Sunday, March 1, 2015

Autumn gardens open today

AFTER a decidedly strange summer, why not celebrate the start of autumn with a visit to two of the Derwent Valley's best gardens today (Sunday). "Rosedown" in New Norfolk and "Donnybrook" in Maydena will be open from 10am-4.30pm as part of the Australian Open Garden Scheme's final hurrah. Entry is $8 at both.

Rosedown, 134 Hamilton Rd, New Norfolk
This charming rose and perennial garden is romantic in design and relaxed in style, surrounding an historic 1840s riverside cottage. The garden is set against towering gums and planted with hundreds of colourful and perfumed roses including many David Austin cultivars. At 1.82 hectares (4.5 acres), this is a large garden with lots to see. Hedged grass paths weave among fine specimen trees and vine-covered arbours. For this opening, roses, hydrangeas and perennials including dahlias, rudbeckias, penstemons and Michaelmas daisies are at their peak.

Donnybrook Gardens, 10 West St, Maydena
About 50 minutes west of Rosedown is the second open garden. Don Graham retired to Tasmania in 2003 to pursue his love of photography and bushwalking. He bought a garden at Maydena which he named "Donnybrook" after the picturesque stream that bisects the garden. He began work on the gently sloping 0.6 hectare (1.5 acre) garden and soon began to indulge his passion for plants, particularly roses but also bulbs, perennials and rare plants. Each year Don has added more plants to the garden, which now includes more than 200 rose varieties. There are plants in bloom from late winter to late autumn. Plants in flower now include liliums, dahlias and roses. He wonders what’s happened to his bushwalking and photography plans!

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