Spring brings many floral delights to Australia in September. While Sydney celebrates its Australian Garden Show, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is awaken from its winter slumber by daffodils, waratahs and community festivals. Here are the floral and garden events that bring the countryside of the Blue Mountains to life. They are the main reasons why your September weekends are best spent in Spring's bosom at the many towns and villages less than 2 hours away from Sydney.
Blackheath Flower & Craft Show 2014
Photo courtesy of Blackheath and District Horticultural Society
Enjoy a relaxed weekend admiring flowers and plants in the delightful village of Blackheath located in upper Blue Mountains, where the Horticultural Society has been hosting the flower and craft shows for over 90 years. The Blackheath Flower & Craft Show is a competition with cash prizes, ribbons, certificates and even a Royal Horticultural Society championship medal in 120 classes. You can view a wide variety of flowers and pot plants as well as handicrafts and floral art. Sales of plants are also available from the plant store. For more information, phone 02 4782 2292
If you missed the Daffodil Festival in the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens, make your way to Rydal in September. The quaint village nestled on the banks of Solitary Creek and surrounded by the rural countryside is painted with white and gold as thousands of daffodils bloom in its parks and gardens.
During this festival, you can wander through picturesque country gardens like Karingal and Solitary Creek with large plantings of daffodils and other Spring flowers, and even picnic in Chapel House and Bark Ridge. Local gardeners like Rydal Cottage, Rose Cottage and The Old Police Station are also opening their private gardens to the public.
The Information Centre near the Railway Station in the Rydal Village will serve as the festival hub on 13 to 14 September and 20 to 21 September. Signs around the village will direct you to the gardens and historic buildings. Tickets are available at the Information Centre or at any of the country gardens. The proceeds support the Portland Pensioners Association and Rydal Heritage Restoration Fund. Check out the website for more details on locations.
Date: 13 - 14 September and 20 - 21 September 2014
Time: 10am - 4pm
Venue: Gardens around Rydal, NSW 2790
Cost: $10 gives admission to all the gardens, the music and other attractions / Sculpture Garden $5
Organised by Hazelbrook Public School P&C, the Hazelbrook and Woodford Garden Festival highlights the natural beauty and diversity of the gardens during the Spring season in the Blue Mountains. The main highlight this year are 10 gardens lovingly cared and prepared by their owners. Open to the public from 10am to 4pm on festival days, each garden showcases a different charm with flowers, herbs, shrubs, fruit trees and natives. You can enjoy a picnic on the grounds of one of the gardens, 'Sunstone Lodge' and a gold coin donation will get you some tea, coffee and biscuits.
A festival 'Opening Market Day' will be held on 13 September offering plants propagated by the school community for sale as well as local arts, craft and produce. You can also view an art exhibition by the students of Hazelbrook Public School and local central mountains artists. The small hall at the school near the Festival Café and Hub will host a collection of landscapes and floral themed artworks. You can also cast your vote for your favourite piece of student art on display. Hazelbrook Public School serves as the Festival Hub with all-day refreshments including Devonshire tea and coffee, light lunch, treats and cold drinks. The festival also helps raise funds to provide facilities for the Hazelbrook Public School students. Tickets to the festival are available from all gardens and at Hazelbrook Public School.
Date: 13 - 14 September and 20 - 21 September 2014
The official floral emblem of New South Wales since 1962 and commonly featured in the insignia of many of the State's government authorities and community groups, the waratah is familiar to many. Sponsored by Proteaflora, East Coast Wildflowers, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Wildflower Industry Network NSW and held in the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah, the annual 'Wild About Waratahs' festival celebrates the NSW's floral emblem and encourages people to enjoy the flower in its natural habitat.
Photo courtesy of Blue Mountains Tourism
From 20 to 28 September, you and your family can enjoy FREE guided walks to view waratahs growing in the wild with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, open day by the local waratah farm, waratah artwork, plant sales and information on protecting waratahs in the wild. There is also a state-wide waratah bloom competition on 20 September and an exhibition of the stunning display of prize waratah blooms in the Visitor Centre throughout the festival days. For more information phone: 02 4567 3000.
Date: 20 - 28 September 2014
Time: 9.30am - 5pm
Venue: Throughout the Garden, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah, Bells Line of Road, Mount Tomah, NSW 2758