Winter Blooms at Vaucluse House

The white flowers of the elderberry at Vaucluse House

Just outside the fence of the herb garden at Vaucluse House sits this fantastic elderberry growing straight out of the gravel. Makes a great cordial! Photo Steven Halliday © Sydney Living Museums

Most people think that winter would be a dull and boring time to visit gardens; however, the vivid display of colours at Vaucluse House is anything but boring and continues to surprise me year after year. Winter has quickly become one of my favourite seasons as there is such a large variety of plants in bloom or just waiting to burst open; this is largely due to Sydney’s rather mild winters and lack of frost compared to other regions and countries. 

Vaucluse House has large variety of very early introduced and rare Camellias (japonica and sasanqua) which are all currently blooming in a range of pinks and whites. Camellias never used to interest me very much but last year after a visit from the Camellia Ark I gained much a much higher level of respect for them, especially their ability to send out so many different blooms from the one plant (or sports). 

Come and take a stroll through the Pleasure Garden and discover what else might be in bloom; make your way to our Kitchen Garden and see which tasty winter fruits and vegetables are currently growing; then follow your senses to the herb garden before ending up in front of the toasty stove fire in the servants’ kitchen.

About the author

Photograph of a man standing beside a garden shed

Steve Halliday


Steven is one of the horticulturists who takes care of Sydney Living Museums’ green spaces and gardens.