Waldorf Leura Gardens Resort
Waldorf Leura Gardens Resort, 20-28 Fitzroy Street, Leura
Waldorf Leura Gardens Resort, an original Festival garden, returns to the Festival after an absence of some time. The Lady Fairfax garden was created by Paul Sorensen for Lady Mabel Fairfax in 1933 and Sorensen Nurseries were involved in the care of the gardens until the 1980's. The garden is entered along a gravel path or down the original ironstone steps into a grove of oaks and conifers underplanted with azaleas, camellias, brunnera, bergenia, epimedium and hellebores. An old radiata pine has recently died in this area and the resort is in the process of developing a rustic garden using the huge rounds cut from the radiata trunk.
The ironstone path leads towards an original lawn looking out across the Sorensen stone wall towards the Leura golf course fairway. Around this lawn are planted azaleas, camellias, roses, fuschias, nandina and a very old luculia gratissima. Climbing on the wall of the original Fairfax residence, now the Olive Tree restaurant is wisteria and star jasmine. Planted below the wall are magnolia stellata, flowering current, cumquats and an original pieris. The second lawn contains the magnificent linden tree, or English lime and a Caucasian fir. A stream begins under the linden and trickles down to the lovely rockpool garden built and planted by Paul Sorensen. Beyond the linden is a deciduous grove carpeted with bluebells and planted with a copper beech, silver birch, dogwoods, rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas. The stairs up from the linden lead to a terrace containing forsythia, hydrangeas, and deutzia, prunus 'Elvins' and two deciduous conifers, the swamp cyprus and the dawn redwood.
The garden entrance can be accessed from here by crossing the Olive Tree patio and proceeding around the pool or by returning along the stone path.
The Olive Tree restaurant will be open throughout the Festival for breakfast, morning tea, light lunch, and afternoon tea.