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Walk and Talk AIH Southern Highlands

May 4 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

10am Guided tour with head gardener starting at 10.30am to 11.30am free to roam the grounds and art gallery afterward. (Please note that the garden opens at 10am)


Cost: $30.00



10.00am  Arrive and have informal morning tea at the pop up tea rooms, there will be some home-made treats (not included in cost).

10.30am  Rick Shepherd (Head Gardener) will meet group at tearooms.

10.30am-11.30 am  Tour of garden with Head Gardener.

11.30am  Free to further explore the garden. The National Trust shop will be open, the gallery will have an exhibition of paintings by Penny McManus, the tea rooms will be open and the grounds are a great spot for a picnic lunch.


Join Retford Park Head Gardener, Rick Shepherd on an exclusive tour of this National Trust property in which he will give insights into the challenges faced in maintaining the integrity of this historic property. Rick’s responsibilities include nurturing James Fairfax’s vision for the garden as it grows and matures, while embracing the latter’s great love of art and design.


Retford Park was gifted to the National Trust by James Fairfax AC IN 2016. Retford Park is a place of great heritage significance. Its European history extends back to grants of land promised to Edward Riley senior by Governor Macquarie in 1821.


The house was built in 1887 by Samuel Hordern (1849-1909) merchant and stockbreeder, and his wife Jane nee Booth. The house at Retford Park (designed by Albert Bond) is set on a low rise, a grand rendered brick Italianate style residence. It was in 1964 that James Fairfax bought the property and started to turn it from an agricultural property to a gentleman’s residence.


Having been in the caring hands of Mr Fairfax for over 50 years, the garden is a delight to wander through. As you venture up the driveway the grand Victorian Italianate homestead appears from a towering arboretum – a magnificent collection of evergreen and deciduous trees, some very rare and unique.


Surrounding the eastern side of the homestead is a patchwork of hedged gardens showcasing everything from a detailed knot garden, exquisite swimming pool and pavilion, sculptures demanding centre stage and even a friendly family of four emus.





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May 4
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Event Category:


Patrick Regnault RH 0062 MAIH (Australian Institute of Horticulture)
0408 429 646


CPD Points Available


Retford Park
1325 Old South Road
Bowral, NSW 2576 Australia
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