Bathurst Spring Spectacular is an annual event run by the Bathurst Gardeners’ Club. Each year it has a theme, this year the theme is Tune up your senses. Gardens are not the only feature with art works and sculpture available for you to enjoy.
A variety of magnificent gardens will be on display. All proceeds are given to various local charities each year.
Musical groups from Mitchell Conservatorium and other local artists will play at all gardens during the weekend.
Catering at a selection of gardens will be available to tantalise your tastebuds.
This year we have sought out gardens that demonstrate what can be achieved in a relatively short period of time as well as older gardens. We hope that you can take home affordable, achievable ideas.
Last year we invited you to find the evidence of fairies in each garden. The year before that a rooster could be found. This year we invite you to find the musical instrument. It might be part of a sculpture. It might be a piece of leadlight work. It might be ….
Find out more details for the 2019 Bathurst Spring Spectacular here.
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About the gardens
Bishop’s Course, adjacent to St Stanislaus College
It is an Historic Building built by Samuel Marsden, the first Anglican Bishop of Bathurst in the 1870’s. Now an exclusive Boutique Hotel, an acre of woodland gardens encase the beautiful building which includes a gorgeous stone chapel to view which is now used as a delightful function/event room. Due to the age of the property and the foresight of the Bishop, there are very well established trees and the roses grow magnificently up the double-storey stone walls of the building. There is a Blue Spruce that is 110 years old, two Himalayan Cedars and nine Deodars that are approximately 100 years old, a Claret Ash that is 80 years old and a variegated Elder that is approximately 60 years old. Another Other rooms in the garden are the potager garden and “The Spice Girls” live in the Chicken Chapel so don’t forget to say hello as you wander through. There are fountains and mirrors galore with shady table and seating areas, perfect to listen to live music whilst having something to eat and drink.
Greenbrook, owned by the Worthingtons, on Limekilns Road
“Greenbrook” is a rural property on the northern outskirts of Bathurst. The front of the property has stunning views across the valley to the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. The owners moved to Bathurst 8 years ago and have been slowly developing the house paddock (around the house) for about 6 years. Their aim is to create a rambling rural garden that is bird attracting, provides wind protection, play areas and tranquillity, with quirky additions to add some fun. They are achieving this by planting native and deciduous trees, interspersed with shrubs and underplanted with bulbs.
Gwen and Terri’s garden, in Eglinton
The house was built in 2006 which Gwen & her late husband Bill purchased in 2011 with no garden as such. There were three Silver Birches and 10 iceberg roses on the driveway. There was wall-to-wall grass, gravel on the south and west boundaries and colourbond fencing all around. Underneath the gravel was all weed mat so they had to be removed by Gwen in order for her to plant trees and further garden beds. Another 9 bush and climbing roses and 5 Crab Apple trees were planted as well as full cottage garden over time. Gwen had the garden dug over outside the northern fence so she could plant and cover it. They had moved from the Central Coast with a very different climate so it is a credit to Gwen that she has a magnificent Cool Climate cottage garden.
The soil is all clay, like concrete when dry but easy to dig when wet. Gwen has used lots of horse, cow and chicken manure to condition the soil and keeps this regime going all year round. She feels so lucky to have a bore so enjoy plenty of water year round also.
Five pergolas were erected to give some height and interest to the garden. Gwen is a Plants person not a landscaper so if she spots a plant in a nursery that she hasn’t got there will always be a spot for it – and thus her Cottage Garden keeps evolving and many a local has been a recipient of Gwen’s generosity in sharing cuttings and plants she pots up. Opening up her garden to local visitors and friends and sharing her love of gardening not only inspires them but Gwen great delight.
Terri, Gwen’s daughter, is a dab hand at lawn-mowing and generally helps Gwen when she gives a “hoy” from the garden.
Gwen loves her entire cottage garden but a favourite spot for her to view her handiwork and enjoy the pleasure a garden gives, is to sit on her wrought iron bench under the Silver Birches with a cup of tea in hand. Watching the cockatoos eating the crab apples and other birds splashing in the bird baths give Gwen and Terri a great deal of joy.
Mary and David’s garden in Llanarth
Our home was built in 2002 and at that time was one of the few houses in Carlyle Avenue.
The first iteration of the garden was sleeper retaining walls around the fence line with pittosporum’s and ground covers but poor drainage resulted in this attempt at landscaping being dropped. The drainage was so bad that the yard flooded whenever there was a decent downpour of rain.
In about 2005 we had new retaining walls and proper draining installed to increase the area under garden. Nine truckloads of garden soil was brought in. We wanted more garden than lawn, we didn’t want the traditional garden just around the fence line, we wanted something with a path that you could walk into the garden, and most important we wanted a statement. I think we have achieved this, by the type of trees and plants we have planted and the path between the three gardens.
The property is fenced with cream coloured Colourbond fencing and it has been our intention to hide the fence from view and to create a garden which was an oasis of greenery when viewed from the pergola at the back of the house. Blue Arrows along the back fence hid the Colourbond fence but
became a bit woody and were removed in 2017 and were replaced with Teddy Bear Magnolias, Pittosporums and Star Jasmine on the side fences which should hedge up nicely over the next few years.
When we were offered the opportunity to be involved with the Bathurst Garden Spring Spectacular we asked Anna from Urban Hort, a Bathurst landscaping consultant, to help us make the most out of the existing gardens. She has had us busily trimming the existing trees and scrubs dramatically.
The front yard was the easy part with removal of ground cover roses to be replaced by an English Box hedge which will give a more formal appearance of the front years in coming years. The back yard was more of a challenge. Two Camellias were removed from the garden along with number of
other plants and place in pots on the north side of the house.
Other projects resulting from Anna’s suggestions include installation of a walkway into the larger section of the backyard garden complete with either a water feature or a garden seat — the final decision to be revealed on the last weekend in October!!!!
Involvement in the Garden Spectacular has given us a renewed interest in our garden and we thank the organisers of the event and Anna from Urban Hort for giving us the opportunity and motivation to be involved.
Somerset Rise, owned by The Hurfords, at the Top of the Hill, Kelso
On the 4th November, 2012 we moved into our new house built on a steep block which had previously been for cattle grazing. Two deep tracks led up the front of the block where Four Wheel drivers had practiced their art!!
We sit on ancient riverbed – clay filled with water washed pebbles – the topsoil was no more than 20cms deep! Digging into it was like trying to dig concrete and after rain, suitable for making clay pots!!
First we filled the Four Wheel Drive tracks with hay bales secured by star stakes to stop the soil washing down them in heavy rain. We then covered the land in manures of all types – mostly sheep poo from Blayney Parish Church Fetes, cow and horse – then mulched VERY thickly with pads of Lucerne hay. Within a week you could dig into it and not have very much resistance!! No gypsum was used to break up the clay only manure!
My friend and gardener, Kathy McLennan, and I planned the garden with a view to it being a No Dig Garden with plants, especially on the front bank, not requiring much water. As Richard had just retired many people gave us Gift Vouchers, pot plants, cuttings from their gardens as part of the gift to speed us on our way into retirement.
The garden is a mixture of shrubs, herbs, roses and fruit trees – we call it our rustic garden!
We have a very small amount of lawn at the back of the house but, for grandchildren’s entertainment, behind us is Crown Land which is open to many opportunities for family games, etc.
We relocated to Bathurst from Victoria in December 2014, and chose a brand-new house in the aspirational suburb of Kelso. There was no garden – yes-that’s right – just 460 square meters of lawn. It looked sooooooo lush and lovely but we recognised immediately that we had a problem. That is; we love gardens (yes-seen them all in Europe, America, Asia) but know nothing about how to actually ‘do’ a garden. Sure, we have had the odd pot plant in our high-rise apartments-the hardy plants made it, but many came on a casual basis and were regularly replaced on birthdays, Christmas and other special days!
By mid 2015 we decided that we needed help. I called my brother and he said ‘gardening is easy-just dig a hole and plant a tree’. Not convinced by this we sought the help of a landscape architect who developed a master plan including a hard works plan showing the position of each proposed plant and suggested landscape materials and quantities.
Work began in February 2016 and planting completed on April 24th 2016.
Our garden is still very young by most standards and we have learned a lot along the way. One of the best things we did was replace heavy clay soil in the gardens with good topsoil. Our reward is I believe, the quick development of the garden. Some plants have been successes and a few failures have happened but gardens are ever evolving and a gardeners’ work is never done! We just replace what doesn’t work with something that does work. There are plants of interest during each season and we have a mix of colors, textures and forms that provide interest.
The garden is now about three and a half years old and we hope you will come and enjoy our garden and see what can be achieved in a short period of time. It’s always good to get advice when you don’t know what you are doing!!!
We are inexperienced gardeners who moved here December 2014 to a new housing estate with no garden. Being new to the district and climate we sought help from a professional who worked closely with us to design a garden with fragrance, form, texture and interest in all four seasons. Planting occurred in April 2016 and our ‘baby’ has rewarded us by advancing beyond our expectation, and providing seasonal interest we now enjoy. We believe the best is yet to come!
Tanya and Todd’s garden, in Eglinton
The Good Life
Our little house in Eglinton was our first home that we purchased. It was a blank canvas. With only 3 trees in the back yard and a Moptop out the front there was massive potential. We had both studied horticulture back in the early 90’s so we both had a passion for gardening.
The first week that we moved in the first job was to remove the modern hills hoist and we planted a Claret Ash. From there the gardens evolved. Todds vision was to create rooms. So over 2 years the grass got dug up and the gardens developed. We have planted over 20 tree’s from an ornamental pear to different varieties of silver birches with a few natives thrown in for the birds as well as fruit trees which we are now starting to reap the benefits. Another passion of Todd’s was to go fossicking. All the brick paths he gathered from different places and they are all old and have character. The rocks and slate was also gathered and Todd has created a beautiful veggie garden that was inspired by Mr McGregor’s veggie patch in Peter Rabbit.
After 13 years in the army and 3 trips to Afghanistan the garden became a form of therapy and a way of dealing with PTSD. Our most favourite creation is a sign post that tells a story of all the places Todd was deployed too and places we lived during our journey in the army.
We have David Austin roses, a massive collection of bearded iris’s and bulbs throughout the garden.
We are spoiled for places to sit and reflect in our garden. Sitting back watching the birds and enjoying our creation. The garden will be 3 years old in April and 90% was done after work and on weekends by completing and ticking off one job at a time. So it really is A Good Life.
The Gorrick’s garden, in Ironstone Drive, White Rock
Paul and I moved here four years ago from Tamworth where we had developed a smaller garden with its own milder microclimate to help cope with the extreme heat and to provide a frost free winter garden. We have had to rethink our gardening here given the more severe Bathurst winters, the last couple experiencing a series of -8 degrees Celsius nights. However the delights of a more seasonal climate more than make up for the frosty winters.
Previous owners had planted a number of trees to which we have added making for shelter, privacy and autumn colour. Perimeter hedges have been planted for shelter and privacy. Parts of the garden were a blank canvas. This allowed us to develop perennial borders, minimal water areas, shade plantings under existing trees, a vegetable patch with fruit trees and a native plant area. The garden is still developing. We have tried to group plants according to light and water requirements. We both love collecting plants and have sourced plants from local and interstate nurseries.
Plantings have been inspired by David Glenn’s beautiful dry garden at Lambley Nursery In Victoria – salvias, sedums, agastache, grasses, euphorbias, phlomis, ballota, penstemon barbatus among others. The plants that cope well with the dry, heat, gale force winds and icy winters are propagated and planted in other parts of the garden.
In the shade areas we have planted more hardy plants for the climate such as hellebores, variegated liriopes, euphorbia chameleon and euphoria robbiae and some exciting cool climate plants such as woodland buttercups, aconites, mahonias and osthmanthus. There are also cranesbill geraniums, corydalis, heucheras, brunneras and bergenias. Each year we enjoy adding to the number and variety of bulbs including crocus, daffodils, species tulips, bluebells, grape hyacinths and snowflake bulbs.
Plants for the native area have mostly been sourced from Blue Wren nursery, Wattle Flat who specialise in indigenous native pants and Cool Climate Native Nursery Canberra who specialise in natives that withstand the extremes of frost and hot summers. Plants include a range of grasses, coppiced eucalyptus cinerea, snow gums, local banksias, kunzeas and smaller bulbs and ground covers.
Like most gardens our garden is not “finished”, it is a work in progress as we learn more about growing plants in this climate, think up new landscaping ideas, see ideas in other gardens we can copy and the garden matures.
The Glen, owned by Jayne and Simon Bevery, on Limekilns Road
“The Glen” is approx. 400acres of undulating natural bushland purchased by Simon and Jayne Beverly in the winter of 2014. Planting of the gardens commenced in Spring with many plants sourced in the Sydney basin. Mistake number one. Mostly these flourished until the winter of 2015 took its toll with 90% failure. Re Start- We planted the garden in Spring of 2015 with local and appropriate plants for the region and that was the beginning of our garden as you see it today approx. 5000 plants later.
We have had success with deciduous trees, rosemary hedges, lavender and hebes. Adding native grasses and wattle, bottle brush, roses and happy wanderer sit amongst the rest.
Camelias, azaleas and fir trees and hundreds of photinia…….. throw in a few paths, flower beds and sculptures and Im not sure we’re done yet as this project just continues to expand.
We love the garden and the vista across the natural undulating hills. It’s a magical place to spend our time outdoors
White Hollow, owned by Amanda and Peter.
In 2004 our dream began, we bought a 1 acre block of land, built a shed and moved in in the November. Shortly after our house site was prepared digging down to solid ground for a good foundation, building began, in doing so we seemed to break the drought, after years of very little rainfall we seemed to have ourselves a block of very wet and slippery clay. Whilst owner building we began to plant some trees and prepared some garden beds towards the back of the block, it kept us and the kids sane during the very long building process. After around 2 and a half years we finally moved into our house, then began the huge job of building retaining walls and making garden beds.
Our garden is by no means perfect, there are weeds and many things self seed and pop up where they shouldn’t but I think sometimes things are better left alone, within reason. You can often transplant things where you would prefer them to be and this in turn saves you money and gives a more cohesive look. We try to keep the maintenance to a minimum and reuse any of the natural resources that our garden provides us from prunings and clippings to fruit and veg. The plants in our garden need to be tough, nothing is babied and water is used at a minimum so things need to be tough to survive.
There are a variety of ornamentals set out in garden rooms as well as a sprinkling of natives here and there, mainly up in the reptile area. Many of our plants have come from parents and friends seedlings, cuttings and gifts, when money is tight you can still have a reasonably large garden, you just have to be clever about it, make the most of what’s available in your own backyard as well as keeping your eyes peeled for anything that may be being given away or looking for a good home.
We have reused and recycled many materials for structures within our garden, this has come partly from necessity and also from a love of the history found within older pieces, they have so much character and all have a story to tell. We also have a ‘junk’ pile, being creative is something we both enjoy and as a result we are able to work through all of our projects together using recycled objects to achieve some unique pieces throughout the garden. You never know what you might need and to have a special ‘junk’ pile is always handy for when we…..‘have an idea….’
We have a chook yard, reptile area as well as raised and a couple of wicking beds for the veggie gardens. A fire pit area also provides a great area for entertaining on cooler nights, or just firing it up after a long day in the garden makes for an easy dinner when cooking is the last thing you feel like doing.
All in all we love our garden and hope others do as well.
PS. If you notice a weed , please take it with you 😉
The Bathurst Spring Spectacular distributes funds raised to various charities operating in the local community. Last year $19,000 was divided up and distributed to Mitchell Conservatorium of Music, 2BS Miracle Appeal, Miss Traill’s House (National Trust}, headspace, Lifeline, Bathurst Community Transport and 3 Rural Fire Service Units (Peel, Freemantle, and Meadow Flat).
All money raised through ticket sales is distributed as our generous sponsors provide the funds required to administer the Bathurst Spring Spectacular.
Headspace – nominated by a committee member who is passionate about suicide prevention. Headspace has been supported in the past and our continuing support we believe reflects community concern for the continuing issue of mental health amongst rural youth.
Defence Community Dogs– nominated by garden owner who is a veteran. He finds solace in his garden. He recognises that other veterans need to deal with PTSD in other ways. The Dogs for Diggers program rescues dogs from the pound, places them with inmates at Bathurst Correctional Centre for training and then makes the dogs available to veterans with PTSD. The dogs offer immediate comfort and ongoing emotional support.
2BS – traditional. 2BS supports the Bathurst Spring Spectacular by providing the Committee with a meeting room and publicity. In return funds have been donated to their annual Christmas Miracle Appeal. The Appeal distributes Christmas hampers to needy members of the Bathurst and surrounding villages community.
Bathurst Community Transport – Radiation Bus. Ongoing support. Bathurst Community Transport provides a door to door service for members of the Bathurst and surrounding villages community who are unable to access other forms of transport. Bathurst Spring Spectacular funds go to assist the Radiation Bus which is a service provided to Bathurst and surrounding villages patients receiving cancer treatment at Orange Hospital.
Lions Drought Relief. Nominated by Committee member. The Lions Club has an established program of distributing vouchers to needy local farmers. The service is particularly important during the current period of drought. There is a two way benefit in that the farming families receive what they need and local businesses receive trade.
Mitchell Conservatorium of Music – traditional. Bathurst Spring Spectacular have had a winning partnership for many years. Provide enough funds for 2 scholarships. The Conservatorium has and will continue to provide music for Spring Spectacular functions such as the launch and in the gardens over the weekend.
Local charities are also supported through the opportunity to provide catering in nominated gardens over the weekend. This year morning and afternoon tea and lunches will be available through Bathurst Panorama Chorus, RFS (Raglan) and CWA. Bishop’s Court Estate also provides catering and all profits are being directed to CanAssist.
The Bathurst Spring Spectacular would not happen without the hard work of a lot of volunteers.
Starting with the Committee who give their time, skills and use of their own resources to plan and deliver the amazing event each year.
Next come the Garden Owners who happily invite attendees into their gardens over the weekend. They work hard and spend cash to ensure their gardens are of show quality.
As you enter any of the gardens you will be met by Gardeners Club members who mark off your ticket, highlight points of interest in the garden you are about to visit and answer any questions you may have.
You will be entertained by musicians who have volunteered their time and skills to enhance your enjoyment of the garden.
Some gardens feature artisan demonstrations or an art show. Again these people are giving their time to enhance your experience.
Should you decide on some morning or afternoon team or lunch in the garden, you will be served by a volunteer raising funds for a cause.
Volunteer bus guides are also provided by the Bathurst Gardeners Club.
The Bathurst Spring Spectacular is an annual event that raises a lot of funds for local charities that would not happen without the support of the community. A big thank you to all of you.