|Address: 7261 Illawarra Hwy, Sutton Forest|
|Owned by: Ken Cooper|
|This grand country house (circa 1890) was built by Christopher Bennett (1857–1917), Sydney newspaper proprietor. When the current owner and his late wife bought the property in 2004, they commissioned Howard Tanner to bring his expertise into the redesign. The house is set on 100-acres of prime grazing land at Sutton Forest and has five acres of gardens and lawns with magnificent old specimen trees. There are a further 15 acres of parkland featuring many original oaks and more plantings of deciduous trees. The adjoining vineyard was planted in 2007 with six hectares under vine.|
The brick gate lodge is the only building visible from the road—a striking building with its slate roof and Tudor-style battens.
One of the new additions to the garden is the walled vegetable garden with a central fountain and twelve garden beds. At the corner of this walled area is a completely restored glasshouse with the original metal parts but 21st century glass technology on the roof.
The garden has gently curving paths and beds—the wisteria walk curves round to the left of the central lawn. To the right is the curved armillary garden—so-called because placed in the centre is a beautiful spherical sundial hand-crafted in England by David Harber, the award-winning sculptor with an international reputation. Commissioned by the owners, this sundial was created specifically for the site in order for it to function accurately. There’s another of his sculptures by the lake to surprise and delight you.
In addition to the orchard, the garden abounds with beautiful shrubs and mature trees—magnolias, camellias, bunya pines, liquidambars (Liquidambar styraciflua) and maples. It’s one of the loveliest gardens in the Southern Highlands.