Open Gardens / Braidwood’s six of the best

Mona… developed following the principles of English landscape designer Capability Brown.

THE Braidwood Open Gardens this year include six gardens and the opportunity to see inside two grand homes that date back to the 1830s.

Visitors can take guided tours of Bedervale Homestead, a Georgian colonial-style house designed by Australian architect John Verge and built by emancipated convicts.

Listed as a building of historical significance by the Heritage Council, owner Sonia Horan will unveil the stories behind its rare, historic furniture and contents, including a collection of Coghill family portraits.

Tillararra… views over grazing land and distant mountains.

The public is also invited to see inside part of historic Nithsdale Homestead and its restored jail, which played a role in the capture of the Clarke gang of bushrangers who terrorised the district at the height of the gold rush.

Many of the weekend’s activities will be based in the grand gardens of Mona, whose 48.5 hectares have been developed following the principles of English landscape designer Capability Brown.

A work in progress since 1837, Mona’s award-winning gardens present postcard views in all directions and feature a picturesque lake, stone Palladian-style bridge, poplar walk and an elm wood underplanted with bluebells, daffodils and jonquils.

Other highlights include guided tours of the produce gardens at Wynlen House, where owners Bronwyn Richards and Helen Lynch are following their passion of creating food with soul for the people of Braidwood and surrounds from their 0.6-hectare village block.

At 14 Solus Street, owner Cheryl Raper has created a vision of calm, tucked away behind her and husband Don’s pre-1900s home on the bend into Braidwood from Canberra.

Out front, a towering English oak stands guard, a stately specimen that at 120 years old is listed on the Register of Australia’s Biggest Trees.

Tillararra is a 0.8-hectare oasis whose network of pathways promotes meandering and takes advantage of the property’s views over grazing land and distant mountains.

Each property will be open 10am-4pm, over the weekend of November 25-26. The cost is $5 a garden (under 18s free) or visitors can purchase a $25 pass that offers access to all properties. Bedervale and Wynlen House tours extra. Proceeds will go to the not-for-profit Braidwood Preschool. More information at braidwoodgardens.com.au

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