6 min read

Hand of the gardener

Hand of the gardener
Spires of acanthus flowers emerge from behind the Escallonia iveyi hedge in this richly layered area of the garden, with oakleaf hydrangeas and clipped Spiraea topiary balls filling the bed in front. Photography Brigid Arnott.
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At once relaxed and formal, this New England garden is an evolving space of scale and style.

ONE of the things I love about country gardens is the way they reflect their inhabitants. They’re a portal to under­standing a person, a fast track to knowing what’s important to them. Whether they intend it or not, in a country garden, the impression of the gardener is everywhere. 

Brandon, the home of Fiona and Andrew McIntosh in the town of Glen Innes in the New South Wales Northern Tablelands, is a glorious example of a place that has evolved in conversation with its inhabitants. Developed over three decades, the garden is a masterpiece of scale and space, style and quality, repetition and symmetry. Spanning almost four of the 20 acres of this property on the outskirts of the town, the gardens feature sprawling terraced lawns, stone staircases and tightly clipped lines of silverberry (Elaeagnus x ebbingei), Lonicera nitida and Ligustrum ovalifolium. Towering trees—oaks, maples and poplars—provide dappled shade for mass plantings of oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia), acan­thus, hellebore and agapanthus, and, in spring, swathes of blooms appear in the form of flowering ornamental pears, climbing roses and Spanish blue­bells (Hyacinthoides hispanica). 

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