Our 2022 gardens
Our selection of cool climate gardens range from small-town gardens to larger country gardens with sweeping vistas, including great favourites and new landscapes.
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 2022 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.
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 six 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!
Des and Julie White
A kaleidoscope of colours greets you as you enter this garden. Neat garden beds packed with a fascinating array of annuals, perennials, bulbs and shrubs. Cherry trees, weeping elms, azaleas, rhododendrons, conifers, garden art and windchimes. It’s a wonderfully enchanting place that invites you in to explore.
But that’s just the front garden!
As you round the house and enter the backyard, you will be greeted by two enormous and very majestic oak trees, one an English oak and the other a pin oak, set in a large expanse of lawn. Try to resist the urge to run over and hug these magnificent trees if you can!
The initial feeling is of space and room to play. And that’s no accident; the rear garden is planned for family fun and provides plenty of room for kids and grandkids to run amok and burn off energy. It’s also a fabulous place for a social gathering, a perfect place to enjoy al fresco dining under the shade of those wonderful trees.
And yet more horticultural treasures in every corner! Geums, salvias, peonies, phlox, ericas, roses, the list seems endless. So many botanical delights to savour and enjoy.
The soft tinkling of more wind chimes and the strategically placed garden artworks add to the charm of this special place that effortlessly combines so many garden styles. A cottage garden, a parkland oasis, an art gallery, a botanical garden? It’s all of these and more.
Masterfully created and packed full of so many interesting plants and sculptures, and yet not busy or overwhelming. It’s spacious, and somehow both simultaneously stimulating and calming. Take your time here, there’s a lot to see and there are surprises hiding in unexpected places.
This garden has such an array of different plants that there is always something delightful in bloom, no matter the time of year.
Truly a garden for all seasons!
Steeped in history, Balcony Rose is truly part of Crookwell’s heritage, with the house dating back over a hundred years to the late 1890s. Built by master stonemason David Larcombe and featuring the famous balcony with its intricate cast iron railings and climbing roses, it’s worth coming just to see the wonderful old building.
A fine dwelling requires an appropriate garden to complement it and as you might expect, this large garden is long established and features very large, mature trees.
A wide variety of cool climate deciduous trees provide cool shade in summer and colourful carpets of leaves in autumn. After autumn rains fly agarics and other intriguing toadstools pop up everywhere through the drifts of leaves, adding to the sensation of being in an ancient forest.
There are unusual conifers too, and a selection of shrubs, with lots of spring flowering bulbs. Add in a large pond and a wet meadow, and you have a perfect place for wildlife. There are creatures everywhere, foraging through the canopies of the towering trees, the understorey shrubs and extensive patches of groundcover plants. Superb fairy wrens forage through the shrubbery, wild ducks enjoy the pond and as you might expect frogs abound.
A large ‘Bug Hotel’ nestles in the undergrowth and provides additional habitat for wildlife.
As with the other gardens in the Crookwell Garden Festival, there are many additional surprises located in the garden. A finely crafted stone wall, metal sheep and intricately fashioned gate arches. A wonderful and very productive vegetable garden. Borrowed views.
All of these add to the enjoyment by adding just that little subtle touch of human contrast and enhance the sensation of wilderness evoked by this extensive and very mature garden.
It’s a place to enjoy history, heritage and nature. And springtime in this garden is sure to be absolutely sensational with fresh, new leaves bursting forth and spring flowering bulbs putting on a stunning display.
Set amongst lush green grazing paddocks, this country garden is well established but has also seen many changes over the years and continues to evolve and develop. Old trees and windbreaks, planted long ago to provide shade and shelter, combine with new plantings and new garden beds.
Ancient, weathered hardwood fence posts, local rocks and agricultural implements from times long past have been collected and combined to create interesting features, and the concept of a garden as a work of art has been fully embraced in creating an intensely personal and emotional space.
When Donna Nicholson tragically lost her son Jake, she set about creating a living, green memorial in part of the garden to celebrate his life and honour his memory. Jake’s garden is a reminder that life is precious, but fleeting, and to seize each day and live it to the full.
This is emphasised by little nuances throughout the garden that really bring home the message. The repurposed agricultural implements and furniture remind you of times past and the many people who used them. What stories these objects could tell if they had voices!
It’s a place to ponder the mysteries of our existence and the universe. Perhaps a good place to sit and watch either sunrise or sunset and reflect on the meaning of life.
Landscape designers talk about ‘a sense of place’ and this garden certainly has that. It’s very much a country garden that connects with the rural landscape. In places the grounds seemingly blend into the surrounding paddocks, separated only by a farm fence. Chooks and peacocks roam the grounds, and livestock are never far away.
At the same time, it’s very much a family space that has developed in response to the changing needs of successional generations and is full of precious memories.
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.
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.
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.
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.