The Braes Heritage Garden Estate will open as part of the Leura Gardens Festival in 2019. The garden is adjacent to the Blue Mountains World Heritage National Park and lies between an urban environment and a semi-rural one, with views to the Southern Highlands.
Its original land grants were allocated in 1882.
The Braes was purchased by the Egan family in early 1996 at which time it was overgrown by environmental and noxious weeds and most of the creek banks had collapsed.
In the early 1940s, following its use as a dairy and market garden, Dr Hagarty, a Macquarie Street specialist, retained Paul Sorensen to design the dry-stone wall terraces to the east and west of the knoll. Subsequent owners in the 1970s added the ponds and extended the garden planting.
Over the last 21 years the Egan family have overseen the site’s remediation, including removal of significant stands of radiata pine and many other predatory and unwelcome plants.
They have acquired several hundred trees to improve the site’s curtilage, opened up many areas to develop a more diverse arboretum of conifers and cool climate trees and shrubs, repaired the creek banks and the dam walls and added to the Sorensen dry-stone wall developments.
The garden today offers an extensive display of trees and shrubs some approaching 100 years old and a rich diversity of perennials and annuals.
On the eastern terraces the Egans have established a rose garden, an orchard with over 20 varieties of fruit and nut trees and planted thousands of bulbs. Their propagation facility produces well over 5,000 plants from cuttings and seeds each year.
The gardens festival
The 2019 Leura Gardens Festival in the beautiful world heritage listed Upper Blue Mountains will be held for 6 days over 2 long weekends: Saturday, 5 October to Monday, 7 October and Friday, 11 October to Sunday 13, October
The Festival (the 55th) will feature glorious cool climate spring gardens, showcasing a particularly wide range of styles and sizes. On display will be a feast of new growth, masses of flowers, gorgeous bulbs and an amazing variety of cold-climate plants including wonderful deciduous trees which will just be coming into their full glory.
With gardens at their very best in spring, the Festival has always been a magnet for visitors seeking not only to enjoy the beauty that is on show, but also seeking inspiration for their own gardens.
An all-gardens ticket costs $30 or $8 per individual garden. The all-gardens ticket is valid over the 6 days of the Festival.
Other Festival attractions will include the daily Music in the Gardens program, the popular Art Show featuring works painted in the Festival gardens, and a wide range of wonderful plants and garden accessories at the Festival Plant Sales Centre.
Festival proceeds go to the Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital and other local health-related organisations.
More details of this not-to-be missed event for garden lovers are available at www.leuragardensfestival.com.au Or follow the Festival on Facebook and Instagram.