I am ashamed to say, I have lived near Burnie for nearly eight years and knew of the existence of the Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden but only recently had the pleasure of spending a peaceful afternoon there. The 11ha site is a natural amphitheatre, sloping down to a large basin fed by natural springs that form a series of lakes.
The scrub and blackberry infested hillside has been transformed over the past 35 years, mostly by volunteers, and is now classified as a plant museum. There are over 22,000 plants to admire
in this lovely, tranquil setting.
The garden is set out in a series of “countries” from which the wild rhododendrons originate, I shan’t try to name them all.
There were other interesting features to be found as we meandered along the paths. Just past the Chinese Pavilion
we caught a glimpse of the Japanese bridge through the cherry blossom.
Our walk continued past the Japanese ceremonial tea-house
and across the covered bridge.
The adjacent lawned area is popular for weddings.
The American Gazebo overlooks Lake Pearl
and the sound of water tumbling over rocks was mesmerising.
Some of the flowers were extraordinary,
all were beautiful.
We were fortunate to find a sculpture competition in full bloom.
I voted for Boho Bungalow.
We made our way past many more magnificent hybrids
and returned, across Olympus Bridge, to our starting point.
It may have taken years to get there, but it was worth the wait.