A brand new tour around NSW to discover which gardens tick all the boxes for Graham Ross. Exclusive access has been arranged to a stable of private gardens, all with fine pedigree. This tour starts and finishes in Sydney.
Check in to the 5-star, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, next to the historic Rocks district and Circular Quay, for two nights.
Meet up with your Tour Leader Graham Ross in the lobby, ready for a gentle stroll through The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney. Opened in 1816, it’s the oldest botanical garden and scientific institution in Australia. Graham was trustee here for 10 years and maintains close connection with all aspects of the fine work done here. Welcome Dinner included tonight.
Today we explore the leafy Eastern Suburbs, starting with the State Heritage listed Paddington Reservoir Gardens. Hailed as a blend of the ancient Baths of Caracalla in Rome and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. A unique and very special part of Sydney’s history. Continue east to Vaucluse House, one of Sydney’s few 19th-century mansions and visit the original gardens and wooded grounds. Once a huge estate covering nearly all of Vaucluse, today 26 acres are a reminder of the property’s early grandeur. Restored pleasure gardens, kitchen gardens and paddocks co-exist with native bushland and a beach frontage. Lunch is included today.
We continue our exploration of historic Sydney gardens this afternoon, at a heritage listed Historic House where the current residents have breathed new life into this beautiful old house and garden. Dinner – own arrangements
We are heading to Leura today, with a stop at The Australian Botanic Garden, Mt Annan to visit The Australian PlantBank, with amazingly beautiful bushfire resistant architecture. The PlantBank is the largest native plant conservation seedbank in Australia, with over 11,000 collections. an exciting insight into the protection of our Australian flora. There will also be an opportunity to view the ‘soon to be open’ multi-million-dollar National Herbarium next door.
Lunch is included today. Check into the Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains, Leura for four nights with dinner included in the hotel this evening.
The heritage garden village of Mount Wilson is our destination today. First up is Nooroo, home to the Valder family for 75 years and now manicured to perfection by Tony and Lorraine Barrett in their 30 years stewardship of this, one of Australia’s finest private gardens.
Windy Ridge is next, the showcase of Rodger Davidson and his late wife Wai. Exquisite cool climate plants including nerines, Japanese maples, hydrangeas and peonies with lunch included.
The gardens of three fine plantsmen today in the hamlet of Little Hartley. Gory’u is first, where Alan Jackson has spent the past 25 years carefully crafting his 3 Ha Japanese Garden. The result is magnificent!
Highfields is next, a new and ambitious terraced garden of David Kennedy. Sited to take advantage of magnificent views and full sun, Highfields is a horticultural triumph. Borders are dense with incredibly beautiful and complex plantings. Dry gardens thrive without ever knowing a hose, and rare grasses and perennials fill a meadow. It’s not surprising this garden has received international acclaim in a very short time. Lunch is included today.
With an esteemed career spanning three decades, Stephen Vella’s brilliant talent in plant selection and design is apparent immediately upon entering Wild Meadows. Offering drama in every season, but in autumn it glows – literally – as dogwoods, maples and crabapples change colour and russet-coloured grasses sway in the breeze. Return to Leura.
Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah is first today, with its collection of cool climate plants, under close scrutiny and impeccable care. Graham was broadcasting for its opening in 1987 and has been involved with many of the decisions that have made this garden the gem it is today. It is the only Botanic Garden anywhere in the world, located within a UNESCO World Heritage Area. Lunch is included today.
Long-time friend and colleague, Don Schofield has been creating his garden Winterwood in Mount Tomah for almost 40 years. It’s been a labour of love for this true plantsman with his collections of rare and heritage varieties. At the time of our visit, we hope his favourite nerines will be flowering. Don also breeds new varieties and grows cut flowers (peonies and ranunculus) for florists. Return to Leura.
Oberon is our first stop this morning to visit Mayfield Garden.
Nestled within a 5000-acre working farm in a quiet valley in Oberon is the extraordinary private garden of Mayfield, a spectacular, world-class 65-hectare cool climate garden, the largest in Australia. Inspired by the great European gardens, there is much to see here; stunning seasonal plantings, unique follies and exquisitely designed garden areas. A triumph of garden design with groves of oaks, beech, conifers, birch and colourful collections of maples. Our private tour reveals both the highlights and the hidden gems.
Lunch is included today. Travel on to Orange and check in to our hotel, The Remington, for three nights. Dinner included tonight.
We are heading to the famous Cowra Japanese Garden this morning with a stop in Canowindra at Perennialle Plants Nursery. Stroll around the Cowra Japanese Garden with Graham, who attended the opening in 1979. Designed by world renowned architect Ken Nakajima, this garden is more than just a garden, it is a powerful symbol of good will, encouraging reconciliation and peace. The design of the garden is a copy of the first Japanese landscape garden “”Kaiyu shiki”” (Strolling Garden) built by the first Japanese Shogun Tokugawa in the 16th century A.D. Lunch is included today. Travel back to Orange.
A day in and around Orange. First stop is the ‘The Garden Curator’, Colleen Southwell is inspired by her garden, the natural environment, everyday objects and a commitment to celebrating beauty in the little things. Underpinned by the “SLOW” philosophy upon which the Slow Food movement has been built, “Slow Gardening” encourages us to savour our gardens throughout the seasons and live in the here and now. Peek into Colleen’s delightful tin shed art studio and view her exquisite artworks, which have been receiving rave reviews in recent exhibitions. Country style morning tea on Colleen’s terrace overlooking her garden and farm. Heritage-listed Cook Park. Established in 1873, much of the park’s original Victorian design remains. See hundreds of begonias in bloom in the ‘Blowes Conservatory’ and the magnificent tree collection of elms, cedars, bunya bunya pine and the giant sequoia ‘Hug Tree’.Farewell Dinner included tonight.
Homeward bound this morning as we leave Orange with a stop just outside Bathurst at Sarah Ryan’s Hillandale. Meet this brilliant plantswoman who has made a garden of exquisite beauty with skill and flair. Her 120m long flower border is a work of genius, planned and executed with such skill that there is a succession of flowers from October through to April. Morning tea and lunch is included today. Continue on to Sydney Central.
You will be contacted by a Ross Tours Travel Manager to confirm your details and preferred method of payment.