At the centre of a mixed farming enterprise, Mayfield Garden at Oberon, NSW, is one of the largest privately owned gardens in the Southern Hemisphere.

Story and photos Ken Eastwood

It’s a crazy carnival of colour. The rich burgundy of Japanese maples reflects off waterways where waterlilies shine like pink stars in a dark sky. White-trunked birch trees stand over a festive assortment of purple hostas and other blooms that collectively cover the complete colour spectrum. Fat Cunningham’s skinks scurry off the wide gravel paths into bluestone walls and frogs croak around the crimson Japanese bridge.

Elsewhere, clipped pines stand on parade beside fountains, open amphitheaters and a chapel. Duck through a rock nook in the massed hydrangeas and you’ll come across a giant chess set. Follow the regal avenue of London plane trees to Canberra-type views of an obelisk and stone cathedral in perfect alignment. Discover a hidden weeping tree made out of copper, get lost in a 1.4-kilometre box hedge maze or marvel at a walk-through stumpery.

This is the extraordinary Mayfield Gardens at Oberon, NSW, one of the largest privately owned gardens in the Southern Hemisphere. The 75 hectares of ornate, formal, European-style cold-climate gardens are at the centre of the 2500ha Mayfield property, which was established in 1984 and is home to some 9000 head of sheep and 2000 cattle.

This story excerpt is from Issue #125

Outback Magazine: June/July 2019