Christopher Owen

About Christopher Owen

Born and raised in Sydney and trained as a horticulturist at Swanes Nursery, I later went on to work as a landscaper and gardener for Spirit Level and Myles Baldwin and spent a special three years as head gardener at Bronte House before dropping out of design school and starting my own garden design practice working from a little office in Surry Hills. Catherine has allowed me on board the GardenDrum bus, which is exciting for me, and I promise I will do my best to keep the grouchiness to a minimum.

Poking about in ‘The Potting Shed’, Bowral

I had one of those lovely discoveries on the weekend. And social media made it seem all the more serendipitous. I had been befriended a couple of days earlier via Instagram by the ‘The Potting Shed’ in Bowral but, as is often the case with social media, that knowledge existed in one part of my brain but not in my reality, until I found myself two days later in the village of Burrawang for a feast thrown by some friends of mine. The following day, after a short sleep in an anonymous motel in Bowral, Continue reading

Review – Musk Cottage

If the Garden Vineyard is a considered and masterful performance that builds on the history of garden making then Musk Cottage is marching to its own beat. The word that comes to mind here is swagger. It’s self-conscious but it struts! It’s loose at the edges but it wants to be. I could almost see Keith Richards lounging on the vast deck with an acoustic guitar and a beer. Continue reading

Garden DesignFest: 2 Robert Boyle gardens

I love my wife. After a very average Saturday hanging around home, and about half an hour before she was due to start work, I suggested we shoot down to Melbourne for the 2014 Garden DesignFest. I have promised that I wouldn’t make these rash proposals anymore as we inevitably pay through the nose for last minute hotel bookings and travel – but we always have fun. “Well let’s decide now in case I have to pack a bag at midnight!” she said, and by 9.00am we were hurtling out of Melbourne airport with our sights set on the Mornington Peninsula. Continue reading

A garden with a hidden spirit

I know you all will have discussed the marvellous ‘Hidden’ festival but I thought I’d review one garden in particular, the Bondi nest of Spirit Level Design’s director, Hugh Main. This was my favourite garden of those I visited but I should say from the outset that Hugh is a friend and mentor and I worked with the Spirit Level team ten years ago. Continue reading

Garden design, from the outside in

Have you noticed, sometimes, those who come in from the outside often have a big impact on a school of thought or a profession? Garden design is an area full of great examples.

The first person that comes to mind is Nicole De Vésian and her iconic garden in the south of France. De Vésian spent her life in the world of fashion as a fabric designer and the last chapter of her career with one of the world’s most famous labels, Hermès. Continue reading