The first settlers arrived in the district in the 1820s. Garden tools were part of their essential tool kit, together with axes to clear the land of large trees. Making new gardens came at the loss of nature's original garden. Early settlers used the size of native trees as a guide to the fertility of the soils and the availability of water.

Endsleigh House, Joseph Moulder's second home built in 1859, and the oldest home in Orange. His son C.R.H. Moulder recalled the garden at Endsleigh House...
Surrounding the whole, gardens and lawns were kept emaculate by a man named Kendall who did nothing else but care for the hedges of Hawthorn and Box trees, single May and Dolly trees which stood about the grounds, cut to resemble a lady in a long dress, and when the May was in flower these dolly trees looked like ghostly figures... The total length of Hawthorn, Privot, and Box and Rose hedges must have been about two miles.
Image courtesy: Rob Bartlett

Distance and rudimentary transport meant that growing food was a priority. Basic gardens were established around the first huts, which were typically enclosed by rough wooden palings to keep out stock and native animals.

John Hood admired the garden at Boree Nyrang on his visit in 1841:

The garden here is large, and lies before and on either side of the cottage... In this garden, by the side of potatoes and cabbages, grow the grape, the pine, the pumpkin, and the melon, unprotected by any glass frames, and needing less care than the vegetables I have named. There is also a noble gum tree that I shall ever remember; it is, I think, a yellow gum, and the largest specimen I have yet seen of this monarch of Australia's woods; it measures about thirty-four feet in circumference...

Windbreaks were a priority in the first gardens. Pine, hawthorn and privet proved most successful. Cornishman George Hawke, who settled at Byng in the early 1840s, propagated and distributed the seedling haws. They still mark the boundaries of early orchards and line the roads and fences of the district.