We have selected a range of ten beautiful town and country gardens for the 2017 festival, retaining a few favourites while introducing some gardens previously not open to the public.
‘Roxborough’, 7386 Boorowa Road, Crookwell NSW
The garden of Sue and Geoff Storrier has been a labour of love for the 36 years they have called it home.
The entrance drive lined with birches hints at the woodland-style garden which has evolved gradually to become the haven of peace and tranquility it is today. This is a garden for tree-lovers with copses of cut-leaf birch a feature.
Other trees to be found here include Prunus ‘Nigra’, crabapples, maples, magnolias, liquidamber, chinese elms, gleditsia and catalpa.
The garden is surrounded by farmland, providing lovely rural views from the garden.
347 Boobalaga Road, Crookwell NSW
Artist Lesley Gartrell and her husband Arthur are gardeners as well as alpaca breeders. In their lovely country garden, the alpacas from their Apassionata herd graze alongside their garden fence and have no doubt been keeping an eye on the garden as it has grown and developed under their care. The entrance driveway is flanked by oaks and claret ashes, with a lawn punctuated by trees. A beautiful weeping English Elm is a feature.
The front verandah is wreathed in ‘Pierre de Ronsard’ and white ‘Iceberg’ roses. Roses also feature in the rear garden, with the stunning mauve ‘Novalis’ surrounded by lavender. A ‘David Austin’ rose garden, further embellished with lavender and weeping roses ‘ Seafoam’ and pink ‘Pierre de Ronsard’, is a delight for the senses.
Lesley’s talent as a botanical artist has found expression in her garden. The superb views of the surrounding countryside are an added bonus.
Added Interest: Alpacas
1 Hay Street, Crookwell NSW
‘Kiloren’ is the well-known Edna Walling designed garden, with the original 1950s design still largely intact. New owners Andrew Tongue and Vicki Middleton are delighted to welcome visitors to the garden, parts of which have been extended over the years.
In the 1980s a half-hectare ‘wild garden’ was developed, adding birches, Manchurian pears, Parrotica persica, Cornus mas and rugosa roses underplanted with spring bulbs, aquilegias and forget-me-nots.
The Andy Goldsworthy-inspired curved stone wall is another recent addition.
The garden has a backbone of stone walls and paths softened with relaxed planting and exudes a quiet beauty which can only come from the extended period of nurturing which this garden has enjoyed.
3 Wade Street, Crookwell NSW
From the street it is hard to imagine what lies behind the tall trees fronting the garden of Glen and Sharon Thearle. There are surprises in store for those venturing through the wisteria-covered gateway to the garden beyond.
There are three distinct areas of the garden, each with its own character, but all endowed with the whimsical artistry of the two passionate gardeners who live here. A woodland-style garden opens to the vegetable garden, complete with its own ‘ladybird’.
The ‘fire-pit’ garden reveals more surprises with Glen’s wonderful animal topiary and wire sculptures among the planting of aquilegias, irises, teucrium balls and flax. The black mondo grass among the pavers adds another artful touch to this part of the garden.
2 Denham Street, Crookwell
Charmaine and Richard Gay set out to create a tropical-style garden, creating a lush, tropical look from the use of foliage plants such as phormiums, miscanthus, liriope, canna lilies and smaller grasses. These, combined with smaller flowering trees such as crepe myrtles, a silk tree and Cercis ‘Forest Pansy’, provide colour and interest throughout this smaller town garden.
The garden layout has made very good use of the space and includes other features such as a rectangular pond and curved retaining walls. A garden bound to inspire for those looking for something a little different in a cold climate.
McDonald & Carroll Garden
41 Cowper Street, Crookwell NSW
Mandy McDonald and Stephen Carroll’s 1932 built home and its garden have undergone a recent transformation.
The owners’ combined love of tea and art are very much in evidence in their garden, with an Asian-inspired Tea House and Studio now an integral part of the garden. The Tea House has a traditional entry gate and separate garden featuring a crepe myrtle and Heuchera. The main garden has a Japanese feel with maples, camellias, magnolias and dwarf conifers among the planting. Mandy’s metal and glass sculptures are grouped within the garden along with other artistic touches which add vibrancy and colour.
Although a young garden, visitors are sure to leave with renewed enthusiasm for giving a new lease of life to an old garden.
Ian McFaul’s Garden
172 Third Creek Road, Crookwell NSW
When Ian McFaul and his wife Enid established the garden around his cottage, they were on the way to creating a beautiful and unique garden. A former tennis court is now a flourishing rose garden. In fact, there are over 200 roses on display throughout the garden.
There are native plants jostling for space beside exotic species. A multitude of spring bulbs, flowering shrubs and yet more climbing roses add to the plant palette in Ian’s garden.
There is a great variety of plants to be found in this relatively small garden. The tapestry hedge is one feature which is a testament to Ian’s skill as a gardener. All those who visit will want to linger longer, if only to stop and smell the roses.
‘Crestview’, 2461 Taralga Road, Laggan NSW
The garden of Kathy and David Woods is a cottage-style garden that surrounds their home.
From the moment you step through the entrance with a timber pergola smothered in a yellow banksia rose, the garden continues to delight. Massed plantings are used to great effect. Narrow paths of local basalt stone and gravel transition through different sections of the garden. All around are classic cottage garden favourites such as buddleja, roses, irises, seaside daisies, alstroemeria and hydrangeas. The pink groundcover roses work brilliantly against the white walls of the verandah.
Standard roses add height to flower beds, while smaller trees such as cercis, maples and a silk tree are lovely features. There are glorious views from the garden of the surrounding countryside.
Willowtree Sculpture Garden
2 Redground Heights Road, Laggan NSW
Anna Pye and Rachael Mayne warmly welcome visitors to Willowtree Sculpture Garden. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the garden, following the gravel path, from where you can view the sculptures as part of their ‘Sculpture in the Village’ exhibition.
A striking feature of the garden is the curved sandstone wall incorporating Anna’s celtic carvings.
Other features include espaliered pears, a vegetable garden, a circular entertaining space enclosed with a vine-covered pergola and two ponds, all adding to the delight and enjoyment of this garden.
For more about Willowtree's attractions during the open garden weekend CLICK HERE
Gardens Opening for 2017
11 Roberts Street, Crookwell NSW
Shirley and Gordon Willis started their garden 32 years ago as a blank canvas. Some of the earliest plantings were of groups of Birches, hence the name ‘Birchwood. Shirley and Gordon have combined their favourite trees and flowers to create a garden of many surprises as you wander around the pathways and lawns. You will find groves of camellias, clematis clinging to many trees and a wide selection of unusual trees and shrubs. Shirley's love of frogs adds a whimsical touch to many flower beds, which contain hellebores, salvias, heuchera, spring bulbs and much more.