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Crowds flock to mountain gardens

John and Alison Walton, from Wagga, touring Asgard Nursery in Batlow during Tumbarumba’s Open Gardens and Flower Show this weekend.

Deb Williams saw “masses and masses” of people come through her Batlow open garden this weekend, as horticultural clubs and green-thumbed enthusiasts descended on the region for Tumbarumba Tastebuds.

Asgard Nursery, a 40-acre property with five acres of gardens, 170 birch trees, dozens of bird varieties including six different species of honeyeaters, and homemade fruit pies and jams for sale, is able to offer something unique to those looking for some peace and quiet in the country.

“It’s a cold climate garden, we get snow and very severe frosts, which is very rare in Australia,” she said.

“It’s not like Tumut and it’s not even like Tumbarumba. The comment that we’ve had today is how unique it is and how totally different the atmosphere and everything about the place is up here.

“We tend to still be green at Christmas when nobody else is green. That’s a big attraction, especially for people who are coming down on holidays, to see something that’s still really lush and green.

“When there’s a heatwave in Wagga they show up in hordes!”

Tumbarumba Tastebuds involved nine open gardens, a flower show, a sculpture and painting competition, markets, tastings at six wineries, and other culinary events.

Co-organiser Linda Blencowe said that they had more than doubled their ticket sales from the previous year by the Saturday, and that 90 per cent of tickets had gone to people from out of town.

“It’s fantastic that the weather’s turned it on for us, we’ve had a few little showers but that’s it,” she said.

“And we’re lucky that we’ve had a good rain. We had 30mLs last Thursday, and 5mLs this Thursday just gone. So you couldn’t have asked for it any better!”

Co-organiser Rob Blencowe added that the success of the event, which is expected to raise thousands of dollars for local charities, is a testament to the community.

“There’s one lady, her grandchildren get on board every year,” he said.

“It’s something they look forward to, they make fresh lemonade, grow seedlings, set up their own stalls and sell things to people visiting. Gardening is a fantastic thing, but doing it at this community level is like a kinship.

“It’s brought people together.”