RHS Hampton Court

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show has become a real challenger to Chelsea, especially for innovative, unusual and conceptual gardens. While Chelsea is spectacular, its show gardens and artisan gardens are beautiful and exquisite rather than ‘out of the box’ and its gardens always in a cycle of spring flowering. Hampton Court in early July can showcase a completely different range of summer flowering plants. Continue reading

FAV 2015, Montpellier

The Festival des Architectures Vives each June in Montpellier, France, features the work of young architects, landscape architects and urban planners displayed throughout the Montpellier and nearby La Grande Motte. Of the 20 works on display in the FAV 2015 10th Edition, some were in open, public spaces, while others were tucked away inside usually private courtyard spaces, waiting to be discovered. Continue reading

The Beauty of Islam

The Beauty of Islam‘ garden by Al Barari at the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show was designed by Dubai-based landscape designer (and GardenDrum contributor) Kamelia bin Zaal. It was a first Chelsea garden for Kamelia, and won a Silver Gilt medal. Continue reading

Singapore orchids

Singapore Botanic Gardens drips orchids. Almost literally, as they hang from trees, spill from rocks and dance among colourful foliage. Everywhere you look, there’s another spectacular display, with every flower at its peak. Continue reading

Noelene & Ian’s rooftop

Looking out into Noelene and Ian’s rooftop garden makes me want to move in with them. Designed by Peter Nixon of Paradisus, a man who really knows his plants, this raised bed garden is finely worked symphony of colour, form and texture. Continue reading

Garden vistas

What’s the difference between a vista and a view? A view is what you see of the broader landscape or garden from a vantage point. A vista is a ‘framed view’ that accentuates its best qualities. By using plants and built structures to manage what you can see of the full view, you can make it appear much more appealing, hide any detracting bits, or make it seem further away. Even a very ordinary district outlook can look spectacular when you control how much of it is viewed from any angle. Continue reading

Walcott Garden

The Walcott’s garden in Canberra is a perfect example of how a large garden should be designed and planted. Big gardens need larger plants and bold, flowing shapes, as most of the plants and features are viewed from a distance of many metres. It’s quite different to designing a usual quarter acre (1000 sqm) block or a small garden, and it takes skill to both make it a visual feast at that distance but also interesting to stroll about and explore. Continue reading

Paul Bangay in Sydney

Until recently, Paul Bangay’s garden designs for the uber-rich were mostly found in the posh suburbs of Melbourne or Victorian country estates, including his own ‘Stonefields’ garden. In the past few years he has been doing a lot more work in Sydney and many of his designs can now be found through similarly wealthy Sydney suburbs like this garden in north shore Killara. Continue reading

Glenmore House

Glenmore House and garden is a charming collection of 1840s farm buildings surrounded by a working garden of vegetables, roses, herbs, perennials, scented shrubs and specimen and fruiting trees. It’s 25 years since Larry and Mickey Robertson discovered what was then a ramshackle and dilapidated property – it is now a unique historic country home. Continue reading

Burnley Living Roofs

Burnley College in Melbourne has long been the home of horticultural training in Victoria. Now part of the University of Melbourne’s School of Land and Environment, its old administration building is now a 500 square metre green roof laboratory designed by HASSELL Landscape architects. Continue reading

Musk Cottage

It was pouring with rain the day I got to see Musk Cottage as part of the Australian Landscape Conference tour. But it was such a wonderful garden, I couldn’t let that stop me sharing the photos with you – so please excuse the shiny paving and rain slanting across several of the shots. Since 2006 Musk Cottage has been the weekender garden of Rick Eckersley, of e-ga (Eckersley Garden Architecture). Continue reading

Lisa’s green garden

Lisa White has a large garden in Sydney’s north which she has developed over many years. Although she had some early design work by a well-known designer, she decided she could do better – and spent the next 15 years refining the garden’s layout, propagating many of the plants herself in her own home nursery and laboriously building up the soil to create a lush garden. Continue reading