A new face at Riversdale is Catherine de Paiva, whose main focus will be the development of the plant sales area in addition to the garden in general.
Catherine is a trained horticulturalist and we at Riversdale are very appreciative having someone of her experience and generosity joining our team.
Catherine has already begun to organise and label the plants. It is hoped to expand the range of plants sold.
Riversdale has some plants which are rarely available commercially and would make wonderful additions to the garden.
Tea under the Trees
Despite our changeable weather, a good number of people came to our January Devonshire Tea.
It is always good to welcome visitors and share the gentle, relaxed atmosphere of Riversdale.
They enjoyed tea in the shade of our lovely elms.
Some of these were the elms from the avenue which was planted in the 1850s whilst others were replacements.
They are English Elms; some say of a variety which also grows in Prince Charles garden at Highgrove.
There are not many of these elms left in England due to Dutch Elm Disease.
Luckily we do not have this disease in Australia but do have Elm Beetle.
The Riversdale elms are vaccinated every two years to protect them from this beetle.
After having tea some people also visited the gift shop and were very impressed at the variety of items being sold.
The gift shop now includes a large range of National Trust merchandise.
For example, we have some lovely unusual cards which are quite inexpensive and could be just “that something different” you are looking for.
A Musical Treat
Recently we had a visit from Shane Lestideau, the 2019 Folk Fellow at the National Library of Australia.
Shane had been given a manuscript of Scottish music, which she had traced to the Twynam Family of Riversdale.
Shane is a musician with research interests in Scottish folk music and she was keen to learn about the history of Riversdale and the Twynam family.
Shane plays the violin and is particularly interested in playing a blend of baroque and Scottish folk music.
We were treated to a short performance in the drawing room to two pieces, one a Scottish air and the other piece, a jig, from the manuscript.
It was real treat to hear music being played in the drawing room, which once would have been played there.
Many feet were tapping to the jig and we discovered that the drawing had excellent acoustics.
Up the path
The gardens are certainly suffering from the prolonged heatwave, as are many of us volunteers.
How wonderful it would be to have access to the water which was once available at Riversdale through access to irrigating from the river.
Despite this heat one little plant is looking good. This is Ceratostigma willmottianum (Chinese plumbago).
This is an ornamental deciduous shrub that grows to about one metre.
It is now flowering and despite the flowers being small, the bright azure blue flowers are certainly eye catching.
The flowers are only small but their colour is very eye catching.
Despite its delicate light looking appearance it is quite hardy.
So, no matter what the season, Riversdale gardens always provide a unique and stunning backdrop for wedding photographs.
- Feb 16: Car Boot Sale and Devonshire Teas, 10am to 2pm. Car booters, to book please contact Judy on 0408 490 252.
- Mar 3 to Apr 28: National Trust travelling exhibition Georgian Glass: Colonial Style. This exhibition is the first time seen out of Sydney.
Be a part of the ongoing preservation and development of Riversdale by becoming a volunteer today.
- Riversdale Homestead, 2 Twynam Drive, North Goulburn.
- Open Mon and Thu, 10am to 2pm. Devonshire Teas, third Sunday monthly