about the garden
Rambling over 2.5 hectares in the pretty rural village of Sutton Forest in the cool climate of the NSW Southern Highlands, Red Cow Farm owners Ali Mentesh and Wayne Morrissey have, since 1990, transformed what was once a paddock into a parkland garden of 20 rooms, many walks and multiple moods.
The entrance to the garden, via a charming 1820s cottage, belies the grandeur, enchantment and sheer surprise that lies behind. There’s the Walled Garden, and the Cottage, Abbess’s, Monastery and Bog gardens. A number of suitably named ‘walks’ are very inviting: the Camellia, Beech, Hazelnut and Crabapple walks, and many other ‘secret’ passages. For a little quiet time, there is a walled sanctuary. A woodland spills down to a lake, which boasts its own island. Classical statuary, including one of St Fiacre, the patron saint of gardeners, and gargoyles are prominent in the garden rooms and woodland. Freestanding arches act as floating doors, the walls have 3D ‘wallpaper’, while fountains, urns and an obelisk help transform the garden into a gallery of never-ending delights.
The beckoning: A source of enrichment for your mind and body
DESIGN IDEAS FOR YOU A feature common to all parts of the garden is the use of focal points, such as a statue of Apollo at the end of a long pathway lined with whitebeam trees, or a row of arches that leads to a huge bell in the Monastery Garden.
Each entrance is like a picture frame where an off-centred burst of colour draws you in.
Around each corner is a vista where mature conifers and maples make a dramatic backdrop to the stunning colour beneath, or a droop of willow branches is like a gauze curtain guarding what lies behind.
11 A golden tower of Verbuscum makes a stunning statement as it rises through a thicket of pink and red rambling roses.Shade-loving ferns add a magical quality to a quiet corner. Here, their delicate fronds contrast with the hard edges of the stone plinth.
12 Ducks in a circle are surrounded by an island of poppies – making a charming feature of the roundabout at the driveway entrance.