Botanical bonanza for Braidwood

The town was abuzz at the weekend with garden lovers and day trippers who flocked to the preschool's second Braidwood Open Gardens.

Landscape architect Michael Bligh explains garden design at Mona.

Landscape architect Michael Bligh explains garden design at Mona.

The sun shone for the two days, despite the looming threat of thunderstorms, and scores of visitors could be seen wandering Wallace Street with maps in hand.

The six gardens - Mona, Wynlen House, Bedervale, 116 Wallace Street, 14 Solus Street and Warrambucca Gardens - received an average of 455 visitors, with many more children boosting those numbers further.  

Takings from the event and associated activities exceeded $19,000, with proceeds of the barbecue going to The Men's Shed and profit from the Devonshire tea to St Bede's Primary School.

Landscape architect Michael Bligh, author and historian Jackie French, water scientist Peter Hazell and ABC 666 garden guru Graham Williams kept crowds at Mona entertained with informative talks while an art show featuring the work of Julian Laffan, Kate Stevens, Mark Sullivan, Kate Carruthers and Lizzie Hall provided an extra element to the atmosphere. 

Guided tours of Wynlen House and Bedervale homestead proved popular, as did face painting, and pony and carriage rides at Mona.

Mona's Devonshire tea was extremely well received by visitors who raved about the quality of homemade goodies on offer, while the home-grown ham sliders and quiche on offer at Wynlen House's pop-up cafe also had garden lovers lining up for more.

The weekend was made possible thanks to the garden owners who put in so much work to open their homes to the public; the incredible band of volunteers led by Samara Zeitsch; The Men's Shed who ran the barbecue and manned the gate at Mona, the catering queens from St Bede's and the generous support of local sponsors including Roscommon Carriages, IGA Braidwood, The Bunyip Jungle Nursery and Florist, Braidwood Community Bank, Abby French Graphic Design, The Albion and Steve Clark Signs.

Visitors were struck by the calibre and diversity of the gardens and many said they were already looking forward to returning next year.