Time to go home…

After 4 busy and interesting days it is time to go home. But before I left I went round to look at the back garden. Oh dear what a disappointment, it was definitely the least impressive feature of this otherwise glorious mansion. After all the attention to detail inside the house, the garden was a sad and neglected relic of what once could have been a splendid Victorian showcase.

In the 1880’s John Reid entered into federal politics and had visions of being Prime Minister as Tenterfield was being considered, amongst other towns, for the capital of Australia, so he had dreams of Stannum House becoming the government house. This didn’t eventuate but Stannum House became the centre of Tenterfield society. A place to play games of tennis followed by afternoon tea and tiffin with the elite of the area. Ladies in crinolines fanning themselves to keep cool as they sat under the trees. The perfume of roses wafting through the air. Maybe children running around.

Can you visualise these scenes?

But look at it now…

sad garden-4_4372x3756A testimony to the determination of roses to survive. The grass withering in the heat and lack of any rain for months.sad garden-2_3888x5184This marble lady once the centre of a perennial border. I see Agapanthus seed heads valiantly trying to procreate.sad garden-3_3562x4354A row of Grecian urns lined up along the side of the tennis courts gallantly reflecting the sun.

This intimate seating maybe once draped with climbing roses or jasmine spreading its scent around.sad garden-1_5184x3888Can you imagine this garden cared for and watered, green grass and shrubs and flowers in profusion. Back then there would be no plastic bags blowing around.sad garden-6_5184x3888No piles of rubbish accumulating in corners.

In a way I wish I hadn’t seen the garden. But gardens take a lot of hard work, especially in this climate, and obviously the house takes a lot of running. Maybe they should ask for volunteers, those armies of willing and dedicated keen gardeners, to restore it.

But I can’t let this be your last view of Tenterfield. So as we left town I stopped to have my last look at leaves and fill my memory card with these visions of autumn splendour.

stanthorpe pc 005_3000x4000

As we leave town the temperatures are forecast to plummet, tomorrow winter is arriving. We will be back in our sub tropical climate by then.

But there is one more delightful surprise waiting for us 160 kilometres along the road…



  1. Pauline, you are such a tease!
    But what a lovely visit you’ve shared with us, and I’m trying to keep those gorgeous autumnal colours in mind, as we face a very hot & humid summer up here… Thank you!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How sad that the garden is so abandoned. It might have been simple originally though. When I see old pictures of the gardens of the Winchester House and other old homes from that time, they were somewhat simple, and actually simpler than they are now. There is more in those gardens now than there ever was. Perhaps homes there were landscaped more responsibly to adapt to the climate.

    Liked by 1 person

      • That is how it was here. The first plants to be imported were utilitarian plants. When ornamentals started to arrive, they were not as pretty as those that are now available, and had to be tough. That is how the Acacia dealbata, the various brooms and pampas grass got here. Now we can not get rid of them! Perhaps the gardens there were somewhat basic, and the plants were not determined to be a priority like the house is. It looks like a relatively small area that could be a garden again in the future, hopefully with historically correct species.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The garden has some lovely elements, and potential. Perhaps they’ll read your blog and put out an SOS for gardener volunteers.

    The Autumn colors are magnificent! I loved that lane lined with the trees in their orange, red, and golden splendor! WOW!

    Looking forward to what’s down the road.

    Liked by 1 person

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