January 23, 2019

Caroline’s Garden Diaries : Garden Visiting 13.2.13

Unplanned visit to Everglades, a garden in Leura, a pretty town on the Blue Mountains. I’ve been left there with a sandwich in my hand while Anne goes to a meeting at the Wildplant nursery.

No idea what this garden is about and I want to eat my sandwich, so where’s a nice corner? Wandered around a corner and wow! Sandwich nearly fell out of my hand. Amazing view over the mountains! But nowhere to sit; retrace steps back to rather dull lawn redeemed by bench; sandwich eaten. Now for the garden………

I should have read the guidebook first and not been distracted by a sandwich. This garden is listed in a book “1001 Gardens to Visit Before You Die”. And I’m here by chance, I could have died and not visited. I had been looking for some good gardens to visit and found in the library the Aussie equivalent of our Yellow Book (National Gardens Scheme) but it didn’t include Everglades. Anyway, I did visit, and did do it properly, i.e. read some background, try to understand the design, and get the feel of it.

What makes Everglades special is not only the sandwich-dropping view but also how well the garden sits in it. It’s on the Blue Mountains that are nothing like mountains as we know, but form a plateau dissected by enormous canyons and rifts of stupendous depth. So the garden has a series of terraces stepping down the hillside, a rocky watercourse going through glades of tall trees and ferns, a waterfall in a ferny grotto, all looking utterly natural (although, of course, requiring incredible construction works).

The planting is very familiar near the house – lilacs, cherry trees, rhododendrons, conifers, dogwoods, underplanted by anemones, pentstemons, lilies, (specially pleased to see hydrangea Annabelle that I have from Buttercrambe nursery) – but then it gently merges into native bush with some gorgeous eucalypts and banksias. It is the fitting of a garden to its location that I love, and in this exceptional place, Everglades fits exceptionally well.


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