Galston Garden Club Open Weekend: A Complete Guide

It's hard not to be awe-struck by its elegance and size. The red brick, the curved windows and a pool that glistens in the midday sun.

Yet the garden that skirts the estate is set to be the centerpiece attraction, when the property is opened to the public as part of the Galston Garden Club's open weekend.

MORE ON THE OPEN WEEKEND: Scroll down for more information.

Named the Saramanda Folly Garden, the lawns are a luscious shade of green, while a large variety of flowers soak up the spring sun.

"We have a wide range of flowers from crape myrtles to roses" - — Annette Fitzsimmons

"We have a wide range of flowers from crape myrtles to roses," owner Annette Fitzsimmons said.

In the middle of the lawn, a sheep grazes on the pristine grass. A double take, however, reveals only a life-size replica.

Mrs Fitzsimmons' husband, Wayne, chuckles, "It's amazing how many people think the sheep is real — you're certainly not the first."

What is perhaps most intriguing about the garden is its use of water conservation. In the far corner of the property is situated a dam, which resembles a large pond.

When the dam overflows after rainfall, the spillway dispenses excess water into two large tanks nestled at the property's rear. When the dam is low, these tanks can pump water back into the dam.

The garden is also home to a variety of wildlife.

"We get wallabies, red-bellied black snakes, goannas — you name it!" Mr Fitzsimmons said.

Open gardens convener Bill Fleming said each garden has its own unique qualities.

‘‘All the gardens are large — around five acres — and they’re all very different too,’’ he said.

‘‘The individual owners have brought their own styles to their garden.’’

‘‘All the gardens are large — around five acres — and they’re all very different too" - — Bill Fleming

Visitors interested in native gardens might want to check out Willow Glen garden in Arcadia, with its large rock shelves and natural watercourse.

Saramanda Folly garden in Middle Dural has a more formal style with topiarised lily-pillies, conifers and white roses.

Each of the gardens is presented by the owners, who will be available to answer questions on the day.

■ L’hirondelle: 25 Harrisons Lane, Glenorie (morning/afternoon tea);

■ Willow Glen: 2 Marrakesh Place, Arcadia;

■ Guestlands: 10 Blacks Road, Arcadia;

■ Saramanda Folly: 8 Glenroy Place, Middle Dural;

■ Brackenridge: 11 Ballanda Place, Dural;

■ Savannah: 51 Mid Dural Road, Middle Dural (morning/afternoon tea);

■ Paralang: 7 Hunt Avenue, Dural; and

■ Madison: 24 Sagars Road, Kenthurst.

Tickets will be available at the gardens, or at Galston Garden Club (21 Arcadia Road) on the open weekend.

Individual tickets cost $5 or $20 for an all-access pass for all three days. Under 18 years, free. Morning and afternoon tea is available at two locations but visitors can bring a picnic lunch.

Open Gardens is a charitable event and all profits will be distributed to charities of the individual garden owner’s choice.

There will also be a bonsai display on October 18 and 19 at the Ray Nesci Bonsai Nursery in Dural.

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