Tumbarumba’s garden festival

Tumbarumba sounds like a Mexican hat dance…. in fact it is a lovely little town, on the western edges of the Snowy Mountains about three hours drive from Canberra.

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With a population of about 2 000 people,  the cold climate gardens in this little town would do a Chelsea garden show proud, and the hospitality of the people is to match.

Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the area around Tumbarumba has been Wiradjuri country for at least 20 000 years. The name Tumbarumba comes from the Wiradjuri language, and is thought to mean ”sounding ground”, or ”hollow ground”.

The first garden we visited, called Burraleigh, gave us some incidental history of the region.

In the 1850s gold was discovered in this district…

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Ned Kelly, a famous bushranger during the 1800s, was also found wandering in the garden, but in fact, the Tumbarumba region had its own fearsome bushranger called  Mad Dog Morgan.

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Now, in more peaceful times, this garden has been lovingly developed over 30 years, and has magnificent deciduous and evergreen trees overlooking themed gardens.

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More gardens, and Blueberry pancakes had been recommended at the Laurel Hill Berry Farm, just outside of the town, built on the historic Miners Arms Hotel.

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and the Coachman’s hut still remains, with netted blueberries behind it.

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In the tradition of spring in these parts, a young female magpie was very upset by all the people visiting the normally, quiet, berry farm. She was ruthlessly swooping everyone in sight, even though, we were told by the owner, the babies had almost grown….

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it was hard to concentrate on our delicious blueberry pancakes…

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but somehow we struggled through..

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Ann’s garden, amongst the rolling hills, began with this small back yard, and has grown and spread over 30 years. This design is typical of a bygone era of Australian gardens, with the hills hoist (clothes line) in the middle, and a very practical cement path leading to the clothes line and the gate.

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The garden had spread over time. Meandering paths lead to oaks, maples, hazelnuts and apple trees, and flowering shrubs

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Ann manages a thriving vegetable patch and some chooks to provide eggs and manure.I wondered about snakes coming over from the fields beyond, but I didn’t want to sound like a city wimp, so I kept quiet.

Further out of town is a beef farm, called Karbethon, with a stunning garden developed over fifty years. The garden is loving cared for by Colin and Diane Hardy, and was started by Colin’s mother.

IMG_1550 (1024x765)This property is more like a park, with mature trees, including Old English Oaks, Italian Alders, Canadian Maples, Chinese Tallow, Liquidamber and many more. On this hot day, I’m enjoying the shade of this tranquil place.

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We have a small Japanese Maple, and now we are wondering…will it reach this size?

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This is a wonderfully spreading Chinese Tallow tree…we have one of these in our front garden…when we bought it the label said ”small tree suitable for suburban gardens”

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Along the driveway, a splendid white shrub is flowering. It was planted by Colin’s mother and has not flowered for many years, but today is in glorious bloom…..just in time for the garden festival.

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Along the borders of the property are tall long-established grasses, no doubt providing wind breaks for the garden when it was first established. The original gum trees are spread around the property and on the edges of the driveway.

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Behind these tall grasses  is another long beautiful garden, and some of Colin’s unique sculptures..

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IMG_6665 (1024x847)Recently the family has constructed a Manchurian Pear walk which features attractive silhouettes, and on the first is engraved  Great Grandmother of Our Gardens. Walking through the path, there are silhouettes of each grandchild.

What a grand legacy this gardener has left behind.

(unfortunately the sun was too strong for a good photo.)

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This garden was a fitting end to our garden tour….we hope to be back to see the ones we missed next year..

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and on the way back we stopped to take a photo of this quiet, and very typical, country scene. Unfortunately the noise of one person getting out of the car and pointing a camera in their direction, sent the cows charging  off down the hill

….I really had forgotten how quiet it is in the country..

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11 thoughts on “Tumbarumba’s garden festival

  1. Theresa Higgins

    I can almost feel the green and cool shade beckoning. A far cry from our scorched earth and searing heat in Queensland at the moment. Photos of my garden right now look more like a cornflakes bowl.

    Reply
    1. germac4 Post author

      Oh dear, your summer has really begun!! (and not in a good way!) I thought of you at the Berry farm, you would have loved the sea of colours….

      Reply
    1. germac4 Post author

      The pancakes were delicious! The gardens were lovely to see, especially since, in such a small place, they don’t get to ”show” them to many people.

      Reply
  2. Ross Dalton

    Gerrie
    Great review and photos. These gardens are a testament to the owners but also tell much about the history of gardening in rural Australia.
    Ross

    Reply
    1. germac4 Post author

      Thanks Ross, and so true, some people in small towns have really made their gardens their life’s work…it was lovely to see.

      Reply
  3. Jason

    I would love to see that pear walk in bloom! Some wonderful gardens. My neighbor recently returned from a long business trip to Canberra. Her husband flew out to join her and they piggybacked a little vacation onto her work time. She told me that she absolutely loved Australia and is dying to go back.

    Reply
    1. germac4 Post author

      Thanks Jason, there are a lot of lovely places to see here. Well we owe the design and wonderful green spaces of Canberra to Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion Mahony from Chicago. Such a visionary to be able to do that from another country… (Mahony is spelt like this even though the spell checker disagrees!)

      Reply
  4. rusty duck

    Beautiful gardens! I love the ‘small suburban tree’. I do wonder what some of the things I have planted will look like in 50 years time. I’ve already discovered that we have to take the guide heights printed on labels with a pinch of salt. They seem to have their own ideas in rainy Devon.

    Reply
    1. germac4 Post author

      Yes, I agree Jessica, I think rain has everything to do with the height of trees. We’ve had a drought, and since then the rain has been wonderful, but the garden was completely overgrown in one season. I can just imagine the rain in Devon. (but such a lovely part of the world)

      Reply

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