When the Thompsons first visited the Mt Wilson property that was to become their home in the NSW Blue Mountains, their responses could not have been more opposite. Beverley saw a block that was bare except for marauding masses of blackberries, bracken, thornbush and native undergrowth.


Graham saw only great potential to create the landscape of his dreams, a sentiment reminiscent of one of his garden heroes, 18th-century English landscape architect Lancelot “Capability” Brown. Thirty years down the track, it’s hard to imagine that the four-hectare showpiece garden inspired by the sweeping lawns and water features of English country parks was not always so. “Initially Beverley thought I was out of my mind,” Graham says. “At first I probably was as it took us four years to clear the land and build the homestead. The only plants remaining were the towering gums and ferns, which are protected by conservation orders for being native to the surrounding Blue Mountains National Park.”





During his long career in manufacturing, Graham had spent many weekends while travelling for work visiting both public and private gardens in the UK, Europe and Asia. When he ventured into private consultancy, Beverley was able to accompany him and together they developed a clear vision of the type of garden they wanted to create. “From the outset we knew we didn’t want a fussy garden,” Beverley says. “We are both fans of Gertrude Jekyll and Sir Edwin Lutyens, so we wanted to achieve expanses rather than vignettes.”



The first of hundreds of rhododendrons and azaleas went in along the northern boundary in 1984. Feature trees including cherries, magnolias, dogwoods and maples were added to give filtered sunlight. The Thompsons then added an entry avenue of alternate plantings of tulip trees and liquidambars. To soften the driveway, a curved garden bed of small to medium rhododendrons was established along with a canopy planting of spring flowering trees. Two natural rock gardens were created where the rocks were too numerous or large to move. In spring, masses of bulbs — mainly bluebells and daffodils — carpet the ground and add interest before the deciduous trees burst into leaf.



The complete story was originally published in Australian Country issue 16.2. Click here to subscribe to our magazine.

Click here for more home and interior stories.

Words Kirsty McKenzie
Photography Ken Brass

More Like This

Douglas Blain

The Extraordinary Journey of Douglas Blain: Preserving the Past with Passion

Douglas Blain’s remarkable life has been devoted to rescuing old buildings and turning them into boutique hotels.

Outback Aussie Tours

Exploring Queensland’s Heartland with Outback Aussie Tours

Alan and Sue Smith, owners of Outback Aussie Tours have been showing Australian Country around the paddocks of Rosebank station.

Montville Mist Springwater

The Collins’ Montville Mist Springwater Success

Alli and Peter Collins juggle raising a family and running, Montville Mist Springwater from their home in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Paper Pocket Australiana

Our Top 10 Favourite Calendars and Diaries to Kick Start Your 2024

Discover Australia’s favourite range of 2024 Calendars and Diaries from Paper Pocket. Keep track of your year, organise your appointments, plan your […]

Date & Ginger Bundt Cake

Date & Ginger Bundt Cake Recipe

This date and ginger bundt cake is an adaptation of my mum’s much-loved sticky date pudding recipe.

Move to Myanbah

From Corporate Careers to Country Living: A Family’s Move to Myanbah

Jess and Hamish Webb embarked on a move to Myanbah to raise their three young children in a restored 19th-century homestead.

Tasmanian Family Farm

A Tasmanian Family Farm Built within Generations

Seven generations of the Medwin family have farmed at Black River, Tasmania. Phil and Fiona Medwin are ensuring the tradition continues.

Family business

A Sheep Farm Business Turning Whey into Spirits and More

This Tasmanian-based family has turned their common family business model on its head in pursuit of their values.

Follow Us on Instagram