Designing a garden to inspire dreams

There are a lot of formal gardens in France, especially at chateaux, and in the last three months I’ve seen a lot of them! So the prospect of visiting a contemporary garden in an historic town in Perigord Noir captured my imagination. Les Jardins de l’Imaginaire, in the very pretty if ‘business-like’ town of Terrasson, Continue reading

Grow green flowers and learn from the florists

Green. We love it as the colour that symbolises life, and also the feelings of freshness, vitality and renewal that it inspires. In gardens, we love it in foliage and healthy stems but strangely have an aversion to it in flowers. Floral artists who are, I think, much more inventive when it comes to combining foliage and flowers than most garden designers, (OK Christo Lloyd excluded) started using green flowers in their arrangements and bouquets several years ago. Continue reading

‘Terra Australis Garden’ for Canberra’s National Arboretum

The National Arboretum in Canberra which features 100 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world is in the process of creating a ‘Gallery of Gardens’ which is a chain of 7 gardens spread along a hill side from the main Visitors Centre. The Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) (ANPSA) has proposed to the National Arboretum to have one of these gardens, the ‘Terra Australis GardenContinue reading

Reuse and transplant for an instant new garden

Transplanting exisiting plants is a great way to make an instant garden and it’s a natural part of the reuse and recycle approach that I bring to all my garden designs. In this garden there were several overgrown evergreen foundation plants at the front door that could have been consigned to the compost pile as they needed to be removed to make way for a new house extension. But by transplanting them elsewhere in the garden I could create structure and enclosure Continue reading

Managing and changing an existing garden

When we purchased our garden, Timandra, in 2008, there was already a garden on the upper level of the property. The previous owners had formed this garden out of many different plants that mostly grew from seed, under a considerable tree canopy that was still establishing when we bought the property. Continue reading

How to beat colour anxiety – white it out

Quite often I have someone admit to me that they suffer from what I’d call ‘garden colour anxiety’. They’ll take me into their confidence and whisper that trying to work out a colour scheme for their garden makes them as anxious as a visit to the dentist. Which is sad because mucking around with anything garden-related is surely meant to be fun? Continue reading

Australian gardening inspiration from South Africa

To me, the essence of Australia is deep blue skies stretching as far as the eye can see; rich red soils bearing dry, oxidized iron; the distinctive blue-green foliage of Eucalyptus set amongst twisting, mottled-grey limbs; perhaps a small family of roos tucking into soft, long grass in its dappled shade. Nowhere else on earth will you come across a scene like this. Continue reading

Melbourne Flower Show matters – or does it?

In late March 2017 I, and many of Australia’s horticultural media, landscape designers, landscapers, horticulturists and garden lovers, made our annual pilgrimage of to the autumn Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS). With nine big display gardens, five boutique gardens and 12 small student-built achievable gardens on show, I was eager to see what was on offer at MIFGS in 2017 and who had won what. Continue reading