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A three dimensional garden in Brisbane

By Lawrie Smith AM

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 unseen, I termed it ‘A Three Dimensional Garden’.  That was an understatement!!

First dimension

Dennis has several hectares on the steep banks of the Logan River, south of Brisbane. Here he has singlehandedly built the most dramatic ‘walkway’ up and around several giant Eucalyptus tereticornis (also called Blue Gums, Forest Red Gums and Red irongums). These trees were about 30 metres tall, so you get to experience being a bird flying high among the branches. That was the first dimension!

three dimensional garden in Brisbane
Dramatic walkways up and down the escarpment, image Lawrie Smith

Second dimension

Looking down (if you dare), all around you is a semi-mature rainforest, now some twenty years old which Dennis first planted himself. We were enticed to follow the extensive track system cut into the river embankment through the towering rainforest. We zig zagged down the steep slopes another twenty or thirty metres to the river edge. Then we made our way back up to the top of the escarpment. That was the second dimension!

Third dimension

three dimensional garden in Brisbane

At the top Dennis had built a large timber deck among the tree trunks more than twenty metres at its greatest height above the sloping embankment. We really needed the afternoon tea he provided there!

That was not all, his house was an architectural gem surrounded by colourful plants and foliage, but it was the retained heritage farm buildings that caught our attention. Dennis had repurposed them for horticultural use and as a unique bird enclosure. If that was not enough, he gave a demonstration of whip cracking with two whips!!  That was the third dimension!

None of us had ever seen any garden quite like this before, and no doubt will accept his offer to come and visit again! It was trully a three dimensional garden in Brisbane.