Everglades Gardens, Leura
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Everglades Gardens has such a variety of settings, it delights you over and over again, sometimes taking your breath away. The gardens are on a slope, providing opportunities for lovely stone walls and stairs, and areas that are partitioned off from each other. When you first walk down from the entrance, you encounter rows of tulips (in spring) and stunning views of the blue mountains behind squared hedges. The gardens are quite formal in some places, and more flowing in others. A doorway with sculpture and columns stands on greenest lawn and a brick wall behind European benches provides a quiet place to take in a stunning view of the valley below. Next you walk down to a courtyard with stones crisscrossing in the grass, and urns, ironwork, arches, and square windows. This is blissful but you are about to enter an even more glorious spot, the Cherry Terrace. It is cozy and romantic, with a giant Italianate urn weathered by the elements, beneath an elm. A circle of stones surrounds the urn and stone stairs sit beside it. What an incredible shade of vibrant green is all around you! There are secluded picnic spots amongst the terraces here under weeping trees.
Now you're in for a change of scene because you reach an area of bushwalks! You look over a cliff at a thousand eucalyptus trees stretching up to the sky. There are lookouts with benches, curvy stone walls, and art deco ironwork barriers. The views are so peaceful and beautiful across the vast Australian bush! Below the eucalyptus trees are ferns sipping from a stream. A path inlaid with stone leads to a magical grotto with overhanging porous rock and lush ferns. More paths lead past ferns and unusual trees and a log with seats carved into it. The rhododendron walk overflows with color. Lastly, an incredibly green and open area with weeping trees leads along a rivulet with greenest banks. What a varied and wonderful landscape you've just explored!
Visit in spring if you can! October was glorious.
Have lunch in Leura town after your visit. Also, check out the cozy and cute flower gardens at a private home called Glenhaven Gardens.
Everglades Gardens are located at 37 Everglades Avenue, Leura NSW 2780, Australia, call (02)4784 1938. You can walk from the train station but it is quite a walk!
Open daily 10-5 Oct-Mar and 10-4 April-Sept. Closed on Dec 25 and Dec 26.
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