Yengo's old garden

Here on over 20 ares is one of Australia's oldest gardens, laid out in 1877, and now complemented with bronze sculptures, many of which are on sale. As you pass through them into the garden, look first to the left to a Chestnut Tree, Magnolia and Sycamore Tree and past these to a fine example of Mock Thuja, a native of Japan. To the right of the gates, you'll see a towering Giant Sequoia and a neigbouring Strawberry Tree, a highly ornamental tree from Western North America. A group of Tree Ferns, characteristic of the Mount Wilson area, frames the immense Giant Thuja at the end of the lawn. Look, too, for the graceful Lawson Cypress and a purple Sycamore that has delicate autumnal colouring. An imposing Caucasian Fir or Nordmann Fir from Asia Minor, with its rich dark green leaves, stands to the right of and directly behind the Lawson Cypress. Further along is a Tulip Tree and close to it a Cedar of Lebanon. Its blue leaves and rigid branches offers a stately contrast to the magnificent English Oak. When you reach the Thuja, be sure to walk inside and marvel; this ancient evergreen is transformed, as you enter, into a towering green cathedral.

Bordering the croquet lawn, are found two European Beeches and another Chestnut. Pink and White Dogwoods decorate the main lawn, and behind the house, towering 120 feet into the sky, is a Redwood, Sequoia gigantea. Throughout the garden are superb life-size figure sculptures in bronze, and be sure to see the magnificent Peacock Fountain, the only one of its kind in this country (another decorates a courtyard in a Middle Eastern palace.) Close to the house is a Walled Garden. You enter through a 15th century Spanish doorway, with its Hand of Salamanca knocker. Or you can peek through one of the rejas (Spanish iron-barred windows) set in sandstone to green grass, a Wisteria arbour, a thriving herbaceous border, combining Australian and European perennials, and a handsome ornamental pond. More than 10,000 daffodils are planted in the garden, over 4,000 bluebells, 4,000 hyacinths and more than 300 rhododendrons and azaleas. The garden is at its best during Spring and Autumn, but is a green and tranquil oasis at any time of the year.

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