Red Cow Farm

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Illawarra Highway, Sutton Forest

A visit to Red Cow Farm in New South Wales approx 1 ½ hours from Sydney is recommended. It is a unique cool climate garden set on 2.5 hectares and is one of the leading gardens in the Southern Highlands of NSW. Open: October 1 – 31; November 1 – 30.

$7/entry fee

Suggestions from Don

  • Add some mystery – an occasional hidden object such as a statue at the end of a path or placed behind a garden bed creates an interesting item in the garden.
  • Consider a theme – this gives the garden a particular feel that can be evocative of another era, country or garden style. A perfect example of creating a particular theme or theatrical effect is the Monastry Garden @ Red Cow Farm. This is a walled area full of statues and other evocative items such as a bell in the background together with appropriate plants such as roses and perennials.

It’s quite likely that these sorts of things may not be possible in all gardens but they are very useful in terms of providing ideas for creating a very special garden of your own.

Don also showed one of the best old fashioned plants at Red Cow Farm. The plant is known as Granny’s Bonnets but also known as Columbines or Aquilegias. They do best in cooler climates, are grown from seed & will often self seed.

Matching plants to buildings: Don noted that a variegated ivy (Hedera canariensis) which has a silvery grey appearance complemented the grey brown of one of the garden walls.

Hedges: one of the keys to a really magnificent hedge is to ensure they are trimmed so that the geometry is perfect.

Creating interesting effects with plants. Don noted a group of hazelnuts that had been meticulously pruned to remove all leaves and shoots lower down to create a thicket of sticks below with foliage on top.



Many other gardens are open at various times of the year around Australia.  to find out about these check the book “Australia’s open gardens” – available at abc book stores $17.95 or go to where you can buy it for $17 (incl postage).