Milton Park’s world renowned garden was designed by the English School of Landscape and remains the only work undertaken outside of Europe by that esteemed academy.
Anthony Hordern travelled extensively and had the means, interest, knowledge & international contacts to collect many rare specimens of trees that were totally unknown in the Southern Hemisphere. Many remain the oldest of their species outside of Europe. They included Oaks, Elms, Beeches, Maples and Rhododendrons. In fact the three giant Weeping Beeches on the lawn to the North of the house are the oldest in Australia and 30 years older than similar specimens in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens.
The garden Anthony initially laid out was typically Edwardian with formal geometric beds and low clipped hedges, a series of garden rooms with carefully controlled vistas leading to various formal features. Viola Hordern died in 1929 and in 1932 Anthony married Mary Bullmore Packer. The garden today is largely due to her inspiration and vision.
Mary Hordern, who many guests of Milton Park still see visions of today, saw the Estate in a broader context in which formalised compartments and rigid delineation were out of place. She removed low hedges and redesigned the lawns into a series of gentle terraces culminating in either the Rose Parterre or Wisteria Arbor. She continued to import trees and shrubs and added a number of features including pools, waterfalls, pergolas and stone walks.
Mary committed few plans to paper and often used to have trees in full-bloom man-handled from point to point until the most appropriate final position became apparent.
In spring of 1948 the garden was opened to the public for the first time. This tradition has continued every spring up to present day.
Today, considered by many to be the greatest garden in Australia, Milton Park includes about 10,000 trees, rare varieties of shrubs and plants, a forest of 5,000 Cypresses & Pines, at least 200,000 Bulbs accompanied by 100,000 forget-me-nots, more than 100 Maples & rare Rhododendrons, over 50 Camellia, nearly 2,000 metres of Box hedging, 400 Rose Bushes, an Avenue of 40 Giant Elms and at every turn and vista, individual specimens of rarity, splendour and historic interest.