Two lovely hardcover books have been released of late with strong links to Bathurst.

First is Dreamscapes: Inspiration and Beauty in Gardens Near and Far, by Claire Takasc, a truly stunning book featuring more than sixty of the world’s most beautiful gardens.

It features gardens developed by some of the world’s most famous designers, such as Australia’s Paul Bangay, and includes locations as far and wide as Europe, the USA, the UK and New Zealand, photographed at their most opportune moments.

A number of Australian gardens are featured in this gorgeous book, including Yetholme’s Hillandale garden, a magnificent garden created by Sarah and Andrew Ryan. This six-acre garden, in one of the coldest regions in our area and indeed Australia, has been lovingly created over many years and features a spring-fed lake, beautiful perennials, trees and flower beds.

It is a testament to the vision of Sarah and Andrew in growing this wonderful garden to see its inclusion in this magnificent book, and wonderful recognition for all their hard work.

The other link to Bathurst is the inclusion of Bec Ordish in the very special book, 200 Women, by Geoff Blackwell and Ruth Hobday and featuring stunning photographs by Kieran E.Scott.

This truly inspiring book highlights 200 women around the world, all from varied walks of life, who have contributed enormously to social justice projects and life paths.

The book profiles the things they value and the philosophy they adopt in the way they choose to live their lives. It includes a number of women writers such as Margaret Atwood, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Isabel Allende, Roxane Gay and Gillian Slovo, along with Australian authors Anita Heiss and Maggie Beer. Other prominent Australian women featured are MP Linda Burney, Rosie Batty, Susan Carland, Rachel Perkins and Leigh Sales.

Bec Ordish, the daughter of locals Lee and Richard Steele, has lived and worked in Nepal for many years and is the founder of the Mitrataa Foundation, a non-profit organisation committed to the empowerment of Nepalese people through education, networks and training.

Bec highlights the importance of gratitude and being able to focus on the things we do have, rather than those we don’t, as her abiding philosophy, along with the importance of education, especially for women and young girls, to improve the living standards of people the world over.

She is a truly inspirational example of believing in yourself and being the change you want to see in the world.