Hunter Valley’s Own Not So Secret, Secret Garden(s)

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The Hunter Valley gardens will not only awaken your senses but will have each of them inspired and bounding out of you into lives of their own. Your eyes will long to smell the roses and hear the sound of the birds, while your nose yearns to see the colours of these things creating such enchanting aromas. The gardens will have even the most hardened of characters transfixed.

The gardens have gone from being a retirement dream for Bill and Imelda Roche to one of the Hunter’s premier tourist attractions spanning over 25acres with 10 differently themed gardens, over eight km of pathways, 6, 000 trees, 1, 000, 000 ground covers, 600, 000 shrubs and more than 100, 000 annual plant species. It took a crew of some 40-50 gardeners working week in and week out for over four years to craft this floral feat.

The 10 uniquely themed gardens include:

The Sunken Garden: featuring an array of evergreen and deciduous trees as well as smaller shrubs and annuals all canvassed in front of a simply resplendent 10meter high waterfall.

The Storybook Garden: this garden features a collection of timeless nursery rhyme characters, providing magical moments for young and old. For the young this is an exciting experience into a land untold, while for the older this may just provide a whimsical trip down memory lane. Not to mention the larger than life (literally) nursery rhyme characters and topiary animals, including a giraffe reading a storybook to you as you enter.

The Rose Garden: Showcasing over 8, 000 species of roses ablaze with sweet fragrance, and colour the garden is shaped as a corkscrew – highlighting an association with the Hunter Valley vineyards.

The Oriental Garden: Drawing influence primarily from Japanese and Korean gardens its almost impossible not be overcome by undertones of harmony, balance and serenity. This garden also boasts Australia’s largest Zoysia Grass lawn and a two-story pagoda.

The Lakes Walk: Be greeted by the gentle swoosh of a small waterfull and ambling streams as your eyes absorb the sensational views of mass plantings of seasonal annuals and spring flowering trees and shrubs.

The Italian Grotto: Overseen by St. Francis of Assisi the patron Saint of Animals and the Environment the Italian Grotto (aside from having the best name) is a true taste of the Mediterranean – Hunter Valley’s very own little Italy.

The Indian Mosaic: This impressive garden is nothing short of a masterpiece. The 180 year old antique Indian Gates through which you enter are flanked by majestic bronze elephants. Inside you’ll find your way through a Lillypilly hedge to discover a fantastic mosaic of ground covering plants and pebbles. Relax in the Indian Tea house as the aromas of Indian curry plants fill the air.

The Formal Garden: Fringed by Manchurian Pear trees and their crisp white flowers this garden is the largest garden of its type in Australia carrying influences from France and England.

The Chinese Garden: Upon crossing a jade green slate visitors will enter the traditional Mooongate garden through nothing else than a traditional Chinese Moongate. The garden is made complete with a happy and oh so wise Buddha to oversee it all.

The Border Garden: Entering this garden will have you confronted by intricate floral patterns designed to reflect the classic French Parterre style of garden. This romantic scene features a number of handcrafted Indian marble water features and a statuary representing the four seasons.

For more information, please visit: http://www.huntervalleygardens.com.au

Image credit: By Anil Alfa – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28739032

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