Stop Press – The workshop/talk at the Ashbil Community Garden on growing bulbs on Saturday 6 May at 9.30am will now be conducted by Lyn Chambers of “Tulips with a Difference”. Lyn will also have bulbs for sale.

Festival of Country Gardens 2017


The Festival of Country Gardens is now in its 18th  year, generating 2 festivals each year from 1999 – Autumn & Spring. Although most open gardens are from Bridgetown, over these years there have been open gardens in Greenbushes, Balingup, Nannup, Manjimup, Boyup Brook and Pemberton, encompassing the Warren Blackwood region. There have been gardens that are over 100 years old, gardens that are newly established, small cottage gardens and large, magnificent gardens.

This tradition continues with the 2017 Autumn Festival. A house, and garden open for this Festival, Maranup Ford celebrates 100 years in 2017, Ford House, 121 years and although not open to the public, Bridgedale, 155 years. A garden new to the Festival in Boyup Brook is Hillview Garden and Cherrytree Cottage a newly established garden in Bridgetown continue this theme.


“Bridgedale is a fine example of how 19th century farming properties were established and grew. It is also a good example of how properties have been affected by 20th century town developments. When the Bridgetown town site was proclaimed in 1868, Bridgedale was incorporated into the town survey. As the town developed and expanded Bridgedale became a town residence rather than a homestead. Its farming origins, however, remain apparent.”National Trust.

Next year, 2018, Bridgetown will celebrate the 150th year of this proclamation.

Bridgetown has long been associated with growing things – apples, roses, trees, fruit trees –

“Its fertile hills and valleys are among the finest fruit-growing districts in Australia, and, as Bibbulmun country, had provided unlimited food for the groups for countless centuries.” Bates, Daisy. “The Passing of the Aborigines” 1938. Ch.8, South-West Pilgrimage.

The continuity with the past and early tradition is expressed in the present with an event during the Autumn Festival. Mark Hollett will conduct a walk through and provide an insight into managing he and his wife Di’s property “Hollmoore”, in the Bridgetown climate and environment of today.


An emerging garden model is that of the Community garden and Ashbil Community Garden in Bridgetown will be open during the Festival to showcase their development and present an informative workshop.

Pick up a program, take time to value the present and appreciate the past and visit some gardens during the Autumn Festival.


Garden owners invite you to spend “a weekend in the country”, visit their gardens and enjoy the varied events taking place during the Festival.


Dates of the Autumn Festival 2017 are  – Saturday 6 May – Sunday 7 May

with Pre-Festival events on Friday 5 May, Garden Tour and Autumn dinner