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“Barthaven”, 11 Blayney St Newbridge

The property, built as St Bartholomew’s Anglican church, was decommissioned and subsequently sold in 2011. Extensive building works followed in its conversion to a residence. These include the addition of front and rear verandahs, between which remain the walls of the church porch, a circular driveway and brick path. The foundation stone, dated 1938, can be seen beside these steps.

Around the time of renovation large pine trees on the east boundary were removed, the stumps of which can still be seen. Later some hedging to the east and south was planted to provide privacy screening. The current garden was laid out with a collection of specimen and fruit trees including olives, lemons and feijoas to which have been added a blueberry bush and pear tree. The low-fenced herb and vegetable garden is supplemented by two raised garden beds on the north of the building and one beside the dog pen and screened compost bins.

Other trees include pittosporum, maple, bottlebrush and magnolia, with a large liquidambar at the front of the property spectacular in every season.

In winter two daphne in the south-west garden flower prolifically, and a collection of hellebores thrive on the northern boundary. Camellias and azaleas brighten the autumn and winter months.

New plantings since 2020 include a Mr Lincoln red rose on the south-west fence, accompanied in that garden by a red crepe myrtle and perennial sunflowers. Banksia roses are growing on either side of the front steps and many tulip and daffodil bulbs have joined the many varieties of iris. With the replacement of the boundary fence on three sides came the motivation to cover it. Sweet peas scramble in the sunnier areas including on a frame built through an old iron cot. A white perennial sweet pea (sadly unscented) grows up the fence in the north-east corner. This is a work in progress with plantings of hydrangea, rhododendron and Japanese maple seedlings.

More recently, a fountain, stone bench and assorted large pots have been put in place to add interest and expand the sitting/viewing options across the seasons.

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