But I wanted to share some of the photos I took, particularly the beautiful hydrangeas, which are so gigantic and glorious. Many of you who follow me on Instagram and have seen sneak peaks of the house interior have asked if I would do a post on the interior, and Mum has said she would be happy to share it with you. So that will be forthcoming as well.
I did take most of the photos in the heat of the midday sun, when it was hot and glary, so they aren't the best for showing off the richness of colour and have blown out a bit, but you can still see how beautiful it is.
For a garden that was completely created from scratch by my parents barely 20 years ago, it is quite an extraordinary achievement.
The driveway from the main road leads into this curved entrance to the house and garden framed by a dry stone wall and these lovely white timber gates.
The garden has been open to the public for some years and was part of the NSW Open Garden Scheme for many and won best garden one year. My parents still accept private groups and tours by arrangement.
The driveway curves around past the front entrance below, although 99% of the time we use the back door. I have learnt that when you are designing a driveway with parking for visitors and yourself, you should make sure it is located nearest to the door you want people to use. If you put the parking near the back door, you can be sure that's the door everyone will use. If you put it near the front door, you have a better chance of everyone using that entrance.
This little path leads through the Japanese garden to the Japanese pavilion (shown below) where Mum does her painting.
This little path meanders through the garden down to the man-made lake. The kids swim in it and row the little row boat that my Dad made around for hours.
Here's the house....
The house started life as a weekender and was actually built as a kit home. It has since been extended and renovated three times and is probably three times the size it began.
It is raised above the lower garden level that rolls down to the lake by a ha-ha wall, which allows for a beautiful view across the lake and surrounding paddocks.
The part of the house is where we spend most of our time, the sunroom which is a big open bright room adjoining the kitchen and provides an almost panoramic view north across the property and spills out on the deck and garden. My parents have a dining table in two corners of this room, a large one for morning breakfast and dinners which faces east and a small one on the western side for wintery afternoons.
The way and speed with which gardens grow in the Southern Highlands is enviable. Trees, shrubs, bushes and the like just seem to double and triple in height from year to year.
The hedging and topiaries around the garden are exquisite. The house and garden have been featured in many magazines over the years.
How amazing is this bank of agapanthus? They run double the length of this bed and are as tall as me.
The rill leads from the bog garden down to the lake. The bog garden below.
This path leads down to the little guest cottage, which was converted from an old dairy. It's a lovely place for guests to stay.
The hydrangeas are truly glorious. They have always grown so well here, and just get bigger and more amazing every year. The colours on this bush were brilliant, and all the photos below come from the these two bushes. You can see they both have multiples of colour on each one.
Three colours on the one bush and in the one photo. Incredible. You can see these three blooms next to each other with completely contrasting colours. The blooms range from brilliant blue, to pale blue, mauve, violet, purple, green, pink and blue-grey. Every colour except white.
Here blue and green side by side. Some of them are as big as soccer balls as below.
I think this looks like a bouquet of butterflies. So pretty and delivate. And how amazing is the gentle blend of colour in the petals from pink, to mauve to green.
Isn't it just a piece of paradise? We are so lucky to be able to visit and stay there, and have a home away from the home that is just so beautiful, peaceful, restful, quiet and not to mention perfect for the kids. We've had two weddings, several christenings, umpteen kids' birthday parties, an 80th and a 70th birthday and countless other memorable family occasions in this lovely part of the world. It certainly holds a special place in our hearts.
And finally, the winner of the Love to Swaddle Up giveaway has chosen by the team at Love To Dream PR, is Tamsyn from Max & Me blog. Thank you everyone for entering the giveaway. Tamsyn, please contact me by email to organise delivery of your prize - email@example.com.