Blue Mountains Gardens
The gardens - 12 acres - of "Leuralla" were laid down at the turn of the century.
Paul Sorenson, an important creative influence on many mountain gardens, played a major role in creating this - one of the earliest and largest Blue Mountains gardens.
Planning and plantings were on a large scale with many trees imported from Europe and America.The garden is bounded by conifers forming shelter for internal plantings.
The long driveway, travelling the length of the garden is laurel lined and emphasised by conifers - many rare - sweeping to circle a majestic Atlas Cedar (Cedrus Atlantica) before the house.
In the 1920s and '30s the garden was renowned for its displays of massed tulips and topiarized hedges, the rosetrellised walkway to the picturesque "New England" style gabled and shingleroofed barn, which was an extension in style of the first home. Built in 1904 amongst the developing garden it was razed almost completely by the devastating bush fires of 1909. There is a beguiling story that Mr Andreas, grandfather of the current owner, when informed whilst on business in Sydney of the ravaging fires, said "Forget the house - save my trees!"
We are grateful for this today. The "new" house, redesigned and completed in 1912, is still a family home, but houses now the fine displays of the NSW Toy & Railway Museum and the Dr H V Evatt Memorial Museum. Mr Andreas's young trees - Sequoia, Maples, Cedar, Linden, Copper Beech, Chestnut, Ash, and Oaks are now the mature graceful backdrop to Rhododendrum, Dogwood, Camelia and Azalea groves, walkways and seasonal plantings, massed displays of tulips, daffodils, bluebells, many of which have naturalized beneath the spread of sheltering trees.
As contrast the garden and house overlooks the extensive Jamison Valley with views to the distant Gib at Mittagong and Mt Jellore. The garden, although here, of native plantings, cradles in the upper reaches of the Valley, the magnificent amphitheatre, sandstone reflecting the cliffs and Bathurst slate stage reflecting the blueness of the vast backdrop of the Valley.
The gardens are open year round - expressing the beauty of the rotating seasons.