Monday, March 15, 2010

'Currawong' - Come for a walk with me around this beautiful old property

My first visit to 'Currawong' was over ten years ago when the original owners were having a huge auction and clearing sale. It was filled with farmers bidding on machinery & tractors and hundreds antique dealers and collectors busily packing their cars with treasures. Andrew and I went up for the day and I remember walking around thinking to myself this is such a wonderful old place, it just needs someone clever to buy it and bring it back to life. It was quite rundown and definitely worn out, but had all the right elements for a great place to live. Then along came two friends of ours, Al & Lyn Bailey who have quietly over the last decade transformed this property into a magnificent home & garden and made it one of the Southern Highlands most desired homes.

I can't imagine that there isn't anyone that doesn't look up to 'Currawong' when they drive by on the country road. I always do! the house looks so peaceful sitting up on the hill and I love the way it nestles into the surrounding countryside. Lyn and Al have been planting & growing hundreds and hundreds of olive trees and making their own olive oil to sell. They have also beautifully landscaped the old gardens and added a large new wing to the home and renovated the old part of the house.

'Currawong' was built in the 1920's and if you have ever visited an old Australian property or station you would know of the energy in the air that lives in these places that can only come from years and years of farming & history. 'Currawong' definitely has it, with the very long white driveway that leads up to the house and around past the original cattle yards to the old sheds. You really do feel like you're way outback somewhere in Australia. As you all know I love spending time photographing the beautiful gardens of the Southern Highlands where I live and this is one home that I really wanted to share with you.

I love the beautiful whites and blue/greys that Lyn and Al have used everywhere around the home, it's soft and calming. Lyn said that the colour is a favourite of hers and she even had her bridesmaid dresses made in the same colour for their wedding. The soft grey concrete walkway around the house is really quite clever and randomly positioned and is made from the original old pathway that the previous owner had laid from the house up the hill so his feet didn't get wet while he went on his daily walks. Lyn and Al dug up the old pathway and brought it down the hill piece by piece to reset around the house. There are huge, beautiful trees around the house that give perfect shade through summer and they have planted masses and masses of blue Agapanthus flowers which line the gardens, the entrance and around the tennis court.

It is still a working farm after all, but a Southern Highlands style farm, which means there are beautiful views in every direction. Both Lyn and Al have cleverly modernised 'Currawong' without taking away the wonderful old history of the place. It's time to move on and find another place, "just like this one, but smaller" said Lyn. We both love 'Currawong' and we love our olive trees and this year's pick will be amazing as we have had so much rain. They pick their olives in May and hopefully they might win another medal for the oil. Lyn and Al's olive oil has won two gold and many others at the National Show in Canberra.

View from the living room across the pool to the front paddocks of the property and below the long driveway up to the house.

Thanks for visiting me today and I wish you all a wonderful week ahead, the weather is changing fast here and I have been busy photographing the last of the Hydrangeas and the gardens for the season. Where has this year gone, can you believe we are already in the middle of March, does anyone have any secrets on how to slow things down a little ?.

xx Coty

If you would like to contact Lyn and Al Bailey to talk about their farm or their beautiful home you can email them on or you can just leave me a message and I would be delighted to pass it on to them.

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Also welcome to everyone from Susan's Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer You should drop over to Susan's blog and see some 'very green' St Patrick's Day celebrations
Happy St Patrick's Day