Everglades Gardens, Leura
by Ayesha Riaz
When I was a little girl I read a book called The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The one that I had was plain, with no pictures to assist my imagination. Nevertheless, I was able to picture the secret garden in my head quite vividly.
And that is what I saw when I entered Everglades Gardens in the beautiful village of Leura. The house was built in 1923 and the European style gardens were built in 1930s by Danish-born landscape gardener Paul Sorenson.
Everglades Gardens, Leura
37 Everglades Ave, Leura. NSW 2780
The gardens are truly reflective of what a talented person Paul Sorenson must have been.
There are many winding paths and terraces all aligned with beautiful trees and bushes. In autumn, they are a blaze of red and yellow while spring brings out an explosion of tulips, daffodils and bluebells.
There are benches placed perfectly in little nooks and corners to take in the sweeping views of the Blue Mountains. The cherry blossom trees are just spectacular.
If you venture down to the lower gardens you will stumble upon a little waterfall. Be warned that the kids might not want to move from this spot. Dropping a leaf in the winding waterway and following its course quickly becomes their favourite activity.
Just when you think you have seen all the beauty this place has to offer, you come across the tea-rooms. The historical house has been converted into tea-rooms and utmost care has been taken to preserve the original charm.
Sit outdoors in the verandah and have your Devonshire tea with a slice of homemade cake. Chances are you will share this moment with one of the many native parrots in the area. Pure bliss!
Or venture indoors and become a part of history. Ground floor is where tea is served while upstairs rooms are for viewing only.
Here you will find a portrait of Paul Sorenson and some of his tools that were used in creating these beautiful gardens. Some of the original furniture has also been kept.
Finally, when you sit down to have your tea while admiring the views outside, kids are kept busy with drawing materials. My son was inspired to draw tulips after seeing many displays.
Even my 60-something mum joined in the drawing activity. And this is what this place does to you….it inspires you to create something wonderful.
You can even bring a picnic and spread out a mat in one of the many grassy spots. There is a gift shop and art gallery on site too. If you are thinking of going to Blue Mountains soon do put Everglades Gardens on your list of places to visit. Mind you though, once you enter you won’t be able to leave in a hurry.
Everglades Gardens are available for hire for wedding and corporate functions. One of the terraces also holds an outdoor theatre. Check the website for upcoming events. A word of caution: We have heard snakes are some times spotted in the area. But then, if you live in Australia, this wouldn’t shock you.
Toilets: On site
Parking: Available on site
Mum’s report: Everglades Gardens are an enchanting way of bringing kids close to nature. They will be so busy exploring its many winding paths that you won’t know where the time has gone. It is always pleasant to see kids happy without any playgrounds or equipment. These gardens are, however, not pram-friendly. Best suited for kids 5 years and older.
Thanks so much Ayesha, we have driven past the sign for the Everglades Gardens and wondered what they were like. It’s lovely to see your photos and read how much you enjoyed the visit.
Have you visited Everglades Gardens?