of food available.
This year's event fittingly has the theme 'Tune Up Your Senses' and is bigger than in previous years. Sculpture displays and art works are now a feature, along with artisan demonstrations. The music program has been expanded and includes groups from the Mitchell Conservatorium, as well as local musicians.
As in the past, a fun challenge in the gardens lies ahead. Last year's event invited you to find the evidence of fairies in each garden and the year before it was roosters to be found. This year it is musical instruments. It might be part of a sculpture, a piece of leadlight work or a motif on pottery, and finding them may win you a prize.
Hosted by the Bathurst Gardeners' Club, the magnificent gardens (both town and country gardens) chosen for 2019 are inspirational, achievable and affordable to create with each one open to view from 9.30am until 5pm. They will feature irises, lilacs, roses, rhododendrons, azaleas and a range of other blooms for garden lovers to marvel over.
Starting as an old cattle paddock on the side of a hill surrounded by erosion, baked clay earth and old river pebbles when The Hurfords moved in, Somerset Rise has been vastly transformed since 2012.
The couple's busy retirement has seen the property rejuvenated into a beautiful rustic garden with shrubs, herbs, roses and fruit trees growing flat against a wall. Two hundred and seventy degree views over Bathurst can also be enjoyed.
This rural property bought by The Worthington's in 2011, has also been developed. The aim here was to attract birds, incorporate stunning views to the mountains, areas to play in and places to sit and reflect whilst providing protection from the elements.
The resulting garden is a mixture of cold climate trees, natives, shrubs and bulbs in between some Australian farming history. Be sure to look out for the spring lambs.
A new house in a new estate often sees grass but no landscaping and this was the case in 2014 with Suzie & Co's garden. Help from an expert designer was sought and the outcome is a garden of fragrance, form, texture and interest over each of the four seasons.
Modern features, such as wrought iron screens and vegetable wicking beds, highlight the immaculate garden.
Mary & David's Garden
One of the first houses in their avenue in Llanarth, Mary & David developed three distinct garden areas using paths and cold climate plants.
They are excited to be a part of this event and will unveil a new statement feature.
A stunning garden gem, the Gorrick's garden in Blue Ridge provides inspiration for all visitors. Seasoned gardeners are even in awe here.
Long sweeping perennial borders of rare and interesting cottage plants, shade plantings under trees, a vegetable patch with fruit trees and a native plant area alongside established trees, all add up to something special.
Purchased in the winter of 2014, The Beverly's brought their favourite plants from Sydney with them but alas they didn't make it through the following winter. Dying of frost bite, they were unsuitable for the region.
They began replanting in spring of 2015 with local and more appropriate plants for the area. Today, there's some 5,000 plants to peruse in their beautiful rural garden. Lavenders, natives and sculptures are the stars here, together with a lovely vista across the undulating hills.
Only a few years ago, this suburban garden was a blank canvas. Owners Todd and Tanya, with their horticultural background, have turned it into a very appealing area that consists of several garden rooms, a Peter Rabbit veggie patch, rose pergolas, cottage plants and over 30 trees.
Some unique brick paths, a testament to Todd's interest as a fossicker, and a lovely entertainment area add further interest.
Cottage plants and natives thrive in this region and White Hollow in Blue Ridge is filled with them. It's also a very creative garden with reused and recycled materials used for structures, providing character.
A lizard pen, veggie beds and a potting shed add to the ambience of this large garden.
Built by Samuel Marsden in the 1870's, first Anglican Bishop of Bathurst, this historic manor house is now an exclusive boutique hotel with an acre of woodland gardens surrounding the beautiful building and its lovely stone chapel.
Oozing charm with trees around a century old, the grounds also have a potager garden (traditional kitchen garden) and a Chicken Chapel where the 'Spice Girls' live. Fountains and mirrors abound as well as shady table and seating areas that are perfect for listening to the live music provided.
Entry to all 10 gardens is $25 per adult and $20 for concession cardholders, or $5 per single garden. Children under 16 are free. Tickets can be purchased at the Bathurst Visitors Information Centre (1 Kendall Ave) or at each garden. Net proceeds will go to local charities.
Maps and addresses of each garden can be obtained at the visitor centre. It's also the place for plant stalls and sales where you can pick up some locally-grown treasures, along with garden-related items like outdoor lanterns and decorative birds.
From Sydney, it's a 2-3hr drive via the Great Western Highway, going through the Blue Mountains and Lithgow to Bathurst.
The Visitors Information Centre is opposite Bathurst Showground and can be seen from the highway.