De Bortoli Wines family matriarch Emeri De Bortoli will display her 12-year “labour of love” at the Spring Fest Griffith festival of gardens from October 13 to October 16.
Ms De Bortoli’s 14-acre landscaped garden will be one of eight private gardens located on the outskirts of Griffith on display during the annual MIA event.
“In recent times, the garden has developed a mind of its own,” Ms De Bortoli said.
Over the past 12 years, through droughts and floods and everything in between, Ms Bortoli transformed what was a large plot of dirt into a beautifully landscaped memorial garden dedicated to her late husband Deen. This will be the first time the garden is open to the public.
“Much of it didn’t survive the floods, but we built a rock wall and raised up a part of the garden,” Ms De Bortoli said.
The garden has also had to ensure a rough winter this year.
“I lost a lot of plants and flowers due the frost,” she said.
A key feature of Emeri’s garden is an incredible rock waterfall, overlooking the iconic Noble One vineyards, designed by award winning landscaper, Phillip Johnson.
Mr Johnson was the first Australians to win the best in show at the RHS Chelsea Garden Show in the United Kingdom. He will be at the garden during the festival to answer any questions about his designs.
Food and drink will be offered for those that visit the eight gardens on display.
Ms De Bortoli’s garden is located next to the family’s Bilbul estate winery, which has been her home since the late 1950s, when she married Deen.
Ms De Bortoli, now 79, leaves the wine business mostly to the younger generation De Bortoli’s, but says her garden is what keeps her going.
“Gardening is what helps people stay active,” she said.
She offered advice on how a family can work together to develop a successful long lasting enterprise.
“Keep the dialogue going at all times... keep your sense of humour, have a good fight every now and then but make sure you make up quickly,” she said.
Full coverage of the Spring Fest Griffith festival of gardens will be in Friday’s The Area News