Wonder through the award winning gardens and you start to get a feel for what a pleasure garden is all about. Unlike a botanical garden, this internationally recognised private garden is a place of fun and sharing. So take your time, have a stroll and get lost among the forest of poplars, enticed by the exhibition gardens, or tantalised by the cooling water features. Most areas are wheelchair accessible and there is also an elevated skywalk for a bird's eye view.
The display gardens at Macquarie Park are over 1.2 ha (2.5 acres) and contain a huge array of plants and are rich in diversity, foliage and flower colour, and showcase a range of design styles in the seven exhibition beds. They contain 128 different plant families, which is equivalent to almost 21% or 1/5 of the known plant families. There are 630 taxa, meaning that there are 630 different species or cultivars of plants and about 7000 plantings through the gardens and wider property.
Designed by Jon Shinkfield and Simon Ainsworth, the gardens are highly acclaimed by both the public and peers, taking out the prestigious LNA Landscape Excellence Awards (Landscapers New South Wales and ACT Association) in 2006. They are exemplary in their water reuse and have lit and licenced areas, making them a great multipurpose space for events, including weddings, festivals and an annual installation art exhibition called Eden Unearthed.
Historically pleasure gardens contained areas for entertainment, as well a secret areas for contemplation and a circular path via which to stroll and take in its pleasures. Perhaps even a tea house. Eden Gardens has taken a contemporary twist on this old style of garden, as well as including a green theatre, an orangery, bridal lawn, viewing tower, elaborate water gardens, grotto, native garden, forest and woodland garden.
The display gardens at Eden are home to a significant private art collection by various notable artists including Avad Algaragholli, Rae Bolotin, Tony Davis, Michael Garth, Col Henry, Denese Oates, Jenny Orchard, John Turier and Trevor Weekes, who created The Eden Tree fountain and is currently working on Adam and Eve in the grotto.
You can visit the sculpture garden and children can complete a quiz as they walk around.
Eden Gardens @ Cnr Lane Cove and Fontenoy Roads, North Ryde
Through edengardens website