Spring Has Sprung, The Grass Is Riz

Springtime On The Mountain Festival

I Wonder Where The Birdies Is?

Tamborine Mountain Garden Club’s Vice President Anne Jones with Kerry Jones (Committee Member), and Division 2 Cr Jeff McConnell, with Magpie Gardens Owners Bernadette & Peter

They were all up on the mountain ready to enjoy for the Springtime On The Mountain Festival presented by The Tamborine Mountain Garden Club in late September. Featured this year were five local open gardens, the Botanic Gardens, and three local nurseries to round off the selection.

With the private gardens not set to open for viewing until 10am the Botanic Gardens caught the early birds with their plant sales in The Bobby White Pavilion while the sweet scent of sausages and BBQ onions floated on the breeze from their lakeside sausage sizzle.

Alongside orchids and cliveas in full bloom, a resident bush turkey was busy undoing all of the volunteers’ good works. Garden Club President Denby Browning allowed me rare access to the Orchid Pavilion to capture the spectacular orchid display before dashing back to his BBQ duties as the crowds began to pour in.

“I think that I shall never see, a poem lovely as a tree.” (Joyce Kilmer)

Just like a poem, a garden is an artistic creation. Lovingly crafted and individual in their expression, the five Open Gardens were extremely diverse, ranging from expansive and grand, to smaller and jam packed with floral delights.

Pond Hall in Beacon Road, majestic former home of the Tamborine Mountain Distillery contains unique sculptures hidden amid the shady glades. A colonnade of young conifers leads to a magnificent stone fountain encircled by matching ornate benches – a delight to the eye.

In terms of size – Carousel in Sequoia Drive may be on the smaller end of the spectrum but from the moment you step out of your car the divine aroma of the floral blooms is intoxicating. No need to head off to Toowoomba for a spectacular display of annuals, Carousel delivers in spades. With masses of dwarf snapdragons, lavender, roses and daisies, I only wish ‘scratch and sniff’ were a magazine option.

Petitt Garden in Cliff Way, with its magnificent Gold Coast views slopes steeply down to sunny rockeries and border gardens lavished with roses and colourful bulbs. Fringed by mature trees and borrowed landscape, who could tire of this panoramic outlook?

Effigy Gardens in Licuala Drive, at only two years old, has entered the festival for the first time. Lavishly adorned as almost a series of garden ‘rooms’, there is interest for the eye at every turn, and will only become more intriguing as the planting matures.

Bordered by mature tree plantings, Magpie Garden is peripherally shady and secluded. Orchids peep from nooks and crannies and vie for your attention against a bounty of bulbs, a spectacular mixed clivea display, and pergola laced with nodding wisteria flowers. ‘Hamish’ the hare, a well-travelled and much-loved statue purchased by the family in Dorset England,
peeks out over the orchids as if he means to bound across the lawn at any moment.

During the trail, Tamborine Mountain Garden Club’s Vice President Anne Jones with Committee Member Kerry Jones, and Division 2 Cr Jeff McConnell, dropped in to visit Magpie Gardens Owners’ Bernadette and Peter.

Birchgrove Nursery had run out of car parks with visitors wishing to experience their famous rose collection and then no doubt stayed to sample the delicious cafe offerings. Mere words cannot do justice to the proffered verdant displays and with over 800 pre-booked tickets, it was a wonderful two full days of ‘flower festival fun’!

By Sue Jobson (Team Reporter)