Louise McDaidMerry Garth at Mt Wilson

Mt Wilson in autumn is a splendid place. Located in the Blue Mountains area of NSW, it is within reach for a day trip from Sydney (although who can resist a stopover somewhere in the mountains). It’s a spellbinding enclave of horticultural enterprise, the effect heightened by the surrounding contrast of magnificent natural bushland and rainforest.

Merry Garth_Autumn Colour Texture and LightThe approach road winds through eucalypt bushland to an altitude of 1040m. It is no preparation for the ‘other-wordliness’ of entering an area of such diverse plant life in rich volcanic soil, cultured and wild, native and exotic . It’s a world apart from the city stresses.

Known as a ‘heritage garden village’, there are at least six gardens open to visit during autumn and spring.  Five are open on specific dates through the Open Gardens Australia scheme (check the OGA Guidebook for details of open gardens in Mt Wilson and other areas).


Merry Garth_Banksia integrifolia ssp. MonticolaOne of these is Merry Garth, a 2ha Sorensen inspired naturally planted wonderland of cool-climate gems, with winding paths linking large lawn areas and terracing. It has panoramic views across to the other mountains, including Mt Tomah, through the surrounding temperate rainforest. I really admire the magnificent trees, like the majestic banksias (Banksia integrifolia ssp. Monticola) on the woodland walk. They’re remnant indigenous rainforest species, and quite a contrary to the B. integrifolia that grow as part of the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub where I live.


Here’s a selection of what I enjoyed most at Merry Garth in autumn.

Click on any photo to see a larger image slideshow. You can also click the photos in the slideshow (top right corner) to see a full-size version.


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Louise McDaid

About Louise McDaid

I’m a landscape designer and enjoy working with most anything botanical in nature. Based in Sydney Australia, I am also editor of Landscape Outlook, journal of the Australian Institute of Landscape Designers and Managers (AILDM) and write on gardens and their design. I have been guest editor of GardenDrum while Catherine escaped for an overdue and well-earned holiday.

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