‘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

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

Light and shadow in garden design

Light and shadow in garden design go hand in hand. Together they are present in every garden, but often taken for granted. They may not immediately reveal themselves as garden attributes, but considering their passive roles in an overall design, they can be the backbone to the feel of a space. Light and shadow are … Continued

15 tips for a stunning native garden

Want to grow your own stunning native garden? Here are 15 tips for success, gleaned from long experience designing and growing native gardens. We are fortunate to live in a country with a unique flora, unlike that anywhere else in the world. And that provides the opportunity to create stunning native gardens. Here are tips for … 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

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

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

Designing a tapestry garden 

An important part of designing a tapestry garden is to sketch up the concept. This allows you to see how the garden will flow and picks up the key features you want to highlight. What is a tapestry garden A lovely example of a tapestry garden in the US is that represented in this book, … Continued

Groundcovers in garden design

Not only are native groundcovers highly practical, they also play an important role in garden design. Australia has a wealth of choice of groundcovers Is Australia over-endowed with ground-covering plants, or does it just seem that way to me! I have been told that South Africa (and maybe other parts of the world) have more … Continued

How to design a small wildlife garden

Ever wanted to design a wildlife garden, but were limited by space? Here’s a guide on how to design a small wildlife garden, by Leigh Murray. Despite having no formal training in design, I found the idea of designing a small 5 metre x 5 metre garden an appealing challenge and had a go. Clarifying … Continued

How to design spaces in your native garden

Are you interested in how to design spaces in your native garden? One of the key principles in garden design is the use of spaces, or voids. These are as important as the plants in between! Here are some tips in how to achieve that sense of space in a native garden. Defining space in … Continued

Lomandras in native garden design

Lomandras are excellent plants to use in native garden design. Wide variety of lomandras on offer With a range of sizes and forms, foliage colours and textures, interesting flowers and general reliability, Lomandra species deserve to be more widely grown. Known commonly as mat rushes, there are over 50 species available in Australia. They grow … Continued

Looking from the inside

I am fortunate to have a lot of large windows drawing my attention to what is going on outside. They give me views from the sky to the garden around the house. Staying connected when inside Hot days, cold days, windy, wet, illness and housework days sometimes we need or chose to stay inside our … Continued

Tips for designing a beautiful garden

Here are a few tips for designing a beautiful native garden. Some gardens make us say ‘wow!’ as soon as we see them. We recognise such memorable gardens within the first few seconds of seeing them. If you want to instantly pick up your camera and start taking pics, you know it is a garden … Continued

Using mounds and channels in your garden

Using mounds or raising garden beds generally results in successful plant growth and with Australian native plants very spectacular growth. This is helped by water channelling into depresssions during high rainfall periods. One of the prime elements of a great garden is good drainage.  In many natural soil profiles, over a period of time some … Continued