Glenrock Gardens, near Tenterfield in northern NSW, is still growing and changing.

Story + Photos Don Fuchs

When Annie and Chris Jones sit at the large wooden table on the paved terrace in front of their home, their view over the garden is dominated by a stately cabbage gum. “This eucalyptus amplifolia in the middle of the terrace area is the underlying central feature. It underpins the whole garden,” Annie says. 

Past the gum, the garden spills down a terraced slope to a chain of ponds in a natural gully, with the main one featuring a fountain that is Chris’s favourite spot. “Water has an element about it that is calming,” he says. “When it’s very hot, of course, it’s cool here, and in winter, when it’s cold, you see the fog rising from the water.” Willow trees frame the ponds, irises adorn their banks and periwinkle carpets stretch under mature trees. In spring, white and maroon hellebores are among the first plants to flower here.

Sitting at an altitude of about 850m, near the NSW town of Tenterfield, this high-country garden is subject to sometimes quite harsh climatic conditions.

“Glenrock Gardens is very much an English-style garden – lots of dry-stone walls and hedging,” Annie says. “When the garden was first designed, natives were tried here, but because there was no depth of maturity of trees at that point, the natives couldn’t handle the cold or the frost. So they were replaced with English-style perennial shrubs and trees.” 

This story excerpt is from Issue #137

Outback Magazine: June/July 2021