The 2018 Kandos Gardens Fair has left me in awe of the gardeners in the Kandos-Rylstone area. What they have created, often in harmony with our unforgiving climate, is magnificent.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing my observations and favourite photos of the inspiring gardens which I visited at the Fair last weekend. Each garden was unique and had its own story to tell.
My day at the Fair began at Pat’s Place, a charming historic cottage in Rylstone. I love the way this property features the local stone. It forms the walls of the rear section of the house, dating from the 1890’s. Stone has also been used to create raised garden beds, and a 30cm thick stone wall, which the owner built herself, forms a boundary along one side of the block.
The garden, on a long gently sloping block, features broad, meandering granite pathways, flanked by deep beds of iris and cannas, and surrounding a lush green tree-studded lawn. Throughout the garden are several appealing built features including a bridge, fishpond, stone walls and arches.
There are trees aplenty- including pin oaks, Manchurian pears, and Chinese elm, generally set out in the centre of the garden – and lovely cascading creepers including honeysuckle, star jasmine, wisteria and grape vines.
Mass plantings of iris and canna, coupled with the sinuous layout of the pathways, give a great sense of depth and dynamism to the garden, and provide continuity whilst enabling individual specimens of all kinds of interesting plants to be dotted throughout.
There are pretty places to sit and enjoy the vista of the garden.
Pat makes the most of the aspect in each area of her garden. On the shady southern side, I loved this little patch of vivid shades of green and fragrant plants- lemon balm, violets, oregano.
The variegated-leafed orange cannas were aflame in the bright autumn sunlight. They formed a river of colour all down one side of the long block.
The historically significant beehive well was also very interesting. Dating from the early 1800’s, this is one of very few remaining in the region. These wells were generally convict built, in the earliest days of settlement by Europeans. The top of the well is made from fired brick and coarse concrete. This top helps keep the water clean and the square opening allowed one bucket to be used at a time. Pat uses well water in her garden.
Historically significant Beehive Well
After I’d finished viewing Pat’s Place, I set out on the dusty road to Lara, on Pinncale Swamp Road north-west of Rylstone. Lara is, like so many gardens in this rocky part of the world, created substantially through the use of raised garden beds.
The owners of this garden clearly have a love affair with bright, colourful flowers. The abundance of thriving, blossoming specimens in every available space, is impressive. As well as the raised beds there are plants brimming out of hanging baskets, ceramic pots, old wheel barrows.
There’s a good number of ornamental features as well- a fountain, hanging sculptures, found objects, historic bric a brac. River pebbles are used to cover the ground in feature areas. These red pots and the brown hues of the pebbles look great.
This garden has a lovely display of autumn roses, including several mass plantings of red roses which are quite stunning.
More roses, just a tiny sample of the hundreds that were blooming their hearts out…
A lush vegetable garden, with its rows of plump pumpkins drying in the sun, made me green with envy.
This scorching combination of fluorescent yellow and fire engine red was almost too hot to handle!
Luckily there was a hose nearby!
This combination of mauves, purples, blues and reds looked bright and cheerful too.
As usual, I can’t resist gorgeous dahlias.
After these dazzling displays, I actually felt my eyes relax when I discovered this hidden corner of beautiful, restful blues.
Pat’s Place and Lara are two very different gardens. But both show what incredible things can be achieved by passionate, hardworking gardeners. They are an inspiration!