Gar­dens the star at­trac­tion at fes­ti­val

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News -

The pre­lude to the Fes­ti­val of Coun­try Gar­dens opened at the week­end, with sev­eral gar­dens in­volved.

Fes­ti­val chair­woman and co­or­di­na­tor Carol Saun­ders said this year’s pre­lude had six gar­dens open for peo­ple to ex­pe­ri­ence.

“We had gar­dens open for the pre­lude from Nan­nup, Bridgetown and Pem­ber­ton,” she said.

“This will be the 19th year the fes­ti­val has run, and it’s been a mat­ter of get­ting gar­dens and pro­grams to­gether for the event, and also or­gan­is­ing events like wild flower walks, some of which we held this week­end.”

One of the gar­dens open for the pre­lude was Ford House which has been owned by Jenny Rot­man for 24 years.

How­ever, Mrs Rot­man said it was much older than that.

“The gar­den has been a labour of love for over 120 years,” she said.

“It’s such a joy to have some­thing like this that you can share, the gar­den’s ap­peal to peo­ple never goes away.”

Mrs Rot­man said one of her favourite things about the gar­den was the fact the Black­wood River ran di­rectly be­hind it.

“It’s the nat­u­ral beauty mixed with the gar­den that makes it so spe­cial,” she said.

The gar­den is tended to twice a week by the gar­dener, who is known by ev­ery­one as ‘Squeak’.

Mrs Saun­ders said it was gar­den­ers like Squeak who made the fes­ti­val pos­si­ble.

“I’d like to thank the gar­den­ers be­cause with­out them the fes­ti­val wouldn’t ex­ist,” she said.

Mrs Saun­ders has her own gar­den called Cher­ry­tree Cot­tage which was also open for the pre­lude.

“Or­gan­is­ing this fes­ti­val is def­i­nitely not a one per­son job, and I am grate­ful for all the help I have,” she said.

The main fes­ti­val will be held from Novem­ber 1 to 4 and will see 18 gar­dens tak­ing part.

Pic­ture: Holly Thomp­son

Jenny Rot­man, in her gar­den at Ford House, which was open to the pub­lic as part of the pre­lude to the Fes­ti­val of Coun­try Gar­dens at the week­end.

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