‘Terra Australis’ garden at National Arboretum

Here is an update on the ‘Terra Australis’ garden at the National Arboretum in Canberra. The garden is progressing beautifully as of Novmber 2022. Background Six years ago, the Arboretum invited ANPSA to create a garden as part of the ‘Gallery of Gardens’ at the National Arboretum in Canberra. Each of the seven gardens were … Continued

‘Terra Australis’ garden maturing beautifully

The Terra Australis Garden is maturing beautifully. It was opened in 2019 and is one of the Gallery of Gardens at the National Arboretum in Canberra. Here is an update from January 2024. Inception of the Terra Australis garden The Australian Native Plants Society (ANPSA) developed the garden as a stylised representation of the Australian … Continued

‘Rosella Rise’ – a habitat and collector’s garden

Here is a showcase garden, being Deb McMillan’s native garden, Rosella Rise, a habitat and collector’s garden. It is located in Melbourne and was authored by Rae Bassett. It is reproduced wth permission. Location and climate: Located in Croydon North, an outer east suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. Temperate climate with warm summer and cold winter. … Continued

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 garden inspired by the site

Over the last 20 years, we have created a garden, inspired by the site. We are now bound to the site in ways we would never have thought possible. Where we began Our garden of about one hectare is part of a 21 ha property bought in 1997. It was denuded farmland above Port Elliot … Continued

A high country native garden at Cloudy Hill

Swapping jobs in the nation’s capital for a tree change to the high country and a shed with a view on a rural property, Fiona and Alex moved to Fitzgerald’s Mount near Bathurst in 2008. There they built a house and created a garden that flourishes despite the harsh conditions of the high country of … Continued

A Mediterranean garden in South Australia

I am enjoying growing a Mediterranean garden in Moonta Bay, in South Australia. Distinct seasons in a Mediterranean climate A garden in a Mediterranean climate is fun because the seasons are distinct and interesting. They are generally not too harsh to restrict what can be grown. We have wet mild winters, rarely a frost and … 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

A truly habitat garden

Shirley Carn has created a truly habitat garden. About Shirley Melbourne members of the Australian Plants Society knew Shirley well. She was an amazing plants woman. In the time I knew her she had developed at least 3 gardens. The last two gardens were within cooee of each other in the beautiful volcanic soils of … Continued

Bev Hanson’s garden true to native concepts

Bev Hanson’s garden stays true to native concepts. This story was written by Megan Backhouse for the ‘Melbourne Age’ in August 2022 and forwarded by Bev’s daughter, Christine Zigga. The staying power of the ‘70’s If she was starting her garden over, Beverley Hanson says she would not do anything differently. And that’s saying something because … 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

Creating a native garden from scratch

Bob and Dot O’Neill have spent 4 years creating a native garden from scratch. They moved to their current 0.4 ha property just four years ago. Their garden, begun from nothing (actually worse than nothing), is already well established. The growth of plants has been remarkable, so that the garden now looks twice its age. … Continued

Creating a thriving Mediterranean garden

I am creating a thriving Mediterranean garden in Western Australia. The key is to garden with nature. Living in a Mediterranean climate I live and garden in Kojonup, Western Australia, which is 256 kilometres south-east of Perth. We have an average rainfall of 500mm per year, that occurs normally in the winter months. No rain … Continued

Creating microclimates in a Mediterranean garden

Here is how I am creating multiple microclimates in my small Mediterranean garden. My garden is a coastal garden in City Beach, a beachside suburb of Perth in Western Australia. These include: sandplain Kwongan heath, coastal sand dunes, Great Southern forest, banksia woodland, rainforest and wetland. Gaia principle on a microscale Gaia was the goddess of … Continued

Creation of a successful habitat garden

Showcasing the natural environment was the creation of a successful habitat garden. This is the Keith Moore Habitat Garden in Huskisson. Volunteers from the Australian Plants Society NSW supported the project. Where it is located The Keith Moore Habitat Garden is located at the Lady Denman Heritage Complex, Huskisson, New South Wales on the shores … Continued

Diversity AND uniformity

As I contemplate my 20 year old native garden, I realise that it is now a mix of both diversity AND uniformity. However, there is a strong bias towards allowing the garden to revert to its natural bush state – entropy is alive and well. Conception of the garden I started my native garden about … Continued

Gardening in harmony with nature

Reflecting on the past It seems to me that enjoying seasonal changes in Australia has a lot to do with gardening in harmony with nature. We have recently sold our house and garden of 29 years. Looking back, I can reflect on the many seasonal happenings of that rural garden where conditions were often quite … Continued

Gardening in Townsville

Here is the story of the evolution of my gardening in my Townsville garden. Where I started Originally from northern England my wife and I spent 5 years in Tucson, Arizona before arriving in Townsville North Queensland in 1986. So, the change in environment couldn’t have been more spectacular. Townsville at that time was called … Continued

John Elton’s garden: a floral extravaganza

John Elton’s garden, Corymbia, in Kiama is a floral extravaganza. On two acres on the south coast of NSW just below Coolangatta Mountain, he has planted thousands of native plants. He has experimented extensively with design, colour and creating standards. John volunteers at Illawarra Grevillea Park and is an expert propagator and plantsman. Here is … Continued

My Southern Tablelands garden

My Southern Tablelands garden follows the style of many country gardens. It has formal garden beds and lawns rather than bush plantings and winding paths. Here is my design philosophy and how it is evolving. Location and site conditions My rural property in Reidsdale south of Braidwood NSW sits in open farmland between several large … 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

Stunning NSW South Coast gardens

A group of native plant enthusiasts from Canberra visited a number of stunning NSW South Coast gardens. Here is a rundown of the itinerary and the gardens visited. Starting at Guerilla Bay Members of the Canberra Garden Design Study Group and the Australian Native Plants Society Canberra group met together in Batemans Bay, Burrewarra Point … Continued

Stunning showcase at Melton Botanic Gardens

See a stunning showcase of dryland native plants at Melton Botanic Gardens. I have always wanted to visit this garden having seen images of its plants. About the gardens Melton is a relatively young, 25-HA, volunteer-managed botanic garden. Notably, it features dryland Australian native, South African, Californian, and South American species. A lake full of … Continued

The Wartook Gardens in the Grampians

The Wartook Gardens are located in the Grampians. We have progressively developed the gardens over the last 50 years. Here is a short story about our garden design and planting. Site location and conditions We live on the western side of the Grampians National Park where the rainfall is now down to about 550 mm … Continued

Transitioning to a native garden in Canberra

Len Dowling is a committed collector of native plants and is actively transitioning to a native garden in Canberra. In February 2023, members of the Canberra Day Activity Group and Garden Design Study Group visited Len Dowling’s Wanniassa Garden. Orientation of house and garden The house and garden are oriented south with a spectacular view … Continued

Using containers to trial plants in a beachside garden

In this small beachside garden, the owners are using containers to trial the suitability of plants before putting them in the garden. Designing a small bayside Melbourne garden In February 2022, I visited a garden in Melbourne that I hadn’t seen before. The garden is located in Hampton, Melbourne, about 800m from the bay. One … Continued

What is your regional climate?

Before you start to design or redesign your garden, it’s good to identify your regional climate or bioregion. Each zone is different It is important to understand the constraints and the opportunities that each regional climate across the continent imposes on garden design in that zone. Each zone is different and the natural conditions will … Continued

What native plants grow in clay?

Clay is a great soil to have in your native garden – it’s full of nutrients and retains water. BUT, not all natives like it! In fact, most plant labels say, ‘well drained soils’, which can put us off. However, I’ve been growing native plants in clay for over 20 years and have had many … Continued

Where eagles drift – Part 1 – 2008

This article is part of a two part series – this one was written in 2008 and the second in 2024. See Part 2 for the 2024 update here. Our property ‘Eagles Drift’ is situated in the Upper Hunter Valley at the junction of the Goulburn and Krui Rivers. When my husband and I moved … Continued

Where eagles drift – Part 2 – 2024

This article is part of a two part series – the first written in 2008 is Part 1 and the second is this one, written in 2024. See Part 1 here. Here we are in 2024.   So many years have passed since I felt spurred on to write an article for ‘Garden Design Study Group’.   … Continued