Mayfield Autumn: Australian Garden Wonder

image

A few decades ago a Sydney schoolboy spent a holiday in the country with friends, became smitten with the land  – and later, on reaching adulthood, also developed an insatiable passion for gardens.

imageThat schoolboy was Garrick Hawkins and twenty years ago the businessman began building a pleasant garden overlooking a valley on his property Mayfield, near Oberon, in New South Wales Central West.

Then something happened. Garrick moved overseas for several years, spent his spare time visiting great gardens in England and Europe, and translated his dreams into a somewhat ‘expanded’ Mayfield Garden.

image

Today, Mayfield Garden is set to become one of the grandest, and most inspirational in Australia.

The scale is almost inconceivable: it spans over 50 hectares (125 acres) with another 40 hectares planted with deciduous shade trees for grazing stock.

 “I always knew I wanted a garden, but never planned on one quite to this scale,” Garrick says.

image

 “The issue became how to logically stop it – how to draw a boundary which made sense in terms of scale, topography and geography,”

says Garrick who, along with Peter D’Arcy (Darce), his Garden Manager and co-designer, spent countless hours mulling over concepts and land-management issues, before embarking on each new area.

image

To give you some perspective – small trucks cross this bridge.

The Mayfield story is truly inspiring.  The project has given opportunities to local tradespeople to become experts in horticulture, ironwork, carpentry and stonemasonry, as well as management.  Darce oversees an accredited in-house training program for those wishing to attain qualifications in their field.

“We have very highly skilled and highly committed people. We’re a significant local employer, and will continue to be. Oberon is linked to tourism and we hope to assist in that process,” Garrick says.

image

 The pride of the twenty five (plus) staff is evident.

Darce:

“As the garden has evolved, I’ve seen people evolve. It is a family here – this garden wouldn’t have the love and attention if people didn’t want to do it.”

image

Water gardens are intrinsic to this landscape. A lake, visible from several areas, draws visitors like a magnet.

“Water in a garden puts people at peace,” Darce says.

image

Other features include Chinese and Japanese gardens, a silver birch grove, hectares of deciduous woodland with maples and oaks, follies such as an amphitheatre seating 1,000, Calluna heath and conifer gardens, embankments covered with rhododendrons trimmed annually to form cloud hedging, a Chevening maze, a stilted hornbeam hedge, rose gardens and croquet lawn.

image

A Robert Klippel sculpture is the focal point in the Parterre garden.

image

Aspects from many gardens, especially English, have been incorporated into Mayfield: Stourhead, Cliveden, Longstock and Waddesdon have all provided inspiration.

image

As well as visitors, Garrick’s own family, and especially his wife Evelyn take great pleasure in the garden.

“Evelyn’s input has been invaluable,” he says.

image

image

Although a folly, this amphitheatre has actually hosted hundreds watching a fundraising concert.

image

The family’s exquisite bluestone chapel is positioned high on a hill overlooking the garden. It’s built from locally made or sourced elements, (apart from the slate roof) including wrought-iron door latches, ceiling ties, doors from recycled shearing-shed timber and panels of antique German-style glass, blown in nearby Bathurst.

image

image

The cascade is classic Chatsworth, although Mayfield’s is slightly shorter, beginning beneath a hilltop temple and tumbling 80m down to a serene reflection pond.

image

image

Espaliered trees adorn the parking bay. 

image

image

The season for growing vegetables and herbs is extended in the protected walled garden.

image

In true estate style, there are productive elements, such as a nuttery, walled kitchen garden, picking garden and orchard, complete with five-star chook houses.

image

When Mayfield Garden is open six weekends a year, in autumn and spring, visitors are able to truly appreciate both the scale and the many diverse elements.

image In the not-too-distant future a 14 hectare area will open permanently, alongside a purpose-built garden centre with nursery, restaurant and, later, possibly an education facility, where the skills garnered at Mayfield can be shared.

image

Mayfield’s produce and meat will be central to the culinary experience. (Both beef and lamb are produced on the family’s properties throughout NSW.) Seasonal organic produce will be available including veggies, nuts and some old varieties of fruit, on which Darce has focused. “Sometimes they’re smaller but sweeter – they’re thriving and taste good,” he says.

image

If this is the first time you’ve been introduced to the remarkable Mayfield Garden –  ’watch this space’…

It’ll be a garden to watch with wonder as it matures.

image

logo

____________________________________________________________________________________

READER’S COMMENTS:

____________________________________________________________________________________

Truly magnificent.

Euan Murdoch

Beaudesert Qld

____________________________________________________________________________________

 The most beautiful photographs I have ever seen of Mayfield Garden…. stunning !!

Ilona Coote

Bathurst NSW

____________________________________________________________________________________

This report is extraordinary! thank you! when can we go?! wonderful.

Leona Romaniuk
Qld
OAG: The next open days are in spring – you can check their website Mayfield Garden for dates 🙂
____________________________________________________________________________________
Fan-bloody-tastic!
I’d heard about this garden before and it is a wonder that anyone will sink this amount of money into a garden! Wow! And it seems, from what you are saying, that it may have permancy beyond his lifetime.

Glenn Cooke

AGHS Qld Chairman
____________________________________________________________________________________
I am blown away by the Mayfield garden. What an achievement!  It makes me so envious when I look at my fledgling efforts and just wish I was thirty years younger and had a husband who shared my passion!
Jenny D
QLD
________________________________________________________________________
Loved Mayfield. We visited about the same time and believe it to be one of our best which will get better. It still is one of the hidden treasures like the Floralies in Ghent which far surpasses Chelsea.
John Youngman
Tamborine Mountain QLD

Categories: Country Gardens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s