Upper Hunter 'green thumbs' expected to converge on annual Maitland Garden Ramble

SPROUT: Black and White committee president Heather McLaren with Metford resident Switlana Hedges in her garden, which is one of eight exhibiting for the Maitland Garden Ramble on the weekend. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
SPROUT: Black and White committee president Heather McLaren with Metford resident Switlana Hedges in her garden, which is one of eight exhibiting for the Maitland Garden Ramble on the weekend. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

THE Maitland Garden Ramble is back for another blooming year, with eight glorious gardens sprouting open for the weekend. 

Black and White committee president Heather McLaren said the committee is anticipating the annual weekend event will attract between 2000 and 3000 people.

“We usually have about 3000 people through over the two-days. his year, we have selected eight smaller gardens and partly the reason we have chosen these gardens is because of the drought,” she said. 

“We thought we needed smaller gardens because people are looking at smaller gardens at their homes and being able to sustain them with the water available.

“These gardens are small and colourful, but also they’ve survived the drought.”

The eight gardens located across the city will be open on Saturday, September 15, and Sunday, September 16, from 10am to 4pm.

Garden lovers will be thrilled with the week festivities featuring a range of activities including talks, workshops, barbecue and cake available to cater for green thumbs of all skill levels and anyone who enjoys a day out.

Ms McLaren said the open gardens were scattered through out the region at locations including Hinton, Lorn, Metford, Bolwarra Heights and Duckenfield. 

“It’s wonderful for Maitland because it’s a really showcase of the region,” she said. 

“And we don’t just have people from Maitland. We have other garden clubs from other areas come in from places like Taree and Scone.

“We usually raise about $30,000 and that would be wonderful again. 

“All the money raised go to Vision Australia but on the other side it is to enjoy a full weekend of rambling around gardens.” 

More than $1 million has been raised for Vision Australia since the Maitland Black and White committee’s inception. 

Metford resident Switlana Hedges, of Hedges Garden, said her garden is her sanctuary. 

“There is a lot of hard work and effort in creating and sustaining a garden, and certainly is a labor of love.” Ms Hedges said. 

“However it is only a hobby, not a livelihood. It can disappointing if you lose a plant but that’s okay, especially when you stop to think of our poor drought stricken farmers. 

“I’m really grateful to be selected this year.” She added she was excited to open her garden for the weekend.

Tickets are available at each garden, or can be bought at the Maitland Tourist Information Centre. Costs are adults $35, aged concession $25 and children are free.

  • For more details, visit maitlandbandw.com.