Davaar, 201 Megalong Street, Leura
Courtesy of Shane and Helen Caughey
Though dating from c1904, Davaar's many existing deciduous trees and large conifers date from the 1920's. The current design is inspired by history on a very small scale and utilises enclosed areas to give an illusion of size. As you enter via the lower gates, take the pathway up to the left past a small flowering almond, massed tulips and daffodils. At the top of the path you come to the formal top lawn area, mostly moss now, bordered by a stilt hedge. Keen eyes will spy out a wollemi pine, plus topiary chooks wandering in the midst of a swathe of jonquils. The large maple beside the pathway is an English maple and dates from the 1920.
Through the rose archway pause a moment to decide. Either stay and browse the late-flowering tulips and daffodils to the right or continue forward through the laburnum archway into the woodland area. A tangible difference awaits you as you enter the semi-gloom of the woodland. There are many bulbs naturalising here, plus many shrubs and ground cover plants growing in dry shade. Follow the pathway ahead into the newest part of the garden established only two years ago featuring a wonderful forest pansy. You emerge onto the patio area which is dominated by a huge pink flowering dogwood - another original tree from the 1920's. Underneath this is a medieval-style knot garden.
Turn around to go down the stairs between two large weeping mulberries flanked by single espaliered heritage apples to the lower lawn area. Encompassed by dry stone retaining walls this is a lovely place to pause, sit in the sun and relax. For those not inclined to pause, turn to the right and follow the path into the mini woodland where you will find a field of bluebells. Continue ahead to the utilities area bordered by tulips, turn right up the steps which take you back to where you began.