Enjoy The House and Garden at Glenmore with designer Mickey Robertson »

Discover Landscape. Seasons. Memory. Home in country NSW

By Alison Ferry
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<i>The House and Garden at Glenmore</i> by Mickey Robertson

The House and Garden at Glenmore by Mickey Robertson [©Murdoch Books]


Lately as my daughter hits the terrible twos, I’ve been fantasizing more and more about getaways. As a diversion, I’ve been sinking into hobbies as much as possible. Glenmore is about an hour South of Sydney, which sounds like the perfect getaway distance.

Mickey Robertson – one of the owners of Glenmore – is an interior decorator and avid gardener. Her new book, The House and Garden at Glenmore gives us insight into the restoration of their beautiful NSW country estate.

At Glenmore, Mickey hosts Kitchen Gardening Days and Special Cooking Days, which are a wonderful combination of my two favourite pastimes. A child-free getaway – where I can absorb some cooking classes and appreciate some stunning garden design – sounds like heaven. I love my daughter but being a parent can be tiring (stories for another time!)

The cover of this book piqued my interest. I started reading and was sucked in by the first paragraph: I had to laugh as Mickey recalls being informed of her husband’s surprise purchase of the property, and him coming home to tell her. It reminded me of our own unexpected purchase at auction, my husband and I looking at each other quite stunned afterward, trying to figure out what to do next. We scrambled to transfer money for the deposit and contact our mortgage broker to see if we could get a loan; a bit backwards but it all worked out.

I have to admit I am a curious person. I like exploring my close friends’ pantries and looking in the drawers at Ikea. So it makes perfect sense that I enjoyed the layout of this book. Being taken room by room through the buildings and gardens was like a guided snoop.

Mickey Robertson has a great writing style, it flows and is friendly. She’s captured the romance of purchasing and doing up a property with history. I often go into a bit of a dream state when we drive past neglected old properties and muse over restoring them to their former glory. I love how she has explained aspects of why she added specific pieces into the interior design.

She has also taken note of textures and mixed the indoor colours with the palette of the gardens. The care and thought she has taken is admirable, for example the rustic hessian placemats are tastefully offset against the crisp white napkins.

Having just entered the world of sewing (yet another hobby) I am silently noting all the things I could make that appear in the Glenmore home. The sewing machine I bought recently is looking like a very wise investment by the time I finish the book.

Some of the furnishings seem a little heavy for my taste, perhaps too country, or because I am going through a minimalist longing at present. I like each room but feel as though I’d probably ditch a few pieces here and there.

The photography by Daniel Shipp draws me in and I want to be there, sitting under that 180-year-old peppercorn tree. I love gardens and while trying to get mine ‘right’, I’ve noticed I am craving a bigger scale. Something where a magnolia can be its full natural size. Glenmore’s grounds are big enough that everything looks balanced. Plants I didn’t like in my own yard, in Mickey’s garden look right. Again, I think it’s to do with scale. The thought I need a bigger yard is yet again reaffirmed. If I had room, the oyster plant Acanthus mollis would look very nice and not be the bane of my strawberry patch and lawn.

A garden enthusiast will appreciate that the feature plants in each picture are noted with their colloquial name(s) and the botanical name. A hint for garden enthusiasts, contact Glenmore House prior to visiting the garden and get a copy of their detailed garden notes.

Reading this book, jealousy quickly set in, hurriedly flipping through pages ranting to myself, “Of course she has an almond tree, an olive tree, a fig tree, hedges of rosemary”, then I think better of this fleeting emotion and move on to “this lady has perfect garden taste – she must be my friend. I’ve found my kindred garden twin.”

I would love to have a garden like any of the sections in Mickey’s. Did you get that subtle fact drop? In case you didn’t, her garden has sections, with names like: ‘The Park’, ‘The Elm Garden’ and ‘The Arc’. Feeling my envy yet? I guess I could do that on a micro scale.

Glenmore Kitchen Gardening Days sound wonderful. A day to learn and cook. The sample menus of what might be served all fresh from the garden make this even more of a must on my ‘to do’ list. In the meantime, I will have to make do with Fennel and Lemon Risotto with a Leaf and Petal Salad from her recipe section, and a decorative ice bowl which I know will make a close friend of mine very excited.


The House and Garden at Glenmore : Landscape. Seasons. Memory. Home by Mickey Robertson is published by Murdoch Books (Sydney, Australia, 2016; hc, 296pp) It is available where all good books are sold and retails in Australia for RRP A$59.99

The House and Garden at Glenmore can be purchased online via Booko here »

Read the media release under related articles below

Alison Ferry is a librarian who enjoys cooking, gardening and writing children’s stories. She has lived in Hobart for five years and is slowly acclimatising to the cold.



  • Southern Highlands (NSW)

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October 23rd, 2016
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