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Open Gardens in Country NSW This Autumn

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by Steve Hudson (subscribe)
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Catch the last of the open gardens in Country NSW
Cooler and shorter days means Autumn is around the corner, and Autumn signifies big changes in gardens as trees begin the process of dropping old leaves and preparing themselves for a cold winter. If this isn't your garden, but you want to see a garden behaving like this, then why not drop in to someone else's garden that has been kindly opened. Open Gardens Australia, for the very last time, have arranged for 13 gardens across greater NSW to be open during this coming autumn.

Wise Garden (7-8 March)
27 Bluewave Cres, Forresters Beach

This garden by Paul Wise is an award winning Australian garden designed to provide lovely views from the house and the timber entertainment deck. Beyond the formal front garden under a large eucalypt, a sandstone path leads up past massed palms and midjin berries highlighting what can be achieved with coastal gardens.

Retford Park (28-29 March)
1325 Old South Rd, Bowral

Established by Samuel Hordern in 1887, this English park and garden features magnificent trees, mature shrubberies and hedged garden rooms, all managed using organic principles. Handsome bunya bunyas, redwoods and century-old oaks shelter an impressive collection of classical and contemporary sculpture.

Open Gardens Australia, Retford Park
Retford Park

The Kaya (28-29 March)
68 Clearys Lane, Wildes Meadow

The Kaya is an outstanding garden of exceptional design and breathtaking plant combinations including glorious autumn flowering perennials. The gravelled parterre showcases purple and grey foliage plants including trimmed 'Crimson King' maples, while grasses are massed with strappy-leafed plants in dramatic combinations.

Open Gardens Australia, The Kaya
The Kaya

Terry Hie (28-29 March)
3438 Braidwood Rd, Lake Bathurst

A design based on circles and squares linked by pergolas and arches draped in wisteria and roses is the inspiration behind this garden. Sweeping beds create internal vistas and allow glimpses beyond, and towering trees are balanced by lush underplantings. Nyssa, pyrus and crocosmia are highlighted in lovely autumn colour.

Open Gardens Australia, Terry Hie
Terry Hie

Table Top Public School Garden (28-29 March)
556 Burma Rd, Table Top

At Table Top we have a small sustainable garden created by the school's students and a volunteer co-ordinator. Students learn how to grow and eat healthy, fresh and tasty food produced using organic principles, and complement the garden with native plantings, fauna habitats and chooks for fun and learning.

Open Gardens Australia, Table Top Public School Garden
Table Top Public School Garden

Kerr Sustainability Centre (28-29 March)
St Johns Rd, Thurgoona

This community garden of inspiring diversity and surprising size has many individual plots of vegetables, fruit and herbs intermingled with ornamentals. Communal areas are home to fruit trees and perennials, and surrounding plantings provide a habitat for local wildlife.

Open Gardens Australia, Kerr Sustainability Centre
Kerr Sustainability Centre

Mirambeena (4-5 April)
77b Nerringillah Rd, Bendalong

Mirambeena is a magnificent 20-year-old garden strongly influenced by Edna Walling and in harmony with the surrounding landscape. Highlights include lily-covered dams, venerable figs and winding paths through a rainforest. Dry stone walls alongside a covered orchard provide spectacular views across Conjola National Park.

Open Gardens Australia, Mirambeena

Kookaburra Gardens (25-26 April)
83 Powells Rd, Bilpin

An expansive, mature cold climate garden and parklands are complemented by a unique 'post and rail' conifer hedge, rose gardens, perennial beds and a traditional Japanese garden. The conifers provide a wonderful contrast to the autumn finery of tulip trees, dogwoods, persimmons, oaks, nyssas, red-leafed shrubs and a large collection of maples.

Open Gardens Australia, Kookaburra Gardens
Kookaburra Gardens

Woodgreen (25-26 April)
25 Powells Rd, Bilpin

Autumn colour at its finest in this established garden developed by a collector and landscape designer Peta Trahar. Hundreds of choice trees, shrubs, bulbs and perennials including many very unusual species rarely encountered, with variegated foliage plants a speciality.

Open Gardens Australia, Woodgreen

Merry Garth (2-3 May)
17 Davies Lane, Mount Wilson

Merry Garth is nestled in a tranquil rainforest and is a plant collector's renowned cool-climate garden. A significant collection of shrubs and trees in brilliant autumn tones complements the beautiful views. Gravel paths wind through a stunning rock garden featuring dwarf conifers, groundcovers and weeping maples in a wonderful display of form and texture.

Open Gardens Australia, Merry Garth
Merry Garth

Sunstone Lodge (9-10 May)
30 Taylor Rd, Woodford

This spacious country garden of sweeping lawns, hedges and stone retaining walls features mature conifers, maples with rhododendrons sheltering irises and heritage roses including Alister Clark and Riethmuller varieties. A regenerated native area of allocasuarinas, gymea and fringe lilies, native iris and waratahs provide a magnificent contrast.

Open Gardens Australia, Sunstone Lodge
Sunstone Lodge

Garden of the Gods (16-17 May)
Round Mountain Rd, Cabarita Beach

This unique garden is based on the owner's landscape design career in the Pacific and south-east Asia. An eclectic blend of local and imported elements include Asian sculptures, massive basalt pillars, a rock waterfall and tropical ornamentals are a backgrop to spectacular views of the ocean (occasionally whales) and the Border Ranges.

Open Gardens Australia, Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods

Banna Billa (23-24 May)
345 Gem Rd, Cowra

The hallmark feature of this young parkland garden is the lake where willows fringe the banks and an island is alive with birds. Elsewhere, lawns are planted with pears, Chinese elms, liquidambars and pistachios while eucalypts shelter an outer garden of massed native species.

Open Gardens Australia, Banna Billa
Banna Billa

All gardens are open from 10am to 430pm and have a token entrance fee of $8 to help cover costs. Open Gardens Australia have recently advised that as a result of rising costs and falling revenues, Open Gardens Australia will cease to exist with effect from 30 June 2015.
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Why? Everybody loves autumn
When: March to May 2015
Where: Country New South Wales
Cost: $8 to $10 per garden
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