The upper Blue Mountains are particularly suited to cooler climate plants. In autumn, colourful leaves adorn the streets of Blackheath. They draw in thousands of tourists, tempted by the autumnal colours.
Springtime brings more blazes of colour in Blackheath. The acidic soil conditions are particularly suited to rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. Since 1953 an annual festival has celebrated rhododendrons in all their glory. You can get a glimpse of the many activities held on the day here. It is held on the first Saturday in November.
A visit to the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens in Blackheath is a must. The gardens are a kilometre from the railway station and offer a range of exotic plants in a bush setting. The gardens are on a bushland reserve of 45 acres.
Various paths throughout the gardens feature special plantings. A unique aspect of the garden is the coexistence of native and exotic plants on a large scale. It is a delight to see the bright flare of a waratah next to a hedge of azaleas.
There are many delights to discover along the tracks. There are lots of seats and picnic tables, encouraging a lingering visit.
The gardens are run by the Blue Mountains Rhododendron Society. It celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The garden is entirely run by volunteers and is a beautiful place to visit.
What is blooming in your area?
[Photo: garden near the lodge at the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens]