Significant winter rainfall and distinct seasons allows flowers to flourish in Australia’s South West. Pretty, inland towns are at their best in winter and spring, when rolling hills are green, and ornamental gardens are full of floral fanfare. Take a stroll along the streets of Nannup, Bridgetown and Balingup for pretty floral displays, or visit during the Festival of Country Gardens in autumn or spring, when the region opens grand estates, parks and quaint cottage gardens to visitors seasonally.
The local visitor centres will be pleased to direct you to great gardens or parks open during your visit, however below are some to start you off (be sure to check gardens are open before you visit):
Stirling Cottage, Harvey
Situated at the visitor centre, this replica cottage (formerly the home of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie author May Gibbs), is surrounded by beautiful gardens.
Holberry House, Nannup
Take a stroll around the gardens and discover a host of sculptures throughout the grounds.
Voyager Estate, Margaret River
Typical Cape Dutch buildings are surrounded by traditional Cape Dutch and European gardens, with a beautiful rose garden as the hero. Guests can also walk through the kitchen gardens.
Margaret River Organic Garden Trail
Seven sites throughout the Margaret River region make up this organic garden trail, each with very different businesses that operate alongside, from wineries to libraries.
Ford House, Bridgetown
Roses and camellias are the focus of this delightful cottage garden, which has evolved over the past 120 years. The Wag Walters Emporium is also worth the visit.
Balingup Lavender Farm, Balingup
Experience the fragrances of 40 species of lavender, roses, cottage plants, colourful bulbs and perennials.
Greenbushes Community Gardens, Greenbushes
Established in 2009 on a vacant block this is now a thriving community managed garden with vegetable plots, fruit trees, large frog habitat, native bee and bug hotels and insectary garden.
Kodja Place, Katanning
The story of three women is interwoven throughout a rose maze, where visitors can discover the history of an Aboriginal, Italian and English woman while wandering through 100 varieties of Australian bred roses.
Golden Valley Tree Park, Balingup
The heritage listed Golden Valley Tree Park (Western Australia's largest Arboretum Park) holds a unique collection of interesting trees from all over the world. With 60 hectares of walking and discovery trails, the park is a great place for a picnic or stroll, particularly in Autumn, when the deciduous trees start to change colour into a blazing palate of oranges, reds and yellows.
Festival of Country Gardens
Due to the climate and soils of the Southern Forests and Valleys, many parks and gardens are available for enjoyment year-round. The many deciduous trees make autumn a particularly colourful season, while fruit trees blossom in abundance during spring. The Festival of Country Gardens is held during both autumn and spring annually.
The Nannup Flower and Garden Festival (third weekend in August) is the highlight of the calendar for flower enthusiasts, when the town comes alive with tulip displays.