Gala day out as historic home opens its garden

STUNNING gardens and elegant homesteads will be the focus of attraction as two historic homesteads open their gates to the public later this month.

Western Plains Mobile Pre-school will hold an open garden display and barbecue lunch at Gala, a bluestone homestead near Lismore, this Sunday.

The homestead was purchased in 1870 by pastoralist John Lang Currie, who ran his stud of merinos in the district from 1844. 

“We are lucky enough to have seventh-generation descendents of John Currie attending the pre-school which is a lovely connection to have,” pre-school teacher Eliza Ogden said.

The garden was downsized during World War II but current owners, Tom and Monica Dennis, have spent the past 25 years restoring and replanting to accommodate the district’s changing weather patterns.

“A huge bunya pine looms over the bluestone homestead dating from the original settlement,” Mrs Dennis said.

The property, at 300 Lismore-Skipton Road, also features a mix of hedges, perennial beds, succulent plantings, roses and a kitchen garden created on a steep slope.

It will be the first time Gala has opened to the public in more than 10 years.

The historical garden at Chatsworth House, north-west of Mortlake, will also open for the first time in several years for an event on Sunday, November 25.

The homestead was built in 1858 and its extensive gardens were designed by Edward Latrobe Bateman who also laid out some of the major gardens in Melbourne. It boasts English classics, rare exotics and native species.

The Chatsworth Kinder and Occasional Care Centre will raise funds at the open day, with children’s entertainment, market stalls, historical information, craft stalls, a petting zoo and a vintage car display from 10am until 4pm. 

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