Saturday, October 6, 2018

Visit the Witches Garden in early November

It's not often that I start a blog posting with a photo downloaded off the internet, but this time it's all in a good cause: this is the Witches Garden wisteria-covered bridge in full flower, and I pinched it from the Witches Garden website. You don't need to travel to France to get that Monet experience: just head to Mitta Mitta!

Regular readers will know from my last posting of holiday snaps that we recently stayed in a beautiful country cottage operated by the owners of the Witches Garden, Felicity and Lew McDonald. 

Felicity and Lew live just across the road in a big, lovely house, which is surrounded by their gorgeous two-hectare garden ... and this year their amazing garden is open to visitors as part of the Open Gardens Victoria scheme. So if you're in the area — which is south-east of Albury/Wodonga, in the same general region as Bright and Beechworth — put a note in your diary to include a visit to the Witches Garden on the weekend of November 3,4 and 5 (Saturday, Sunday and Monday).

Felicity and Lew are a wonderful team. He's a handy guy (who runs an earth-moving business) who welded up that curved Monet-style bridge across a lake, and when Felicity had the idea of including a cute "Witch's Cottage" in her grand garden plan, Lew knew what to do. It's hard to believe they started off with a bare paddock on the banks of the Mitta River 30 years ago, but what they have achieved is remarkable.

Felicity is a very talented artist in her own right, and she was one of the people attending Pam's watercolour course when we stayed at Mitta Mitta. Every aspect of the Witches Garden design reveals that this is an artist's garden. She is also a plant collector and is an expert on medicinal herbs, of which she grows many at Mitta Mitta. I liked the way this pretty garden seat was not only decorative but obviously a spot where she takes a rest for a while, with her shovel and secateurs getting time off, too.

We stayed at Mitta Mitta in mid September, when the garden was several weeks away from being in full bloom (which is why I pinched that wisteria-bridge photo) but nevertheless there were all sorts of pretty things in flower, such as this gorgeous pink pieris.

And speaking of gorgeous things, here's Pammy getting to know one of the many local king parrots that have become very well-mannered if you hold out a cup full of their favourite seed.

As well as enjoying wandering through the gardens, Felicity is including an art show in her new art gallery, as part of the fun at the Witches Garden open garden weekend. Pammy has submitted some of her work at the show, and they have also lined up musicians to add to the atmosphere. The musicians play every afternoon, and there is a Monday evening concert as well (details on the Open Gardens website). Oh, and there are pop-up craft stalls, plus coffee and cake.

So if you can make it down to Mitta Mitta in early November, I am sure you'll have a wonderful time.

And if you can't make it down there in November, but would love to visit the area at another time (Felicity says autumn is absolutely stunning at Mitta Mitta), remember that Lew and Felicity have a range of accommodation on offer. As well as the charming cottage across the road from the Witches Garden (where we stayed) their own large house also provides a warm welcome in B&B style accommodation.

Here's all the links again:

Witches Garden, Mitta Mitta

Witches Garden Open Garden Weekend, November 3-5