Redbank – a meandering rural garden


1004 Tara Loop Road, Ilford

Set high on a hill above the Ilford countryside, ‘Redbank’ is protected by an avenue of pine trees and has spectacular views to Coomber Mountain and beyond.

redbank1Kaye and her husband Barrie (recently deceased) settled here in 1964, built their house and established a pastoral property that currently runs 1800 sheep and 30 cattle. The garden surrounding the house is an ornate cottage garden with whimsical elements, and will reward careful scrutiny.

Follow paths, wander, pause, smell and touch. Note the rich, fertile vegetable garden, the patio protecting rare plants, the various clematis climbing over structures. You will eventually come across Kaye’s 50 or so chooks, mainly Isa Browns and White Leghorns, and if you walk out into the paddock you will see the breeding pen.

Can you identify the amazing number of fruit trees including passionfruit, kiwi fruit, pomegranate, persimmon, Cox’s pippin apple, lime and blood orange as well as numerous citrus, stone and seed fruit?


Hazelgrove – a haven for wildlife and people

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1857 Bylong Valley Way, Kandos Opposite Henbury golf course, just north of Kandos Pool

Starting with an almost bare landscape, Peter and Bonnie took into account drainage, soil, heat and frost in selecting and planting their two-acre garden. This has resulted in a flourishing mix of native, exotic, hardy and edible plants. They have created a waterwise environment through rainwater collection, extensive mulching and drip irrigation; and they source waste materials to fertilise their garden and create inspired garden art.

Wander through the native garden at the front and an extensive parkland at the rear, including an elf garden, unusual paths, unique garden art and numerous ponds. Feel free to amble into the sheep and chook paddock where you can peep into the propagation room and hot house.

Don’t forget to visit the extensive vegetable garden plots, the orchard and frost-sensitive room on the southern side of the house. And when you are tired, rest on one of the many garden seats.

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Pat’s Place – Set in Stone

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83 Mudgee Street, Rylstone

Photo 16-2-18, 5 09 06 pmThis garden is of interest for its structural features as much as its plantings. Note as you enter, the 30cm thick stone wall on 10cm footings, which Pat built herself. The back stone section of the house was built in the 1890s and of even greater historical interest is the beehive well (learn more from the sign).

Wander along granite paths which take you to the boundaries of the garden, over a bridge, beside a fishpond, beneath arches and under trees (pin oaks, Manchurian pears and Chinese elm). Honeysuckle, star jasmine, wisteria and grape vines, soften roofs and walls. Pieces of whimsy hide among the plants. Pat has chosen hardy plants and waters her garden using well water and recycled household water.

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‘Keewaydin’ – a Panoramic Parkland

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6121 Castlereagh Highway, Running Stream

Photo 3-10-17, 9 44 22 am copyRae and Guy Sim built their house and began planting this sweeping nine-acre garden 12 years ago. Guy is the structural builder and designer and you will see his handiwork in water courses, rock culverts, climbing frames, stonework, terraces and well-placed, eye-catching sculptural pieces. Rae is the green-fingered artist, designing, planting and nurturing a spectacular range of trees (deciduous, fruiting and native) and bushes; as well as perennials, bulbs, succulents and annuals in pots, beds and paddocks. Their garden continues to evolve, relying on spring water pumped up to two 22,500 litre tanks sitting near the highway.

Photo 3-10-17, 9 52 24 amMeaning the spirit of the northwest wind, “Keewaydin” has its origin in the story of Hiawatha. Great location and first garden to visit for those travelling from Lithgow, Sydney or the Blue Mountains.

Morning and afternoon teas and light lunches will be served by Ilford/Running Stream CWA.

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