|92 Tourist Rd, Glenquarry|
The gates of ‘Roberton Park’ sit quietly on a small bend in the road surrounded by loose shrubs and trees – it is scarcely noticeable when driving by but once inside the gates an historical gem is revealed. A gently curving drive rises towards the colonial sandstone house, flanked on either side by towering, century old, pine trees. A beautifully restored dry-stone wall sits just below the drive, running its length and forming part of the boundary of the estates newest feature – the prairie garden and oval.
This newly created area ( three years ) gently reveals itself through the pines on the walk up the drive. From October until August it is a changeable scene of massed grasses and perennials designed to be viewed from two bench seats just inside the walls’ small hand-gate. Magnificent views of the greater landscape as well as the planting detail within the garden are revealed as the serpentine path is followed to the bottom of the slope. In season, drifts of Salvia, Phlox and Asters make a painterly composition, ‘water colouring’ an otherwise green landscape with blues and pinks in variety. By mid-summer the prairie is full to overflowing, behaving as one contiguous planting and rippling in the presence of the slightest breeze. As autumn approaches the colours and textures change to honey and ochre and the gardens interest lies in the many shadows and textures of the senescing perennials all thrown into relief by the rich autumn tones of the surrounding oaks, maples and Liquidamber.
Beyond the prairie and down a monumental flight of stairs is the cricket oval which sports its own small pavilion on the far side. The bank which forms part of its southern boundary is planted with 160 white wisteria which, in time, will create a spectacular curtain of fragrant -white flower. Close by, Japanese Cherry, flowering quince and ornamental pears are planted for their succession of spring blossom. Further on, passed a noble old oak lies a small putting green, spring-fed lake and shingle roof boat-house. The spectacular Liquidamber avenue which runs back up the hill towards the main house creates a convenient round trip.
From Bowral: Head south towards Moss Vale. Turn left at Kangaloon Road Roundabout and head east for 7.9km. Turn left into Tourist Rd. The garden is on your right.