Our 2022 gardens
Our selection of cool climate gardens 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 showcase the owners' love of planting and clearly reflect what can be achieved in cool climate environments. And of course they're beautiful!
Please note: Some of our gardens are yet to be confirmed, and we will update this website and our Facebook page with new details if any changes are made.
2022 Crookwell festival gardens
72 Cowper Street
This place is simply magical. The front gate is flanked by a gorgeous flowering cherry on the left and an ancient and imposing holly on the right. As you look through the gate a mysterious shape looms over the path: a very large, interesting and somewhat spooky weeping cyprus. It's just like something from a Harry Potter movie!
This garden has many more interesting trees and shrubs, including a lovely selection of rhododendrons in shades of cerise, pink, mauve and creamy white.
It’s truly a garden for all seasons, with massed hellebores and bulbs flowering in winter, and an abundance of aquilegias and other cottage garden gems, and yet more bulbs celebrating the arrival of spring. As the spring blooms gently fade away, they are followed by a delectable selection of gorgeous roses and yet more exciting blossoms in the hotter months. Of course, there is also plenty of autumn colour too.
It was the garden that inspired owners Margaret and Brian Hudson to buy the property. Margaret says, “We were really looking for a different style of house, but we saw the garden and that was it. The decision was made!”
The foundations of the garden were established by previous owner Alan Craven, a well-known local weaver who had somewhat of a cult following for his fantastic and beautifully crafted woven tweeds, used to create wonderfully exquisite garments.
His talents also clearly extended to the field of horticulture and resulted in this enchanting town garden. It was Alan who designed the basic layout of the garden, who planted the various trees including the wonderful weeping cypress, and who created this special place.
Under the loving care of Margaret and Brian, who bought the property in 2010, this charming garden continues to evolve and develop. It will surely delight visitors for many decades to come!
Mark and Gae Watson
66 Cowper St
'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.
Ray and Anne Jackson
45 Cowper St
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.
Crookwell Tea House and Gallery
Stephen Carroll and Mandy McDonald
With undulating mounds of purple lavender and rosemary set against the pale blue, sea foam green and lilac décor of the fence and house, the front garden evokes a sense of oceanic energy. There is a distinctly Mediterranean feel about it, a sense of sea cliffs and salt spray, villas in the sun and the play of light on water.
But this is just the appetiser. The rear of the property has been transformed into an entirely different space that is secluded and tranquil, yet strangely exciting.
It is hard to believe that just five years ago the main feature of this part of the garden was a square of tired turf and an old Hill’s Hoist. Two fully mature, but sadly neglected trees were present in the garden when Stephen and Mandy bought the property: a magnificent Magnolia grandiflora and a huge pear tree.
Careful pruning and sensitive landscaping have ensured that these trees are now showcased to their best advantage. Since renovation works were completed, the newer plantings in the garden have matured to create a haven sheltered by dense growth, including camellias, gingkos, Japanese maples, buddlejas and crepe myrtles.
Stephen Carroll is an international Tea Master and has studied tea culture in many parts of the world, including Korea, China and Japan. With his deep interest in medicinal herbs and their properties, and a passion for horticulture, you can understand and appreciate that he has created an ever-evolving garden full of horticultural treasures for those with a keen eye for the unusual, including an interesting selection of Oriental medicinal and culinary plants such as yuzu, Szechuan pepper, tea, Korean radish and perilla.
As if this were not enough, there are fascinating sculptures strategically placed throughout the grounds. Mandy McDonald is a well-known Crookwell artist and sculptor. A selection of her art works, and those of other local artists, will be on display in the garden and gallery.
This is a garden that is sure to inspire!
‘New Day Limousin’
Mireille and Brett Turner
151 Gorman Rd
‘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.
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 truly tough homestead characters. If you are looking for plants that can endure the harsh tribulations of the Southern Tablelands, with freezing winters and hot, dry summers, this is the place to seek inspiration!
As an example, there is a wonderful, large Hibiscus syriacus with pure white, single flowers. Tough as old boots and a reliable performer, it’s a rare plant these days and not readily available in garden centres.
The garden is quite deceptively simple at first impression, but it’s one of those places where the more you look the more you see! It’s also a place to delight youngsters as there many secluded nooks to hide away and avoiding nagging parents. Or maybe it could be an opportunity for harassed parents to hide away from those pesky ankle biters and have some peace and quiet for a while?
With so many mature trees and shrubs, this property is also a haven for wildlife and the birdlife is abundant.
But this garden has more in store. The real highlight of this property is arguably Tony's museum-worthy chainsaw collection, one of the best collections in the country, if not the world. Tony has an astounding assortment of chainsaws of all shapes and sizes, from all corners of the globe. Even if you think you are not particularly thrilled by machinery, this place will surely change your mind.
Tony is also a skilled bush carpenter and makes exquisite garden furniture and ornaments. Hopefully, he will have some for sale during the garden festival! This garden offers a different focus to the other gardens participating in the festival and it is bound to excite your imagination.
Virginia King and Ken Watson
Lot 1 Kentgrove Rd
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
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.
Richard and Annie Goodrich
9 Queen St
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.