Garden club members visit Jugiong and Bowral plant fair

Garden club members having lunch at the Sir George Hotel Jugiong.
Garden club members having lunch at the Sir George Hotel Jugiong.

In May some members of the Young Garden Club spent a most enjoyable weekend in the Southern Highlands visiting the Bowral Plant Fair and Open Gardens.

The plant fair was held at the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens. The fair had an amazing variety of plants for sale, some very exotic. Most beautiful including dahlias, unusual salvias, stunning clematis, succulents, liliums ground covers, herbs, trees to name a few. Bulbs were also available. All in good condition.

Some of these plants were grown by and sold by the Friends of the Botanic Gardens at very reasonable prices.

As well as plants there was an array of good quality garden tools and, pots and other garden related items for sale and home made jams and some local art. There also were a number of interesting speakers.

The beautiful gardens that members visited during the weekend were Red Cow Farm and Rotherwood in Sutton Forest, Chinoiserie, Milton Park and Bengala in Bowral.

Sunday, June 2, 17 garden club members travelled to the Jugiong to spend the day there and have lunch at the Sir George Hotel. Jugiong is referred to as the gateway to the Hilltops Region and one of its most historic buildings is the Sir George Tavern or Hotel. The Sir George tavern was originally built on the banks of the Murrumbidgee in 1845 by John Philip Sheahan, an Irish immigrant.

During the great flood of 1852 Jugiong was washed away as was Gundagai. The determined John Sheahan brought stonemasons from Ireland and constructed the building which still stands today where it was relocated.

It is the oldest family run hotel in Australia with the descendants of John Philip Sheahan still in charge. One of those descendants was Billy Sheahan who was elected in 1942 Member for Burrunjuck.

It is worth mentioning that the Sydney Morning Herald reported that during the great flood of 1845 that washed away Jugiong, John Philip Sheahan got a small boat and rescued the residents that were on the roof tops. Another interesting fact is that the famous cricketer Richie Benaud, whose father was a teacher there, started his schooling in Jugiong.

Other interesting very old buildings in Jugiong are the churches. Another point of interest is the memorial for Sergeant Edmund Parry which is situated near Jugiong. The 32-year-old was one of two armed escorts on the mail coach on November 16, 1864, which was travelling between Gundagai and Jugiong.

Bushrangers Ben Hall, John Dunn and John Gilbert attempted to rob the coach and Parry was shot by John Gilbert. The Parry Memorial is erected on the site of the murder.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 3 at the Catherine McAuley Centre at 7pm. For more details contact Helenie 0427 710 777 or Moya on 0413 853 642.