From the available evidence Bundanon Homestead, completed in 1866, was constructed using well detailed machine sawn timber in the roof, floors and ceilings. Machine sawn hardwood joists are visible below the stairs while the wide boards of the cedar ceilings downstairs show large diameter machine saw marks in some places.
The original orchard and vegetable garden were located to the north east of the homestead, between the ridge line and the 1870s constructed dam. The orchard was producing fruit including loquats for those living at Bundanon and neighbouring land holders into the late 1880s. The introduction of coral trees to the landscape dates from 1950 at the earliest.
During the late 1920s the property appears to have changed slowly. Changes were limited to removal of one of the early slab sheds at the stockyards and the addition of new sheds on the ‘common’.
Cottage & Sculpture Garden
A formal garden behind the house, but the rest, including an artificial lake, has a completely natural look. – John Mortimer, Vogue Living, 1977
The nineteenth century garden was a productive working garden that sustained the families who lived and worked at Bundanon.
Significant changes to the garden occurred under the ownership of the McGraths and McDonald in the 1960s and 70s, further enforcing the transition of the property from farm to retreat.
Guided by English garden designer John Codrington they established the cottage garden, planted wisteria and ornamental grape in the kitchen courtyard area and mass planted Robinias to create a park-like feeling running down to the dam, which they enlarged. An island was added to protect the ducks and Weeping Willows planted along the edge.
During this period fast growing deciduous trees, including American and Lombardy Poplars and Weeping Willows were added to the palette of plants in the garden providing a quick impact.
The cottage/sculpture garden to the west of the house is enclosed by Cherry Laurel and Chinese Holly and was designed to reflect the traditional walled gardens of England. The hedges provide separation of the sculpture garden from the surrounding parkland area, which in turn provides separation from the bush.
In 2008 Bundanon commissioned a Landscape Plan of Management (completed in 2011) for the garden which provides guidance for the care of this organic, changing, piece of our heritage.