Erica Shedley’s stall was doing a brisk trade at the Festival of Country Gardens

Ford House was at its brilliant blooming best at this year’s Festival of Country Gardens with hundreds flocking to the historic property to enjoy the gardens and wander round the many stalls on display.

But Ford House was hardly alone. This year’s festival saw 17 gardens across Bridgetown, Nannup, Manjimup, Pemberton, Balingup and Greenbushes open to the public. 

They offered a colourful range of styles from the Vietnamese-Australian garden of Kim and Norm Renshaw in Greenbushes through to the variety of Mike and Judi Fletcher’s Oak Tree House in Bridgetown.

Dr Erica Shedley’s Southern Flora Nursery was doing a brisk trade selling her bird-attracting native plants beside the river at Ford House on Sunday.

Southern Flora grows understory plants from the southwest for home gardens, landscaping and bush regeneration.

Dr Shedley said she thought visitor numbers were up on last year, with people keen to get out and about after the pandemic lock-down.

The festival kicked off on Friday at the Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes Lesser Hall with guest speakers landscape designers, Neil and Jenny Delmage, and horticulturist, Mathew Lunn.

“It’s going bloomingly!” said Joann Moore, Chair of the Festival of country gardens.

“Opening night and the auction were a great success with all the items sold,” she said.

“The speakers did a very good job and were warmly welcomed.”

She added that local shopkeepers would be happy and that the weather had been “brilliant” and better than last year, when rain on the first two days put a dampener on things.