Probus Ladies discover Rhododendrons and Tulips on Southern Tablelands excursion

The ladies on the verandah at Retford House.

MEMBERS of the Tomaree Ladies Probus Club recently visited the Southern Tablelands, a trip organised but cancelled twice during the Covid era.

Jann Thomas of the Tomaree Ladies Probus Club told News Of The Area, “A guided tour of National Trust property Retford House was one of the highlights.

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“(The trip) was enjoyed by 31 Probus members and their friends in the last week of September.”

The historic house is still furnished with many examples of fine English furniture and art bought by its former owner, the late James Fairfax, and is set in acres of trees, including rhododendrons, which were in full flower – a wonderful spring display.

“The main focus of the visit was to see the magnificent Tulip Time Festival in Bowral.

“No one was disappointed as the tulips were in full flower in a multitude of riotous colours, artistically grouped with underplantings of nemesia, violas, and even parsley and decorative cabbages.”

The gardens of Bowral still had some lovely cherry trees and crabapples in bloom despite a recent hot weather spell and windy days.

”En route we stopped for lunch and a quick look at the Mt Annan Botanical Gardens, which are dedicated to Australian native plants,” Jann said.

“We were treated to a display of a hillside covered with masses of pink and white paper daisies swaying in the wind – a great photographic opportunity.”

Some of those undertaking the trip found some very special Australian natives, including a white waratah.

“The final stop was at the Gumnuts Patisserie in Mittagong, where we indulged in their renowned pastry delights for lunch before heading home.

“You know it’s spring when you see the wild ducks and their broods of babies,” Jann said.

“It was fascinating to watch the vigilant parents protecting them and introducing them to the big world,” she said.

The Tomaree Ladies Probus Club enjoy regular get togethers and social events.

Jann was warmly thanked for her thorough planning and all reported it was a most memorable overnight trip.


Browyn Clulow with the tulips in full bloom.

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