Meadow in the metropolis

A vast and gorgeous meadow of summer flowers has sprung up in the Sydney CBD! It’s in the Royal Botanic Gardens. The meadow was full of people. Small children were running along the winding pathways with bright, colourful zinnias, cosmos and marigolds, towering overhead. Others found their own beauty complemented by the lovely scene. Insects…

Gulgong Telegraph Station- history, luxury and roses

In 1872 the telegraph line, providing state of the art communication, linked Gulgong (in central western New South Wales) to the outside world. Gulgong was thriving, with massive gold production- in August 1871 the Gulgong Guardian reported that 10,000 ounces of gold (that’s worth about 17 million dollars at today’s gold price) had been sent…

Jewels of the north

The north coast is bursting with life, and the plants seem to be jumping out of the ground and racing to grow as fast as they can.

Behind the hedge at Hillgrove House

Hidden behind a high photinia hedge is Hillgrove House with its 5 acres of established gardens on the northern outskirts of Mudgee. On entering along the gravel driveway, the simple beauty of shaped shrubs under towering trees make a powerful statement- that this is a very special garden.   There are plenty of spring-flowering ornamentals…

Grand Vision at Oakey Creek

Another great open garden in the 2018 Mudgee Garden Spectacular was at Oakey Creek, on Burrundulla Road near Mudgee. The experience of this splendid garden begins with a stroll down its enchanting poplar-lined driveway, which opens onto a vast area of lawn deeply bordered by perennial shrubs and tall trees. Arriving here, it is good…

Colour-filled garden in a rocky mountain hideaway

A surprisingly vibrant garden sits high on the rocky slope of Mount Knowles, surrounded by the tough eucalypt and cypress forest perfectly adapted to survive Mudgee’s hot, dry climate. Vicki’s and Arthur’s bright, colourful garden on their property, Avlac Hills, is an oasis in a landscape dominated by the subtle greys, greens and browns of…

Natives and exotics beautifully balanced

The Moffatt garden in south Mudgee brilliantly showcases Australian native plants, and exotic shrubs provide an unexpected and effective counterpoint. This was one of the open gardens I visited at the recent Mudgee Garden Spectacular.   The garden began with the inspiration provided by a huge White Gum (Eucalyptus alba). Over many years the owners…

Pretty columbines

Aquilegia, commonly known as Columbine, is a very hardy perennial, related to the buttercup. They do best in a cool-winter climate, in partial shade. That describes much of my garden, so I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to plant some. Anyway I’m thrilled with the first flowers on what was a tiny…

A garden that will steal your heart…

Marjie and Ian Livingstone-Blevins’ beautiful, romantic garden with its gorgeous display of iris, stole the hearts of hundreds of visitors at the 2018 Mudgee Garden Spectacular. The house is partially screened in front by a canopy of trees, creating shady atmospheric places. There are verdant underplantings of tender begonias and impatiens, hydrangeas in large pots,…

Stage set for garden drama at Shearstone

Shearstone’s house site and garden, carved out of a steep, rocky hillside north of Mudgee, delighted visitors at the 2018 Mudgee Garden Spectacular a few weeks ago. The site presents challenges and opportunities, and owners Karol and Dallas Lawry have made the most of its unique natural resources of rock and stone. The site has…