Monday, March 15, 2010

Red Cow Farm

Yesterday was a good day for a Sunday drive, being Sunday, and I can think of no better place to drive to than to a garden!  And one I have not visited and always wanted to see is Red Cow Farm at Sutton Forest in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.

So after a two hour drive, with a minor detour via McDonalds, we arrived at the front gate of the sweet little historic cottage, surrounded by 6 acres of garden.  And Mike and I spent the next hour and a half wandering up and down and round and round, totally entranced by the sheer quantity and variety of plants and the vision gone into the planning.  Well, I was entranced, Mike was more enjoying our walking companions, a pair of Border Collies who led us dutifully up each pathway, waiting not so patiently for us when we paused to look at things.

This is the Curved Pergola.  And I want one.

Here is Apollo Walk, looking from the Curved Pergola.

Through a doorway from the Walk, was the Abbess's Garden.  Look at the clipped box hedges!

Another look at the Abbess's Garden.  The nepeta was covered in bees.  I had some growing in my previous garden, but haven't planted any here, I love it's soft, billowy growth out over the path.

There is a huge lake in the middle of the garden, with grassy walks like this through the trees towards it.  You can see our garden guides up ahead!

Here's the lake, with one of our guides emerging from a quick dip!  I snapped the photo and then scampered to avoid the inevitable dog-shake shower.

After the more informal sections of the garden around the lake, we came to the Monastery Garden.  More clipped box edges and lovely cottage-y plantings.

We then back-tracked back around the lake again and walked up towards the house through the Beech Walk.  It made me giggle at my feeble attempts at clipping hedges.

On the southern side of the cottage is the walled garden.  More nepeta and roses and aquilegias.  And Mike disappearing up the path, pretending he can't hear me saying I want one of these too!

The walled garden again.

The cottage was purchased in 1990, sitting in essentially a bare paddock.  After a two year period of house renovation, the garden was started in 1992.  I'm in awe of the guys who made the garden and their vision in it's design.  I've wanted to visit this garden since reading Susan Irvine's chapter about it in 'Rose Gardens of Australia'.  It was certainly full of lovely gardening inspiration.

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