637 Harolds Cross Rd, Harolds Cross
Teresa Lindwall might almost be 80 but when it comes to gardening, she’s got the energy of someone half her age.
She and husband Jim bought their Harolds Cross property in 1980 and immediately set about clearing a two-acre house paddock, spending hours a day lugging rocks and digging out tussocks taller than Teresa.
In 1983 their home was completed and the garden well on the way to being established. Teresa opted for a layout that incorporates a network of pathways that promote meandering and which take advantage of the property’s incredible country views over grazing land and distant mountains.
Foundation trees were planted and with a young family, Teresa would choose a corner of the garden and make that her focus before moving on to the next section. Having a project is something that still gets her excited: she’s just bought an old farm gate and is deciding how to use it to best effect.
This is a garden created with love for a family that is now grown but which grandchildren now get to enjoy. Jim died 12 years ago and the garden holds many memories of him, including a forest pansy given to Teresa on his death and planted near Jim’s vegetable patch.
Her self-confessed favourites – rhododendrons and camellias – feature prominently throughout the garden, many of them two-storeys high after decades of attention.
There’s maples, crabapples, golden ash, smoke bush, weeping cherries, sycamore and an impressive oak tree grown from an acorn collected from the Goulburn park 30 years ago.
A Canadian redwood – one of the tallest species in the world – towers overhead in a sheltered spot and a Wollemi pine, which gets hit by frost, wind and scorching sun, is thriving at the front of the house despite the often harsh gardening conditions in this part of the world.
Divided into informal sections, the garden includes distinct vistas created for viewing from the home’s wrap-around verandas where Teresa spends a lot of time. There’s also a blue ‘room’ characterised by blue-hued plantings and the balustrades alongside the path’s steps.
Teresa says her love of gardening was inherited from her mother and an aunty who had a magnificent garden at Robertson, in the Southern Highlands.
While her tussock-taming days might be behind her, Teresa remains full of energy and ready to tackle the next project.