{rare plant collecting one cold & soggy weekend}

This post is a little late, but the weather today reminded me to post it...

Just a tad soggy under foot. No stopping me though!
Not even the cold, rain or mud could spoil a day out in the mountains hunting for rare and unusual plants at the 7th Annual Collectors' Plant Fair. This is my idea of shopping mecca, forget your Westfields' and mega shopping malls! It's so lovely to get up-close and personal with the retailers who are passionate about the plants they grow, tend to and sell, as well as being able to pick up those hard-to-find plants you don't see being stocked in the franchise nurseries.

A sea of umbrellas (note girl in  white brown canvas shoes ...
this was definitely a gumboots day)
It is held within the grounds of the private property of Peta Trahar in picturesque Bilpin. She along with a horde of volunteers do an amazing job of organising and running the day. Hundreds of people barrel into her garden, traipsing around her yard and stomping all over her lawn. Peta even has the heart to open up her home to hold small gatherings for the speaker events. This year's speakers included Myles Baldwin and Costa Georgiadis.
Loving the planted pushy!

Oh how I want one of these in my backyard

My 'Poor Pete' - what a trooper!

Family and friends felt sorry for 'Poor Pete' being dragged along to another one of my off-beat gardening trips, but he genuinely enjoyed himself - despite the pockets full of water, muddy jeans and boots! I made it up to him by stopping for warm soup and home-made apple pie at this delightful little cafe with the most divine bunches of roses - their smell was intoxicating!

I was quite restrained in my purchases as one hand was always in use holding the umbrella but managed to come away with a selection of treasures.

Happy as a pig in mud! At the start of the stall - still dry and clean!

Sadly there will be no fair in 2012 as organisers have decided to pursue other ventures to further promote rare and unusual plants - I'll keep you posted on what form this may take, I'm sure it will be just as exciting!

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