Edible gardens a sweet hit in a world-first event

The Mountains’ first edible garden trail, held over the weekend, was a resounding success, with about 400 people visiting many of the 38 open gardens.

Enjoying the garden: Kathie Herbert's backyard in Katoomba proved an inspiration to many and the "ducks on the loose" were a hit with guests.

Enjoying the garden: Kathie Herbert's backyard in Katoomba proved an inspiration to many and the "ducks on the loose" were a hit with guests.

Ardent edible gardening types:  Aiden Benton of Camperdown, Imogen McKay of Hazelbrook and Rachel Lawrence of Camperdown.

Ardent edible gardening types: Aiden Benton of Camperdown, Imogen McKay of Hazelbrook and Rachel Lawrence of Camperdown.

Everything from compost tactics to bee-keeping, the best variety of zucchini to seed sources was discussed in gardens from Lapstone to Hartley.

Full netting: Vanessa and Terry McGarrigle's Mt Victoria garden offers maximum protection from birds, possums or any other would-be food thieves.

Full netting: Vanessa and Terry McGarrigle's Mt Victoria garden offers maximum protection from birds, possums or any other would-be food thieves.

The brainchild of Wentworth Falls woman Susanne Rix, there were home gardens, school gardens, community, commercial and verge gardens on show.

Compost fan: Steven Fleischmann in his Blackheath garden.

Compost fan: Steven Fleischmann in his Blackheath garden.

In Blackheath, owner Steven Fleischmann said he thought he’d have time during the day to thin out his seedlings in preparation for planting. Instead, he said, he’d been talking to people non-stop all day.

In Mt Victoria, owners Vanessa and Terry McGarrigle were happy for people to take one of the apples off a tree groaning with fruit in their fully-netted garden.

Oh gourd: Pumpkin crazy at Blackheath Community Garden.

Oh gourd: Pumpkin crazy at Blackheath Community Garden.

In Katoomba, more than 100 people stopped by the garden of Susan and Peter Lammiman on Saturday alone. The Lammimans were busy handing out lemon verbena tea and honey biscuits, while fielding questions about their orchard, chooks and the greenhouse brimming with grapes.

Ms Rix said “the word I heard most was inspiring”. She plans to include more gardens next year to encourage walking trails.

The visitors came from all over the Mountains, Sydney, the Central West and the mid North Coast.