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One of the nicest ways to spend a weekend is to pack a bag, grab your respective other, in my case Dave, head on up to the Blue Mountains and pick up your newly married friends on the way. What ensues is a laughter filled weekend which includes a gorgeous timber cabin, home cooked meals, red wine, market wanderings, a few cheeky purchases and a stroll around an open garden.

Imagine the Most Beautifully Scented Rose You Have Ever Smelt And I Promise You This Rose Would Match It

Imagine the most beautifully scented rose you have ever smelt and I promise you this rose would match it

In this case the open garden is Mayfield Garden, located near Oberon in the Central West Tablelands of New South Wales on the western side of the Blue Mountains. Mayfield Garden is one of the ‘largest privately owned cool climate gardens in the world’. Purchased in 1984 by the Hawkins family, the garden has evolved to represent a grand English garden in the Australian climate. Nestled within a working farm, the extensive garden is made up of garden rooms that are joined by meandering paths and large expanses of lush green lawn. While the garden is very much a work in progress with areas still under construction and plants yet to fill out to their mature potential, there are some wonderful spaces within the garden. For example, you can wander through the Birch trees, explore the Pine trees, smell the divine roses and listen to water cascade over the many water features and water falls.

The Water Garden

The Water Garden

To say this garden is big is an understatement, it’s huge and requires around three hours to see it all. We took 2.5 hours with the only stops reserved for smelling roses and taking pictures and I was happy with that.

The House

The house

It was a joy to wander through the garden, map in hand but still not know what to expect at each destination. Within minutes of entering the garden you realise that this garden is more than just a hobby, it is a passion, filled with bold statements and attention to detail. For example, the aviary is an almighty bird enclosure containing its own mini garden. The chicken coop – well it’s more like five star chicken heaven thank you. Those chickens must be the happiest chickens on the Central West Tablelands – if not, dare I say it, the earth!

A Chicken Coop For The Happiest Chickens On Earth

A chicken coop for the happiest chickens on earth

Chicken Heaven

Chicken heaven

The highlight of Mayfield Garden for me was the grass roofed ‘Studio’. A gorgeous timber cabin up on a hill away from the main house with Birch trees planted on one side and sweeping lawn on the other. We imagined what sorts of arty endeavours might take place in the studio from painting and sculpture to stone masonry and artists retreat, who knows. What we did fancy though was ourselves perched on the veranda with a cold glass of anything we like looking out over the sun kissed countryside.

The Highlight Of The Garden - The Grass Roofed Studio

The highlight of the garden, the grass roofed studio

The Studio - The Roof Is A Field Of Green

The studio, the roof is a field of green

Exquisite Timber Work On The Front Door Of The Studio

Exquisite timber work on the front door of the studio

If you also had the opportunity to visit Mayfield Garden you may have been disappointed with the number of roped off ‘No Entry’ areas within the garden. I understand the need to keep prying eyes away from the family house that is reasonable and expected. But to advertise a garden maze and parterre then have no access I must admit was disappointing. I have mentioned that the garden is a work in progress and the maze planting still has a bit of growth to go before enclosing the occupant within, however the child within fancied a wander through the maze and she wasn’t allowed anywhere near it. The Parterre was also roped off too. Maybe it was because there wasn’t a skerrick of plant to be seen within its borders, who knows. Hopefully by the next open garden the Parterre will be richly planted, the maze will be amazing and visitors can explore both.

The Maze - No Entry

The Maze from the outside

Behind The Pleached Hedge - The Parterre. No Entry!

Behind the pleached hedge is the Parterre.

Aside from these disappointments, I did enjoy my wander around Mayfield Garden. I look forward to revisiting one day and seeing how the garden has matured and whether the grand ideas of Mr Hawkins have come to fruition. But only if I can get lost in childhood excitement within the maze.

The Walled Potager

The Walled Potager

Inside The Walled Potager, Espaliered Edible Fig

Inside the walled potager, espaliered edible fig

Inside The Walled Potager, The Garden Beds

Inside the walled potager, the garden beds

Liriodendron tulipifera - Tulip Tree

Liriodendron tulipifera, Tulip Tree

A Landscape Of Green And Maroon

A landscape of green and maroon

Divine Climbing Roses

Divine climbing roses

Tiny Pine Cones

Tiny pine cones

The Crocket Lawn, With Not A Blade Of Grass Out Of Place

The crocket lawn, with not a blade of grass out of place
Water Cascade. Built By The Romans? No, But It's Built To Last

Cascade. Built by the romans? No, but it’s built to last

The View From The Top Of The Water Cascade

The view from the top of the cascade

Beautiful Detail On The Pergola

Beautiful detail on the pergola

The Beginnings Of A Pleached Hedge

The beginnings of a pleached hedge

The Bridge - It's a Very Large Bridge

The bridge, it’s a very large bridge built with Blue Stone

The Red Bridge In The Water Garden

The red bridge in the Water Garden

I hope you enjoyed your tour through Mayfield Garden, perhaps one day you’ll get the chance to visit and see it in all it’s grandeur.

Mayfield Garden, 350 Mayfield Road Oberon, is open in Autumn 2014 on these dates; April 26th & 27th. May 3rd & 4th.

Until next time.

Carmel

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