After visiting this beautiful garden at Sutton’s Forest, just south of Mossvale, in the Southern Highlands in Summer and Autumn, we were determined to time our next visit during the peak blooming season of all its Old Roses (early November) and it certainly was a wonderful display and well worth making the effort!I have already written a general post about this amazing garden at: https://candeloblooms.com/2016/12/20/a-garden-weekend-in-the-southern-highlands-part-1/ and it is also worth referring to its own website at: http://www.redcowfarm.com.au/home.html.
At risk of repeating myself, here are the contact details!
Red Cow Farm (Owners: Ali Mentesh and Wayne Morrisey)
7480 Illawarra Highway Sutton Forest, 5 km south of Mossvale 2.5 hectares (6 acres)
1.5 hours drive from Canberra and Sydney
Phone: (02) 4868 1842; 0448 677647
Open 8 months of the year from late September to the end of May, 10am – 4 pm. Closed Christmas Day.
$10 Adults; $8 Seniors and $4 children (4 to 14 years old)
Red Cow Farm is such an artistic garden. I love the colour combinations used; the diversity of both colour, texture and form; and the play of light and shade. However, for this post, I am focusing on the old roses in all their full glory! Where I can identify them, I mention their names, having quizzed Ali in great depth after exploring the garden, but for many of the roses, it was merely enough to enjoy the total picture and breathe in their beautiful scents.
I am also including the garden map again, so it is easier to discuss the location of the roses! As in my previous post on Red Cow Farm, I am following a similar path from the entrance to the cottage garden, curved pergola and Apollo Walk to the Abbess’s Garden and beyond, following the numbers on the map.Front of the Cottage
The highly fragrant Kordes rose, Cinderella, greets you on the left as you enter the front gate.In front of the cottage on the left is a huge bush of Mutabilis (photo of shrub in the background below) and behind it, adorning the house, is Awakening, a sport of Hybrid Wichurana, New Dawn, itself a sport of another Hybrid Wichurana, Dr W Van Fleet. Awakening is the rose, being held in the hand, on the far right of the photo below.Cottage Garden and Camellia Walk (Areas 3 and 4):
I loved the contrast between these tidy clipped balls and the blowsy, overgrown shrub roses. The next photo is taken under the start of the curved pergola with the start of the Apollo Walk to the Abbess’s Garden.Curved Pergola and Courtyard (Areas 5 and 1):
The curved pergola is stunning from either direction, looking down to the courtyard and circular driveway: and back to the Apollo Walk. The golden roses look so good against the old weathered timber beams, stone walls and brick pillars. I love the attention to detail and the mixed plantings- soft blue campanulas and lemon Sisyringium strictum in a carpet of pinks. The courtyard behind the cottage is a delightful spot to sit.Roses were often planted in monastery gardens during the Middle Ages, so it was very appropriate to find many of the old roses in the Abbesses Garden and the Monastery Garden.
Abbess’s Garden (Area 7), leading into the Beech Walk (Area 8):
The first bed on the right as you enter the Abbess’s Garden from the Apollo Walk is full of yellows and golds with English Rose, Comte de Champagne (2nd photo below), in a sea of lemon-yellow aquilegia.I love all the colour combinations, both complimentary: and contrasting: The wide variety of plantings ensures constant colour and interest throughout the seasons. I particularly loved the Alliums.On her pillar in the third bed on the right, Hybrid Multiflora, Laure Davoust, rises from a sea of pink.As you approach the chapel, Hybrid Spinosissima, Golden Wings, is on the right: while golden David Austins, Wildflower (single, gold to white with gold stamens) and heavy, globular Charles Darwin grace the left bed.The riotous colour of the Abbess’s Garden is in dramatic contrast with the calming green living walls of the next garden room, the Beech Walk (Area 8), which leads to the Hazelnut Walk (Area 9) and the Lake (Area 11), complete with island and bridge (Area 20). I love the twisted red stems of the hazelnut trees and the intensity of the colours, backlit by sun, as you emerge from the shade they cast.Blowsy Hybrid Wichurana, Albertine, falls into the water from the banks, while Noisette climber, Lamarque, graces the island end of the bridge. I love this view of the wooden bridge from the Bog Garden (Area 10).Woodland (Area 19)
The woodland area is a study in contrast in colour, tone, form and texture.There are a few roses in the herbaceous borders of the Obelisk Walk (Area 23), including Hybrid Rugosa rose, Jens Munk, which was also in bloom last January (first photo) and this unidentified pink rose.
The richness and lushness of the garden is always such a contrast to the surrounding grazed paddocks: and I love the woodland paths.November is also Rhododendron and Azalea season. I would dearly love to find the golden Rhodendron luteum, whose scent is superb, but I also loved this deep-pink rhodo, Homebush, under the shade of the dogwood tree. and this unidentified rhododendron with masses of light pink blooms. The new shoots of this Gold Tipped Oriental Spruce, Picea orientalis aurea, were quite stunning as well.Garden Shed and Circular Driveway (Area 17)
Tea Rose, Countess Bertha, also known as Comtesse de Labarthe, Comtesse Ouwaroff, Mlle de Labarthe and Duchesse de Brabant, climbs up the back wall over the door, while the front garden facing the driveway contains Hybrid Tea, Mme Abel Chatenay, on the left, facing the shed, and English Rose, The Alnwick Rose, on the right. On the left of the junction of the path back into the Flower Walk (Area 16) is a shrub of Fantin Latour. I love the bright poppies of the central flowerbed in the driveway, which was filled with bright pink and orange zinnias in full bloom on our last visit in January. There was a stunning Oriental Poppy further down the driveway on our current visit in November.Monastery Garden (Area 13)
Like the Abbess’s Garden, the Monastery Garden is full of roses. This photo shows a view of the Monastery Garden, looking back to the entrance.A creamy cloud of Mrs Herbert Stevens (Hybrid Tea), Devoniensis (Tea) and Souvenir de la Malmaison (Bourbon) covers the entrance wall to the garden. The fallen purple petals of Portland Damask, Rose de Rescht, carpet the path on the right. St Fiacre, the patron saint of gardens, hides under Hybrid Perpetual, Reine des Violettes. I loved this little Nicotiana mutabilis, complementing the pink rose behind, and the contrast of the monastery bell with the infilled arches of variegated ivy.Vegetable Garden (Area 12) and Nursery (Area21)
I loved the hedge of Hybrid Rugosa, Roseraie de l’Hay, behind the globe artichokes: and the Icebergs (Hybrid Tea) dotting the vegetable garden. On the nursery side of the Wisteria Walk (Area 22) is the dramatic striped Delbard rose, Guy Savoy. And finally, ….
The Walled Garden (Area 2)
A riot of colour and scents! Hybrid Macrantha, Raubritter, covers the right of the seat, while Species Rose, Dupontii, stands tall against the end wall of the cottage. There is just so much colour and interest in just this section of the garden alone!I loved the sea of poppies in the front garden around the birdbath.Red Cow Farm would have to be one of my favourite gardens in all seasons and I would highly recommend a visit in November for maximum enjoyment! It is a photographer’s delight, so make sure that you take your camera or beg, borrow or steal one, as I had to do for this most important visit. I shall tell you more about my camera woes on Thursday!