In the Beautiful Blue Mountains

Festival 2023

Friday 29 Sept - Monday 2 Oct

At that time the conifer tree lined driveway had been built and a row of trees hid the house from the street and from the adjoining neighbours. Between 1995 and 2005 Doug and Irene laid out the bones off the garden and constructed stone walls and a pathway through the middle of the garden creating lawns and garden beds on either side. 


Camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons and especially roses, which were a favorite of Irene’s, were planted extensively. A favorite of Irene’s was the climbing rose ‘Dublin Bay’, which can be seen on the climbing frame as you enter the garden.


In 2005 the house was sold to a new owner who had little time for gardening in general. The site was fenced in, and many of the conifers grew too tall to be used as a hedge. We bought the house in July 2017 and in the following four years gradually cleaned up the garden, removing all trees running across the site and those on the west that had blocked the neighbours view for over a decade. 


A total of 21 conifers were removed from the front garden and for the first time in decades sunlight was allowed into a large part of the area in front of the house.  Following their removal and with a cleared site, 2019 saw the start of our landscaping, which began with the construction of a new stream and pond on the west boundary.


In 2021 a landscape plan was drawn up with new paths throughout the garden based on a sketch prepared by Nick who is a retired architect. Work laying out the paths began in March 2022 followed by planting out both native and exotic species. A focal point at the central circular area in the front of the garden is a plinth topped by a sculpture designed and made by Nick. It was 3D designed on the computer, laser cut in Penrith and welded together in Lawson.


A final stage in the garden was the construction of a gabion wall that was built by Nick. This is planted with local and imported grass species, which are at their best in summer. The garden is a mixture of old and new. The new parts of the garden are now in their second year of growth. Planting and landscaping are divided into two separate areas separated by the original path bordered by a stonewall that Doug created and built by hand. Sadly Doug and Irene are no longer with us, but in their memory we are preserving the roses that they loved so much. Work on the garden is ongoing.


Peter Schoemark's delightful sculptures will be on display and for sale in Tusculum during the Festival.