Australian Country Homes December Issue#1 2017

Australian Country Homes celebrates the warmth of the country aesthetic. We open the doors to some of Australia’s most interesting homes and see the enviable everyday lives of those who have made the move to a calmer, more welcoming and personally enriched way of living. Brought to you by Australian Country magazine, this new quarterly publication showcases the best of Australian country residences; from the weekender to the station homestead, the farmhouse to the historical home. Australian Country Homes covers the length and breadth of Australia. In every edition of Australian Country Homes you will see inspiring ideas from real Aussies on real budgets just getting out there and creating wonderfully warm environments. You will also experience rare glimpses into the families and businesses behind some of Australia’s most desirable lifestyles. Tour the styles, the plans, and the self-made touches that create a welcoming country home.

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1 min

As the British horticulturalist Gertrude Jekyll observed “the love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies”. So it is with the love of country in all its diversity. From the grand country estates and sprawling homesteads that only an accident of birth can provide to the charming and cosy cottages that are furnished on the smell of an oily rag and with an astute eye on op shop windows and roadside collection points, the country home is a varied canvas upon which to make a mark. However, the element that ties them all together is usually the garden. Whether it’s a sprawling park-like expanse, a kitchen garden packed with fruit and veg to nourish its owners or a charmingly haphazard collection of cottage flowers and plants, the…

6 min
classic revival

First impressions count. And sometimes, first impressions linger in the heart and mind, and trigger one of those life-changing moments upon which Hollywood thrives. In 1989, garden design consultant Barbara Landsberg fell in love at first sight with an enchanting historic estate in the Blue Mountains. Her friend was visiting from England, and they set out from Sydney together to visit the friend’s relatives, Helen and Gary Ghent, at Withycombe in Mount Wilson. “We drove up to Withycombe in the wind and rain in my old Toyota Corolla, worried that we would not make it up the mountain,” Barbara recalls. “We got lost on our way and arrived very late in the dark, to be greeted with the lights of the house shining out through the dark and rain. Helen opened…

5 min
character study

In a previous life Natalie Holt was living in Sydney and had a successful career as the sales and marketing manager for Avon Australia. Then she chucked it all in for a tree change, migrating to the NSW North Coast. She was lucky enough to land on her feet fairly quickly career-wise, and today is the sales manager for the iconic vintage-inspired bedding and clothing label, Lazybones. The next part of her dream took a little longer to turn into a reality; she wanted to buy an old house, move it to the town of Bangalow, strip it back and create the home of her dreams from scratch. With a lot of hard work, a good dollop of ingenuity and help from a loving family member, that’s exactly what she did. After…

5 min
a long rein

For most of her adult life Mary Hanna has dreamt of living in a place where she can walk outside in her pyjamas in the middle of the night and check on her horses. Now she’s living the dream at Statene Park, the property she shares on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula with her husband, Rob. The Hannas live at Statene Park, in a wonderful granite-clad homestead surrounded by lavender and roses. A Mediterranean-style courtyard at the rear of the house connects Mary to the stables, where the horses she breeds and trains are resident, and the indoor arena where she devotes long hours to her own, and other elite riders’, preparation for important equestrian events. “All the equestrian qualifications have to be done in Europe so there’s no way around it if you…

6 min
a colonial collage

There’s a painting hanging in the homestead at Brickendon that dates from 1833. It shows the view from what was then William Archer’s relatively new home to Woolmers, the farm his brother, Thomas, had established in 1817, when he became the first of four brothers to settle in the northeastern corner of Tasmania. The landscape is instantly recognisable today, as 184 years later the walkway that links the two homesteads is still intact, as are the hedgerows that fenced the property and the suspension bridge that spans the Macquarie River as it winds its way between the two historic farms. In 2010, the sibling properties gained World Heritage-listing for their significant place in Australian convict history. They became part of an elite list of 11 sites around Australia that includes Port…

6 min
tea, roses & rest

The garden on Heatherly was awash with roses when Georgie Leckie moved to her husband, Will’s, family property in Victoria. “Will’s mother had a passion for roses and after living here for 25 years, she left me a beautiful garden,” Georgie says. “I either had to run with it or decide that gardening wasn’t my thing and bring the fences in.” Motivated by touring Open Gardens Australia properties and taking inspiration from landscape designers such as Paul Bangay, Georgie and Will took the bit between their teeth and ploughed on. Buoyed by what had gone before, they are now writing their own chapter into the Heatherly history and the garden was just the beginning. Beyond the boundary fence, a shearing shed became a workshop, the sheep gave way to cattle, and…