Anne & Graham Hesse arranged the visit, we are all members of the Australian Garden History Society. When Barbara and I first visited Clarendon, south of Evandale four years ago the folk at the National Trust there told us not to miss the garden at Old Wesleydale, to see their recently restored C 1831 barn and take in the exotic parrots – the laid hedges – the colonial accommodation – and the genial hosts, Deborah and Scott Wilson. It turns out that our friend, Warwick Oakman the architectural historian and antique dealer assisted with the barn’s refurbishment and we also noticed items of colonial interest there which we know came from our friend, Claire Pearce and her well-remembered (now closed) antique shop called Plume in Campbelltown. Holly Kerr Forsyth in the Gardening section of the Weekend Australian also gave the place a well-deserved plug – click here.

Also present were Anne’s sister & her partner; Lyn & Rob Robson – our pals from Avoca in Tasmania and Mackay in Queensland – and our great mates from Ipswich, Queensland and Woodbury in Tasmania; Alan & Linda Cooper. Here’s my larger stitched image of the topiary hedge with the Ha-Ha in the background that Scott hasn’t quite completed as yet – click here.

At Alan’s suggestion we all continued down the Mole Creek road to call on John B. Hawkins, (also affectionally known as Lord Chudleigh) who gave the party entré to walk around and photograph his massive estate called Bentley. No photos allowed to be published though . . . although I did shoot and stitch together 4 shots into the one great expansive image.

Footnote: We have three of John’s published works in the library – his early 1975 first edition on ‘Thomas Cole and Victorian Clockmaking’- his two volume, Antique Collectors Club boxed-set on ‘Nineteenth Century Australian Silver’ and his 2007 paper published in Australiana; ‘A suggested History of Tasmanian Aboriginal Kangaroo Skin or Sinew, Human Bone, Shell, Feather, Appleseed and Wombat Necklaces’. There is currently a disquiet within the palawa – Tasmanian Aboriginal community in regard to some of the ideas presented in this paper though . . . read and download by clicking here.