Fabulous Dinner, now for the Festival …

A wonderful evening, happy diners and a beautiful garden setting, including Sally’s stunning table centrepieces. What more could we ask for?!

Thanks to all who contributed to our main fundraising event for the year, especially chef Julie Patey, her assistants Julie Butler and Sue Pollard, and everyone involved in setting up and packing up for the big event. Sarah managed our ticket sales and raffles, Saide and Julia oversaw the logistics, and many others worked hard to make the event a success. As always, we are grateful for the support from local producers (Powlett Hill, Holy Goat Cheese, Werona Grove, Welshman’s Reef Vineyard, Goughs Range Olives) Rosie and Ernst from BD Vic and to the garden and our gardeners.

Thanks also to our great fan and supporter (garden patron?!) Mark Hennessey who took these fabulous photos on the night.

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Barely time to put our feet up and have a cuppa and we’re gearing up again for the Castlemaine Festival of Gardens starting this weekend. Great for Newstead that this year we have four gardens open – ours, Roger’s Antaraes Art Garden (well worth at least a couple of visits to take it all in), Liz and Doug Bell’s working kitchen garden, shades of the original Red Store’s era, and Jenny and Barry’s garden of whimsey – and activity (Barry will be holding tai chi, bonsai demos, and the mens’ shed will be bbqing amongst other things there). Visit us all!

We’ll be open both weekends of the November 1 – 9 festival, as well as Monday and Tuesday of the first week. We’ll have our own-grown seedlings for sale, dried herbs and teas from the garden, tea and coffee and cake. We will also have native plants for sale from Newstead Natives (see how they’ve grown in our garden) and over the second weekend hedgelayer Kate Ellis is scheduled to have her garden sculpture for display and sale. The theme of this year’s festival is “out of the box” and you’ll see our antithesis of this in our blueberry ‘patch’ (definitely not straight ‘out of the box’!) but I suspect it may be a bit opaque.

See you in the gardens. Oh, and in between visits, get into your own patch for a dig. The November Notes are now posted – tomatoes and beans are a better bet than the nags.

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