In the Beautiful Blue Mountains

30 September - 8 October 2017

The Braes

Garden No 11 -  The Braes, 64 Grose Street, Leura
Courtesy John and Margot Egan

The Braes Heritage Garden Estate is adjacent to the Blue Mountains World Heritage National Park and lies between an urban environment and a semi-rural one, with views to the Southern Highlands.  Its original land grants were allocated in 1882.

The Braes was purchased by the Egan family in early 1996 at which time it was overgrown by environmental and noxious weeds and most of the creek banks had collapsed.

In the early 1940s, following its use as a dairy and market garden,

Dr Hagarty, a Macquarie Street specialist, retained Paul Sorensen to design the dry-stone wall terraces to the east and west of the knoll.  Subsequent owners in the 1970s added the ponds and extended the garden planting.

Over the last 21 years the Egan family have overseen the site’s remediation, including removal of significant stands of radiata pine and many other predatory and unwelcome plants. They have acquired several hundred trees to improve the site’s curtilage, opened up many areas to develop a more diverse arboretum of conifers and cool climate trees and shrubs, repaired the creek banks and the dam walls and added to the Sorensen dry-stone wall developments.

The garden today offers an extensive display of trees and shrubs some approaching 100 years old and a rich diversity of perennials and annuals.  On the eastern terraces the Egans have established a rose garden, an orchard with over 20 varieties of fruit and nut trees and planted thousands of bulbs. Their propagation facility produces well over 5,000 plants from cuttings and seeds each year.