Explore an enchanted paperbark forest

Come and explore with me an enchanted paperbark forest. This is nature’s handiwork at its best, a garden like no other! I want to share this walk with you, through the magical environment on the Central Queensland coast. It is located near Agnes Waters and the Town of Seventeen Seventy. Seventeen Seventy is a coastal … Continued

A botanically rich shady garden

Bob Bannon’s garden is a botanically rich shady garden in Queensland. He shares about the evolution of his garden and design and plant choices through the years. Introduction We moved to our house at Bray Park in November 1976. Bray Park is about 26 km north of Brisbane. We received two pieces of advice on … Continued

A collector’s garden in Brisbane

Brenda Meehan has built a beautiful native collector’s garden in Brisbane on an 800 square metre rocky site. She has created an amazing mini botanic garden since 2011. Visit by Garden Design Study Group members After almost five years, Garden Design Study Group Queensland paid a return visit to Brenda’s garden. The garden is located … Continued

A native garden, designed with nature

Introduction While attending the APS NSW gathering hosted by Sutherland Group I had the pleasure of visiting Joan Zande’s garden. This is a native garden designed with nature. Joan applied many design principles in this relatively small residential garden. Reconstructed after 40 years, it was as a collaborative effort between Joan and an obviously very … Continued

A sustainable collector’s garden

On one hectare, Dennis and Jan have created a sustainable collector’s garden of native plants. Establishing the garden for sustainability Dennis Cox and Jan Glazebrook established their Logan Village garden in 1992. Logan Village is a semi-rural village 45 km south of Brisbane CBD. A dramatic Jurassic sandstone conglomerate outcrop sweeps decoratively across the one … Continued

A three dimensional garden in Brisbane

We recently visited a garden like no other – it was a three dimensional garden in Brisbane! Garden Design Study Group visit to the garden of Dennis Higgins I recently met Dennis Higgins when presenting a lecture to the local garden club. He enthused me with the description of his garden. As a result, sight … Continued

Adventures with vines

Here’s a story about my adventures with vines. I’ve been on a mission to find the best vine for arbour shade. The journey so far… Introduction to my adventures An arbour divides our north facing garden behind our suburban Brisbane house to create a shady path from the laundry on the way to the clothes … Continued

An honest critique of my garden design

Here is an honest critique of my garden design in Moreton Bay north of Brisbane. Critiques like this, where we share our design triumphs and tragedies, are helpful for us all to learn! Site conditions and analysis Location and aspect are fundamental for planning and design approach to any garden. What I am trying to … Continued

Australian brush-turkey: unwelcome guest or ecosystem engineer?

Many east coast city dwellers may wonder whether the Australian brush-turkey is an unwelcome guest or an ecosystem engineer. But the very thing that annoys people may be an ecological blessing. Read on… Introduction If you asked a suburban resident of many parts of Sydney, Brisbane, Newcastle, the Gold Coast, Byron Bay or any other … Continued

Celebrating Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens

After 20 years, a small group are celebrating the establishment of the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens. SGAP (Australian Native Plants Society) Mackay has a vision! A dedicated local community group – SGAP Mackay – has been heavily involved with the development of these botanic gardens. SGAP Mackay are members of Native Plants Queensland. Without their … Continued

Creating a ‘wallum’ garden

I wanted to try my hand at creating a ‘wallum’ garden, a coastal heathland garden which has incredible diversity. Here’s how we went about it. Wallum ecosystems are coastal heathlands Those of you who know coastal heathlands, know what amazing and diverse ecosystems these are. They contain a plethora of unique and wonderful plants, many … Continued

Fifty shades of shade

At least fifty shades of shade grace my garden! Shade is easy in my garden – but how much shade and what time of day, month, year! My acre block runs east-west so the sun comes over the 120m length in summer and from the northern side in winter. At this time of year, it … Continued

My front courtyard garden

It’s always useful to critique one’s own garden from a design perspectiveand here I have assessed my own front courtyard garden. Site conditions and analysis Location and aspect are both fundamental to understandi the planning and design approach to any garden. This is the front section of our residential garden in Moreton Bay north of … Continued

One stop pharmacy in the forest!

Many of our native species have excellent medicinal qualities. One such plant is Alstonia scholaris, which is a one stop pharmacy in the forest. Alstonia scholaris in situ I saw this attractive specimen in March 2022 at Deception Bay just north of Brisbane.  Only a sprinkling of flowers remain. Thousands of narrow pods up to … Continued

Plants for subtropical garden design

There are a range of plants suitable for subtropical garden design. Here are a few for two different microclimates in the garden – one in dampled sunlight and the other in full sun. For more information on microclimates and subtropical garden design, see our stories page. Orchids for dampled sunlight Dendrobium kingianum and other orchids … Continued

Small rainforest garden in Brisbane

Carol Guard is justly proud of her small rainforest garden in suburban Brisbane. This story outlines how she built a sense of community, committed to a design and selected her rainforest species. A desire to create a sense of community When Carol Guard, moved to Shorncliffe, Queensland, 20 years ago, she was keen to become … Continued

Two useful and attractive groundcovers

In southeast Queensland successfully growing small dense ground covering plants can be a hit and miss situation. However here are two groundcovers that have proved to be useful and attractive. The value of groundcovers In southeast Queensland successfully growing small dense ground covering plants can be a hit and miss situation, due to the climatic … Continued