Warwick has some beautiful homes. The historic Laurels homestead in Locke Street has both a lovely home and extensive and interesting garden.

The Laurels takes its name from the Camphor Laurels that dominate the front part of the property and provide a cool oasis in summer and significant screening of noise from the nearby highway. Camphor laurels are certainly an environmental weed in some places but are valued highly at the Laurels.

The home was built around 1908 for Henry and Bertha Rowland and has subsequently been home to a number of families. The latest custodians are Bob and Stephanie Molony who elected for a treechange moving from Brisbane. They are in love with both the home and the people of Warwick since they made the big move. Stephanie remarked, “Everyone has been so helpful and made us feel right at home here in the country.”

The home and the garden have been reinvented a few times. In recent times, well-known local landscape designer Clint Kenny made his mark owning the property between 2009 and 2015 when it was purchased by Bob and Stephanie. In that time the series of garden rooms were created that continue to this day. The rooms divide the garden and this entices visitors to explore the one acre site to find the hidden corners. From the street, a formal entrance has a lovely water feature and tidy clipped privet hedges. This gives way to a formal vegetable and herb garden and many informal and rustic seating areas. A cottage style garden has been established on the western side of the home and a small dam and water feature in the lower part of the garden towards the rear. This part of the garden is home to a rather grand chicken house and run.

The garden is also home to a number of whimsical sculptures that are placed here and there throughout the garden. A wire chicken, a couple of lost sheep and a fence made from gardening tools all add to the charm.

A tangle of barbed wire conceals lighting for the evening and provides interest by day against the clearest of country blue skies. Concealed children’s areas and games complete a garden for people of all ages.

Stephanie and Bob are planning a series of changes to the garden and the occasional public opening or activity. For example, watercolour classes by renowned local artist Di Kelly use the studio on Tuesday mornings. The gardens were opened during Jumpers and Jazz in July to welcome visitors.

The atmosphere of the garden is relaxed, cool and green. Stephanie is enthusiastic about both the present and future. “I love being in the garden and see us as being on a journey where the garden is evolving as I learn more about what is here. I am growing plants now that I have never been able to grow in Brisbane such as clematis and bluebells and feel that I am learning all the time.”

It seems that the Laurels in Warwick is in good hands.