I am a freelance writer and diversional therapist, living in Brisbane's North West. I write for Weekend Notes, Must do Brisbane and Starts at Sixty. Visit my blogs at babybloomin.wordpress.com and brisbanetripster.wordpress.com.
Published June 9th 2014
Update June 16th 2014
To ensure parking for ose who really need it, Graham has suggested if visitors are fit and healthy they walk up the driveway rather than taking their cars in. Unfortunately, one reckless driver ran over their beautiful dog's paw on the weekend!
Update June 16th 2014
Response to this article has seen several visitors calling in to these gardens. As parking is limited, please be patient as Graham and Margit do their best to accommodate visitor's cars.
Lose yourself in this glorious rainforest garden and gallery
The Winged Messenger of Love sets the scene for the gardens. It is dedicated to Peace in the World. This sculpture was made from Turkish white marble, the original block weighing 4 tonnes. It was created in Italy and took 4 months to carve
Up a narrow and winding driveway at Mt Glorious you'll find this very well kept secret destination. Sculptor of 30 years, Graham Radcliffe and his wife, Margit began creating this special place in 1995 and it is still a work in progress. What they have accomplished is truly incredible, especially given the fact that Graham spends several months each year living and sculpting in Italy. Being the "stone centre" of the world, it is the obvious place for a sculptor to select beautiful stones from which to craft his pieces. These sculptures are then brought back to Australia and added to the gallery. Onyx and marble from far away destinations such as Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Pakistan and Turkey are used by Graham, as well as bronze and steel. He creates commissioned pieces as well as those that you will find in the gallery and garden.
This stunning piece has been sculpted from Iranian onyx
The Mt Glorious property consists of two galleries (each showcasing Graham's sculptures and paintings) and 2 hectares of beautiful rainforest gardens. Stunning sculptures are creatively placed in different "rooms" throughout the garden. With water features, winding pathways, steps, outdoor settings and other seating, each turn in the path reveals another surprise.
One of the garden rooms is used as a venue for wedding ceremonies, another for meditation and others are purely to enjoy. Graham and Margit continue to add to their garden and are at the moment planting rhododendrons. They have also recently become interested in bromeliads and their garden contains several different varieties. The final surprise, however, is at the peak of the garden walk (632 meters above sea level) where you are rewarded with a breathtaking view which takes in both Moreton and Stradbroke Islands.
Stunning views are to be found at the peak of the garden
Graham and Margit are busy people. At 80 years of age, Graham sculpts full-time, paints and continues to add to their beautiful garden. Margit is a First Response volunteer for the Queensland Ambulance Service and attends accidents in the Mt Glorious area. The couple also has another family member to care for, in the form of 4 year old Merlin, a beautiful big German Shepherd.
Do yourself a favour and call into Graham and Margit's rainforest haven one Sunday soon! It's lovely on the mountain at this time of the year and there are several spots where you can enjoy a meal or a coffee on your way home.
Over 100 sculptures reside permanently in the garden
We visited this truly amazing garden of sculptures today, and were greeted by Graham who at 80 years young is very spritely. Merlin is also a beautiful dog. We spent a good hour there amazed at the quality and quantity of sculptures not only in the gallery, but placed throughout the gardens. And yes, it is a work in progress as all good gardens are. Will have to go back when the clivias are flowering (Aug). Car parking is very limited so next time we will park just inside the front gate and walk up the drive. All in all a very good place to visit and please feel free to put some money in the donation box as we did.