- Australia - NSW
Six beautiful country and town gardens will be open during the biennial Condobolin Garden Festival, 2-3 April 2016.
The gardens feature many ideas for city and country gardeners, such as developing a dry garden, gardens without thirsty lawns, planting a native community garden, laying out and maintaining a formal garden, growing roses, a garden featuring garden rooms, and planning a garden for a joyful and plant-filled retirement.
Condobolin is a pretty town in the country heart of Central West New South Wales, approximately 6 hours drive west of Sydney. There are plenty of quality places to stay so you can enjoy our open garden weekend at your leisure.
Condobolin Garden Festival 2-3 April 2016
All gardens are open 10am-4pm both days
Visit the Wiradjuri Study Centre between 10 and 4pm to browse the many garden stalls selling a range of garden products, including plants, pots, garden ornaments and garden art.
Paul Kirkpatrick, of Estate Gardening in Jamberoo
Sally Bourne, of Sally Bourne Landscapes
Vas Roberts of Narromine Iris Farm
John Small on beekeeping.
Saturday evening on 2 April – ‘Music Under the Gums’ with Trouble With Johnny featuring Ces and Rocky. Time: 7pm (Separate ticket $20pp). BYO picnic rug/chair/picnic and drinks. At the home of Lorraine & Cary L’estrange, The Gums, Kiacatoo Road, Condobolin
GARDEN 1: SIMON CAREY & ERYN MULLINS ‘Drovers Rest’
“It’s all about the view”
A Dry Land Garden.
We started this garden 10 years ago. It is on almost 5 acres of rock on the side of Ressie hill. Nothing grew here but iron bark and black wattle, the ground had been pushed up and used for oat hulls and machinery. We saw none of that though, only the massive 360 view of gorgeous country side. Our river block wish list didn’t have a chance against this view.
We went into a massive battle with the rock, droughts, sever water restrictions and a scarred landscape armed only with ignorance and rookie enthusiasm to create a landscape that would do justice to the view. Years of trying to recreate the lovely river block garden of our dreams ended in disaster. The block not so gently reminded us it started out with iron banks and black wattle for a very good reason. It is DRY LAND….Crushed granite now replaces the struggling turf lawns, sculptural agraves and cactus replaced verdant bushed and pots contain citrus and cottage plants and the orchard now has olive trees. Gabion walls replace timber fence (white ants). It is a work in progress and will always be as everything changes, the climate, our ideas and needs.
Come and see what we’ve accomplished so far and take inspiration from a dry land garden we’ve created to complement the view.
GARDEN 2: The Wiradjuri Study Centre
Styled to depict the Australian bush, the raised gardens have native rock and driftwood from the Lachlan River. The gardens compliment the unique circular mud-brick study centre building. The building has a core material of locally made compressed earth brick, local cypress timber and various sustainability components.
The centre offers a local hub for training, development and employment, cultural appreciation, cultural awareness and heritage issues, a keeping place and a space to yarn up.
GARDEN 3: DI & IAN KELK ‘Bindarra’, Lachlan Valley Way
Located on the South Forbes Road, Bindarra was purchased in 1999 with the garden non-existant. Over the past sixteen years, they have added ponds, arches, hedges, over 40 roses and trees. This garden relies on bore water.
GARDEN 4: DONNA & GARY NAGLE at 48 McGregor Street
Moving back to Condobolin and building a new house in 2012 has provided us with a blank canvas and enabled me to take my love of decorating outdoors.
I spend countless hours looking at images online and garden magazines. I see something that appeals to me and then work out how to put my own touch to it.
The front yard was done first. We approached a local landscape designer, Cary L’Estrange, to assist us in the planning stage of the garden. We visited a few gardens and worked out what we did and did not like. Cary then designed the layout. The gardens, watering system, plants and turf all came together in July 2012.
We waited a while before beginning the back yard, so we could get a feel for it and work out how we could utilize the various spaces. This was not easy as the more we grow as people, the more the garden and yard evolve.
Just recently we built a cat run for two reasons – to keep the cats safe whilst outdoors and to prevent them from digging up the plants. This means I am now able to plant bulbs, which in turn means the garden continues to develop.
I have always heard about garden rooms and I have tried to follow this by keeping the dog/work yard separate, having an entertainment area and a smaller intimate area on the deck.
I have a number of small areas around the house and yard to accommodate the ever changing weather. A nice sunny spot for a winter’s morning and a cool corner to escape the summer heat.
Trees were planted along the back fence to provide the autumn colour I love so much and the bulbs that will flower next spring.
Our garden is more about working for and with our lifestyle than just being pretty.
GARDEN 5: KAYE & PADDY MCCUMSTIE at 71 Officers Parade
We moved to this house 35 years ago, after a lifetime living on a property, battling extended droughts. When we brought this home we had no immediate neighbours and part of the appeal was that we could run the horses at the back of the block. After a short time of living here we realised just how much water was being wasted trying to keep the lawn green. The thought of constantly pouring on such a precious resource, purely for aesthetic purposes, went against every fibre of our beings. Basically we live on a sand hill, so the volume of water needed to maintain some semblance of a lawn went against very thing we had been battling in the recent past.
The garden at the time was just a very simple, if not bland garden. Some young trees and a few oyster plants on the corners of the house, and way too much lawn. So we slowly began reducing the lawn area.
Twenty years ago we dug the remaining lawn out and paved the backyard to within an inch of its life. We worked on small areas of garden to soften the effect of the pavers, we also knew that this is where we would spend our retirement and wanted to reduce any trip hazards or not have too big a garden to maintain.
Then the front garden was completed. Keeping in mind that ours is a simple house to look at from the road. The flame tree is the focal point, front and centre of the house, so we used that as a feature to work from when developing the landscape for the front yard.
Ours is not large or grand garden by any stretch, but it is a great example of minimising water use. And in an area such as ours we feel it vital that we keep the use of precious resources to an absolute minimum.
GARDEN 6: LEANNE & JOHN ANDERSON at 34 Rogers Street
For years John & Leanne Anderson would drive to town past a vacant block boasting incredible water views of the Goobang Creek and dream of owning such an oasis. Thirteen years on, not only are the Andersons the proud owners of the block but they have also created a garden that visitors now dream of. With majestic red river gums and sleepy willows curving along the creek, the Andersons have ensured all aspects of the garden complement the tranquil vista.
To achieve this, the garden landscape features several graduating levels, punctuated with rocks, logs and free form garden beds. The garden beds boast host many of Leanne’s favourites, such as crepe myrtles, diosma, lavender, agapanthus, geraniums and roses. Far from being precious about colour and tone, the Andersons garden beds are a riot of reds and pinks, blues and green and everything in between. To balance the undulating borders of the garden beds, the Andersons have created a formal garden, featuring a gravel circular path and a horseshoe of Seduction and Iceburg roses
Jacarandas, Chinese Elm and Manchurian Pear provide the place to cool off from the Condobolin heat, while an ornamental grape covered pergola is the ideal location for long lazy lunches.
The Andersons inherited an established tree line on the western side while a new oleander hedge on the eastern side secludes the garden from the neighbours.
The red gravelly soil is great for drainage, but tough for digging, which means that creating a new garden bed requires ‘man power’. The Andersons are adamant that while they mulch and remain water wise, they prefer not to baby the garden, which has meant some trial and error.
The Anderson’s dream garden is now becoming a popular wedding location. It seems it is not only the Andersons who have fallen love with the block beside the Goobang, but many others wishing to make their dreams come true.
- Condobolin Garden Festival Map 2016 Download
No testimonials exist at this time.
All 6 gardens $15.00
Single gardens $5.00
Children under 16 free.
Music Under the Gums (Saturday 7pm) tickets $20pp
Prior to the Garden Festival, tickets can be purchased from:
Note: On the day, garden tickets and 'Music Under the Gums' tickets can be purchased from the Wiradjuri Study Centre and each open garden.