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Gardens

Historic Entally Estate, Tasmania

Angus Stewart

Angus Stewart

December 16, 2013

Tasmania and its gardens must be one of Australia’s best kept horticultural secrets. A coolish climate is often coupled with soils that are more often than not based on volcanic minerals that give them much better structure and fertility than many mainland soils. The result is a place where plants developed for northern hemisphere gardens can thrive to create spectacular displays that, in my opinion, rival some of their more famous European counterparts. Having led garden tours through some of the major gardens of Europe as well as a recent tour of Tasmania has given me the opportunity to make such comparisons.

Historic Entally House Tasmania

Historic Entally House Tasmania

Bee on delphinium Entally House TasmaniaOne of the finest Tasmanian gardens I have visited is that at Entally Estate at Hadspen, a short drive from Tasmania’s second largest city Launceston. Entally Estate was founded in 1819 by Thomas Haycock Reibey with a 300 acre land grant to grow cereal crops and Devon cattle. Throughout the 19th Century it grew and prospered, which allowed extensive gardens to be created and maintained such that there are now many magnificent specimen trees that provide a backdrop for some stunning perennial borders and rose gardens amongst other horticultural treasures.

Colourful annuals in the conservatory at Entally House Tasmania

Colourful annuals in the conservatory at Entally House Tasmania

Entally House Tasmania annuals in the conservatory

 

My favourite part of the garden is a beautifully restored conservatory that is stocked with plants that are raised by students from a local TAFE college. All manner of colourful annuals and bulbs are grown in pots for what is perhaps a reminder of how important gardening used to be in Australian society. Rarely do we see riotous displays of colourful annuals these days as government bodies follow a pathway of horticultural austerity.

 

Colourful border Entally House Tasmania

Colourful border Entally House Tasmania

Entally House TasmaniaIndeed, the magnificent gardens at Entally are only possible due to the efforts of an intrepid band of volunteers who offer their services to the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service who currently manage the Estate. More power to these extraordinary folks whose efforts rival those of any professional horticulturist. Apart from the conservatory there is a walled garden featuring stunning roses and cottage gardens as well as perennial borders in the areas surrounding the well preserved homestead, complete with period furnishings.

Cool climate plants thrive at Entally House Tasmania

Cool climate plants thrive at Entally House Tasmania

Entally House Tasmania4Entally House is but one of a number of historic houses and gardens throughout Tasmania. The ready access by sea in the early days of the European settlement of Australia ensured that some of the best areas for horticulture were developed early in the 19th Century and many of these now provide us with a glimpse of a time when horticulture was in its prime in Australia.

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Stuart Read
10 years ago

what impressed me were its records about the estate and garden, its massive old Camellia reticulate (heavily pruned) in said glasshouse(s), and pots full of NZ/Chatham Island (giant) forget-me-nots (Myosotidum hortensia) getting ready for a bit of a bobby-dazzler display of blue. Not to mention the paeonies! Chequered history of late with Gunns going broke and it ‘going back’ to the State Govt. and now-volunteer-led revival. Bravo to all volunteers involved. SR

Angus Stewart
10 years ago
Reply to  Stuart Read

Hi Stuart
Yes the attention to detail is incredible there. I can only agree – bravo the volunteers there!!
Cheers
Angus

Julie Thomson
10 years ago

Beautiful post and pictures, Angus. Hope to get to Tassie- for first time – this year and Entally Estate will be on the schedule.

Anne Vale
8 years ago

Hi Angus,
couldn’t agree more I was there a year ago looking at a number of gardens ‘as you do’ and Entally House was certainly one of my favourites. Lovely combination of history and landscape the gardeners do a brilliant job. The tour through the house is also fascinating. I could live there -if it came with the support team!