DESCRIBE THE EVENT:
It’s a chance for people to visit gardens that have wonderful displays of autumn colour, here in southwest Western Australia. Nineteen gardens are open next weekend in Bridgetown, Nannup, Manjimup and Pemberton, including ornamental, native and productive gardens. Many are heritage properties so it’s wonderful to see how they have matured across the past 100 years.
In addition to the gardens, the Bridgetown Autumn Fair is on at Ford House on Saturday, May 7, from 9am to 3pm. On the banks of the Blackwood River, it has magnificent gardens around an 1896 house. The fair will have many stalls selling gardenalia, plants, delicious food, coffee and raffles.
Other festival attractions include a free, guided walk through the Priority Bittern and Waterbird project at 10am on Sunday, May 8. This is a project rehabilitating early mining operations into habitat suitable for the endangered Australian bittern and other waterbirds. There’s also a guided walk ($5) at 10.30am on Sunday through the World Collection of trees at the Golden Valley Tree Park in Balingup, where the autumn colour is magnificent.
We’re holding a sundowner to enjoy drinks, nibbles and music at the Cidery in Bridgetown at 6pm on Friday, May 6, as well as an autumn-themed dinner at the Emporium Bistro in Bridgetown on Saturday, May 7 (bookings essential).
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL:
It’s a community event organised by volunteers who form the Blackwood Country
Gardens group. Our festival has been running for 17 years and everyone looks forward to seeing lots of visitors. This year we had so many owners offering to open their gardens we extended the festival to include Friday. Most hosts will provide morning and afternoon teas for a nominal cost and some will have plants and other items for sale. As well as the glorious autumn colour, the roses are stunning down here and some gardens owners have hundreds of them.
Distributing the posters, flyers and programs to all the towns in the surrounding regions and Perth. We have big distances to cover here.
YOU HOPE VISITORS WILL:
Learn about new plants and trees, garden design and how to care for gardens. And realise that living in the inland southwest of Western Australia provides a fantastic lifestyle.
Download programs and maps at blackwoodcountrygardens.com or get them from Hillview Garden Centre, 200 Hampton Street, Bridgetown. Details of gardens and events on website or facebook.com/festivalofcountrygardens.
Ford House, where the Bridgetown Autumn Fair will be held.