WELCOME TO COTY FARQUHAR'S STYING GARDENS IN THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS OF NSW AUSTRALIA

My garden blog filled with beautiful flowers and trees, seasonal fruits and vegetables, clever ideas and tips and just wonderful gardens. Like so many I adore gardens, however I am not a garden expert, this garden blog is purely for pleasure showcasing beautiful gardens that I am lucky to explore. I would like to share with you a small part of my life living through each season in many lovely gardens in the Southern Highlands and country areas of NSW, Australia

"Willowvale" - My sister's beautiful home

About ten years ago my sister Caroline and my brother-in-law Mike found this wonderful old 1880's sandstone home called "Willowvale" in the N.S.W countryside just past the Blue Mountains in Australia. It it was to be their little bit of country, a place to get away from the City on weekends and holidays with their four children.

We were all so excited for them when they found it and I couldn't believe how beautiful it was when I first saw it. It became a wonderful place for all our families and children to spend some of their holidays together. My two children learnt to ride motorbikes and drive a Ute around the paddocks, and yes, there were a few little accidents around the farm. Caroline, who is the only one in my family with a 'green thumb' was aways gardening and has created a wonderful garden and planted some gorgeous trees around the farm.

The only thing missing from all these images are all our children playing everywhere, on bikes, playing tennis, swimming and just running around, it is a perfect playground for children.

Visiting them over the years we have watched the place change. We have been there through many different seasons and my very favourite...spring... it is absolutely delightful with bulbs and blossoms everywhere. I spent many holidays helping Caroline decorate and re-arrange the furniture around the home.

After a day to settle in, Caroline would say, o.k. Coty what should I do with this room. I was thinking.......... and a couple of days later we would have together totally re-arranged the entire house.

With lot's of muscle, lot's of fun and laughter and some crazy ideas and the odd glass of wine and you can create anything.

Caroline would call Mike before leaving Sydney and say, Coty wondered if you could just fit a couple of chairs and a lamp in the car to bring up to the farm tonight, she needs them in the sitting room. Mike was always so gracious and would fit them in somehow.

Winter, the willows are bare

While I was helping Caroline, Andrew (my husband) was helping Michael set up his own woodworking workshop in the old barn. Andrew didn't really get much of a chance to relax under the willow tree when ever he came away to "Willowvale" (he never does) as there was always something that Mike and Caroline had planned around the house to do and Andrew was always delighted to join in and help. Timber plate racks, woodwork repairs on furniture and around the house and many other things that boys find to do in the workshop. They spent hours and hours in Mike's workshop and the kids just loved visiting them and seeing what they were up to.

My darling Andrew is always in demand when he arrives somewhere. He just loves to get in and help and he is so good at it (except around our house). A couple of weeks ago he did the most amazing job pruning all the hedges at my parents home. He doesn't really mind as long as he is near me of course (ha ha) and all the family. I raked the grass and made coffee and breakfast while he shaped a perfect hedge, it was something different to do and I know he loved doing it.

Caroline and Mike transformed a little two story timber cottage on the farm (below) into a gorgeous little guest house as well as there was always lots of visitors to sleep. It has a lovely little loft area upstairs and the main bedroom downstairs with a beautiful view across the tennis court to the hills. This was perfect for the families with little babies and for very tired parents who needed to escape from the main house for an afternoon nap.
"Willowvale" countryside is very different to the Southern Highlands where I live, both beautiful, both quiet and both filled with stars at night time. I'm not sure what it is about their farm, it must be the history of this property, it is filled with a wonderful Australian style energy and charm that I am so glad I had the opportunity to be a part of.

Sadly Caroline and Mike have decided to sell "Willowvale" and put it on the market, so I thought before it goes I would show you this beauty in the country before someone else buys it and moves in. My only wish... that if they ever go looking for another farm they come down near us in the Highlands, we would just love to see them more.

Thanks Mike and Caroline for all the fun times we had at "Willowvale" we will all miss it, but no where near as much as you will, we know you loved it so. You added so many lovely touches to to this beautiful place.

To see more about the sale of "Willowvale" click here....

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Welcome to everyone from Susan's outdoors Wednesday Party at A Southern Daydreamer

16 comments:

  1. A wonderful home! Like in a fairytale. Is it true that summer is comming your way? We are on the first steps to winter, soon the snow will cover our land and indoor living will be the prefered way to spend our afternoons. We also have very short days now, in summer we have daylight all 24 hours, in winter maybe if we are lucky only 2 in the middle of the day..

    Anyway, wonderful blogging from you for us to enjoy!

    Britt

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  2. Hi Coty
    What an amazing place. It must be hard for your sister to let it go, so many wonderful memories. Although I imagine it is a lot of hard work.

    I have been thinking all day today of finding my own little cottage. Smaller than this, but with the same feel of relaxation. Your post just makes my yearning greater.

    Have a great week ... Julie

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  3. What a lovely property! Really enjoyed seeing these photos of it.

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  4. Coty, I only know of things Australian through films and blogs of friends made recently (since I began blogging earlier this year), but one thing seems to stick in my mind about homes there... the large beautiful verandas, and your sister's home in NSW is a fitting example of such! Here in the US, we also have those black cows with white middles, and my children always called them "oreo cows" ...because they remind us of Oreo cookies (I believe called "biscuits" there?) Your sister's home is such a beautiful place. Thank you for the wonderful tour~ xx Vicki

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  5. Oh, how very beautiful your sister's home is! I am just amazed at all the glorious beauty surrounding her. I came to Australia way back in the early 80s and stayed mostly in Sydney. I would have loved to have seen some of this gorgeous countryside. Thank you and thank your sister for sharing and making me just a little bit jealous! ;)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  6. SO beautiful!My husband is from NSW and we've been to the Blue Mountains, so peaceful & serene.

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  7. Hi Coty

    Thank you so much for showing us these beautiful photos - your sister's house is everything I think a house in the Australian countryside should be! Let's hope the next owners love and appreciate this gorgeous place as much as your sister and her family have. Leigh

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  8. What a wonderful place for a respite. I know you are all going to miss it. Hopefully, someone else with young children will buy it, and it will be enjoyed by the new family as much as it has been by your family. laurie

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  9. Coty,
    I read your story this morning and did not want to let the day slip away without saying hello. Caroline & Mike's place is really special. Even though they are moving on, they will always have the memories of family coming together on those beautiful rolling hills. I would love to do a watercolor of it!
    xoxo Lisa

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  10. Very pretty surroundings.


    My Outdoor Wednesday is a "Lethal Beauty". Come by and see if you will....

    Click HERE

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  11. Marvelous photographs, great job!

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  12. absolutely beautiful place...your sister and brother in-law are lucky to have this beautiful home. your photos are fabulous!

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  13. What a pretty place - thanks for sharing.

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  14. Fantastic photographs of your sister and brother-in-law's beautiful home! It must be difficult to say goodbye to such a beautiful place with so many memories. I agree, hopefully it will embrace another family and provide them with many years of happiness and fond memories.

    Thank you for sharing it with us.

    ~ Tracy

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  15. Oh My My we need BIG BOOKS, WALL PAPER, BILLBOARDS, EVERYWHERE OF YOUR WORK.. YOUR PICTURES ARE TOTAL HEAVEN AND YOUR SISITER & BROTHER IN LAWS HOME IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOMES EVER!!!! IT SHOULD BE IN VICTORA NAGAZINE... HURRY WE NEED YOUR BOOKS HERE IN THE STATES!!! O.K. NOW THAT I GOT THAT OFF MY CHEST HOW ARE YOU BEAUTIFUL LADY!!!! HOPE LIFE IS TREATING YOU GREAT!!! XOOXOLAURA

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Old country gardens, wonderful stonework, beautiful old trees and new buds. Ponds full of fish and floating flowers.

Wonderful colours and shapes throughout the season, gardens filled with blooms, gardens filled with colour.

Seasonal blooms, flower work, inspiring garden designs, fields full of flowers that makes person like me what to go and pick every single flower and fill lots of old baskets.

Some of my artwork, I love to paint flowers and gardens and I always paint on huge canvases, this painting I worked with charcoal and paint.

Lots and lots of interesting ideas and images throughout each season.

Great garden tools, clever gardening tips and links to makers of fine tools