Monday, 19 November 2007

Gardens at Bilpin

A week ago I went to two open gardens in Bilpin, an area of the Blue Mountains noted for its apple orchards. Both gardens were large, one around the homestead on a Black Angus cattle stud. Unfortunately, I forgot to dig out the camera for that one, but had a good time chatting with the owner who very kindly gave me a scrap of a stunning Dianthus that I was admiring. This is where the annual Plant Collectors' Fair is held in April, so I'll be back then, if not before, to spend some money.
The other garden on about 5 acres is a labour of love by one man, who began with a modest border alongside the road, and gradually extended to sunny rockeries around the house, then pathways winding through woodland and down quite a steep slope to a clearing where he has constructed an elaborate knot garden enclosing hundreds of Colchicum (not in bloom at this time of year.) The steepness of the terrain and how he had dealt with it reminded me of Margaret and Charlie's garden in Indian Arm, particularly as there were many Rhododendrons and Kalmia, interspersed in this case with native tree ferns and eucalyptus. I remembered to take some photos this time. The first two give an idea of the hillside and the wonderful effects of sunlight filtering down through tall Brown Barrel eucalypts. In the second picture, a young Cornus controversa hogs the spotlight.

A view of the knot garden seen through tree trunks on the hillside.

The grass on one side of the clearing where the knot garden lies is overhung by the wide-spreading branches of Brown Barrel eucalypts. The other side is contained by a long low hedge of Fothergilla monticola

The rock garden was impressive when viewed from below against a blue sky, although the camera does not capture the steepness of the slope.

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