The Gardens

What have we got in store for 2021?

Last year we were able to bring you a 'virtual' garden festival, but this year we will be opening in person. We will have gardens that have never been open to the public, along with classic favourites that are always worth returning to.


Our examples of cool climate gardens opening for the 2021 festival on 6-7 November range from small-town gardens to larger country gardens with sweeping vistas, including great favourites Markdale designed by Edna Walling and The Mill designed by Michael Bligh, and new larger landscapes like Astiden Springs and Ballynew, both designed by Lorna Vallely.


The properties selected have been chosen because they showcase the owners' love of planting and clearly reflect what can be achieved in cool climate environments.

2021 Crookwell festival gardens

Tea House and Gallery

Stephen Carroll and Mandy McDonald

Cowper Street

Crookwell 2583

This garden has matured and is now sheltered and secluded by dense shrubby growth. An interesting selection of unusual plants includes yuzu, Szechuan pepper, ginkgo, tea, Korean radish and others.


Stephen Carroll is an international Tea Master and Mandy McDonald is a well-known artist and sculptor. Art works will be on display in the garden and gallery. An intriguing garden and a little quirky.


Jackson Garden

Ray and Anne Jackson

45 Cowper St

Crookwell 2583

The Jackson’s small town garden is a testament of their love of gardening, sharing and the appreciation of cool climate plants.


From an empty block, lots of hand collected rocks were used for dry stone walls and paths under Japanese maples.


Ray’s keen hand skills are evident throughout the garden while Anne’s love is the soil, plants and creating areas that work. Roses, hellebores, clematis, heuchera and Japanese maples share the garden space.

Watson Garden

Mark and Gae Watson

66 Cowper St

Crookwell 2583

'Myahgah' is a delightful small town garden. Gae and Mark have worked meticulously on creating an eclectic blend of country, cottage and garden whimsy!


It is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when combining cold climate hedges and plants with vision, mission and purpose.


This hidden gem features different garden rooms, with interesting structures, including an Ajax wool press, fairy garden, and two bird aviaries.


Hudson Garden

72 Cowper Street

Crookwell 2583

A very large, interesting and somewhat spooky weeping cyprus greets you as you come through the front gate: Chamaecyparis nootkatenis 'Pendula'. It's just like something from a Harry Potter movie. This garden has many interesting trees and shrubs, and is a clearly well established and much loved town garden with beautiful roses and an abundance of spring flowers. Welcoming and simply charming!


‘New Day Limousin’

Mireille and Brett Turner

151 Gorman Rd

Crookwell 2583

‘New Day Limousin’ is a Limousin cattle stud on 230 acres owned by Mireille and Brett Turner. Started only seven years ago, this beautiful garden, house and 140 year old stone cottage sits on four acres and is the perfect example of what can be created from a bare paddock with a love of gardening and a determination to take on the challenge and battle of wills against the elements of the area.


Stands of liquidambars and ornamental pear trees, fence lines of smaragd and spartan conifers, a parkland area and a silver birch grove underplanted with bluebells lead you through the property to the main garden brimming with standard roses, hybrid teas, irises, hebes, pittosporums, nandinas, buxus hedges, Japanese maples, weeping cherries and crabapples, lavender and ground covers all over the gardens with daffodil underplantings.


There is also a well-designed orchard with, pear, apple, peach, nectarine, plum and fig trees, and six elevated vegetable gardens.


Evans Garden

Tony Evans

A lovely and well established garden that has withstood the trials of searing droughts and flooding rains. The many large trees and shrubs in this garden are tough homestead characters. There is a wonderful Hibiscus syriacus with pure white, single flowers, a very rare plant these days.


The real highlight of this property is undoubtedly Tony's museum-worthy chainsaw collection, arguably one of the best collections in the country, if not the world. Tony is also a skilled bush carpenter and makes exquisite garden furniture. Hopefully he will have some for sale! Something different and bound to excite the imagination.

‘Astiden Springs’

Virginia King and Ken Watson

Lot 1 Kentgrove Rd

Crookwell 2583

The ‘Astiden Springs’ garden started from a blank canvas in late 2015. Designed by Lorna Vallely, five years on it complements the ultra-modern eco house and clearly reflects the vision that the owners have for their property.


Sweeping lawns from the house, past the pool to the north draw your eye to the magnificent old peppermint gum featured in the landscape. Following Virginia and Ken’s brief, the garden was crafted to showcase what  can be achieved, combining natives, roses and exotics. 


Vegetable growing areas feature along with olive trees, an espaliered orchard and plantings of 104 trees including a treasured Wollemi pine; weeping, Chinese, Japanese and golden elms; ornamental pears, claret and white ash, a ginko, Irish strawberry, tulip and London plane trees. 


A stone wall built from local stone protects the south garden and borders the driveway leading you to this beautiful hidden landscape.



Michael and Marguerite Walsh

783 Woodville Rd

Binda 2583

The Walshes started to develop the garden on their 10-acre property in 2015 after deciding to retire permanently to  their rural retreat. Designed by Lorna Vallely, it is a lovely but still emerging garden.


Crabapples frame the driveway that leads to the house anchored on the hilltop, which provides magnificent 270 degree views from its verandas of the valleys below. At  the house, the rose garden greets you with a mixture of heritage and hybrid roses. Crushed granite paths lead you through the pergola to a beautiful garden brimming with native plants, irises, bulbs, English lavender, seaside daises, roses, catmint and camellias.


Large granite boulders form a feature garden which is still under development, and a dry stone wall frames the lawn and an outdoor entertaining area which has ornamental grape draped over its pergola. The rear of the house has island beds with magnolia, crepe myrtle, pomegranate, quince and Japanese maple to name a few, with a viburnum hedge separating the garden from an orchard.


‘Binda Mill’

Richard and Annie Goodrich

9 Queen St

Binda 2583

This gracious country garden designed by landscape architect Michael Bligh is planted generously with a variety of deciduous trees to capture the wonderful Southern Tablelands four seasons.


The garden includes stone walls, a large pond and jetty, and a walkway of robinias and ground cover leading to the formal circular rose garden.



The Edwards Family

462 Mulgowie Rd

Crooked Corner 2583

Acknowledged as one of the great country gardens of Australia, Markdale was started in the 1920s and  redesigned in the late 1940s by the pioneer of Australian landscape gardening, Edna Walling.


Spanning 5 acres, the garden is said to be one of the most intact examples of her garden design in New South Wales. It features her signature design—blending native plants and exotics, thyme lawns, informal garden pool and hand-built paths. Garden features include a pergola of blue and white wisteria, stunning golden and weeping elms, a profusion of roses, a stone-walled garden and a sweeping lawn down to a small lake.


Walling used the glorious natural scenery of paddocks and hills to advantage, removing many of the existing hedges in the process. Today, silver birch, aspens, pin oaks, hawthorns, golden elms, golden and claret ash, spireas, viburnums and eucalypts shelter and frame the garden without obscuring the view.