A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at https://www.travelwithirenke.blogspot.com
Meander the countryside & discover quiet corners of beauty
The birds are chirping; eight glorious gardens are opening for one weekend in April; golden leaves are falling, providing spectacular carpets, and various flowers are blooming. Only an hour and a half from Sydney, there are large gardens, smaller town gardens, and secret gardens to discover.
These cool climate gardens can be found in picturesque Berrima, Bowral and Burradoo, and each one is unique and awaiting your exploration. Here is a run-down of the highlights in each garden:
A tree-lined driveway leads to a beautiful country house, cloaked in wisteria, surrounded by old eucalyptus trees, evergreens and deciduous varieties that provide shelter and a haven for birds. There are also Swiss pine, Himalayan cedar, Chinese elms, maple trees, a weeping silver pear, tulip tree, and a bell-shaped, perfumed Tilia, among many others.
This garden is two acres in size and less formal where you stroll around the trees, rather than walking on pathways. A vegetable garden, and an orchard area that includes crab apples, plums, walnuts and grapefruit, also feature.
Bellagio – 4 Kimberley Drv Bowral
A very pretty garden, Bellagio is Italian-inspired and features a series of waterfalls (with water being provided by inter-connecting lakes), fountains and a grotto. Integrated rock-work and plantings create glades leading to the lawns and terraces around the house.
This five acre site looks great year round, especially in autumn, with magnolias, rhododendrons, lilac, maples, and rare conifers.
Vine Cottage – 126 Osborne Rd Burradoo
This one is a must-see in autumn for its colour and variety of gardens. It has an interesting entry driveway, a sculpture walkway, and avenue of plane trees. Each garden features a focal point and sculptures.
A bulb garden has silver birch planted in arcades around it; a stone spiral garden features unusual maples, English and Irish yew trees, Dogwood types, Lebanon cedar, and varieties of oak; and a caged vegetable garden sees raised beds, raspberry canes, fig, quince, plum, citrus, and cherry trees in place.
Expect to see cyclamens, Mexican sage, nerines, and annuals in bloom, as well as a floral art display in one of the studios.
Quindalup – 180 Sproules Lne Bowral
A 10 acre, park-like garden that showcases rare trees and shrubs, ground covers, and beds of perennials, Quindalup also features dwarf conifers, beeches, a camellia pathway entry, sweeping lawns, eucalypts, picea, and cedars. A reconstructed Indian/Asian folly, with covered seating area, adds to the beauty and surrounding landscape.
You can picnic on the lawn, or purchase tea, coffee and light refreshments here, thanks to Coffee Culture. A pop-up nursery, provided by the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens, will be onsite, with rare plants available for sale.
Upper Woodlands – cnr Woodlands Rd High Range
Eucalypts and exotic trees co-exist here. Hedged gardens, stone walls, an ornamental dam, and ponds create fabulous vistas for the eyes to behold. There is also a summer house with a colonial veranda and courtyards, a gazebo, colonnade and valley walk, for added interest.
This is a place to roam and wander, where the garden has evolved around the views, and the emphasis is on structure and flow, rather than flower beds. There are plenty of areas to rest within the six acres.
Secret gardens of Applegrove, Redmyre and Roberts Garden – 118-120 Osborne Rd Burradoo
A rare treat, these gardens opening their doors. It was developed by neighbours and friends, and displays stone pathways, hedged areas, collections of azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias, a formal rose garden, and many more delights.
All gardens are open from 10am to 4pm over both days. Entry fees are $35 for an all-weekend pass to all 8 gardens, $10 for the 3 secret gardens only, or $5 per single garden (excluding secret gardens). School children are free.
Tickets can be purchased online, or upon garden entry. The map below shows the gardens in close proximity to one another, which makes it easy to get to all of them.