Wonder, delight & mystery: Australian Landscape Conference in review


The 2015 Australian Landscape Conference was memorable, with over 600 attendees following the input of landscape designers from overseas and Australia – all expert, energetic, upstanding deep thinkers.

River cruising and garden visiting in North America with Botanica

Judy Horton

When thinking of river cruising with garden visiting, most gardeners look to Europe but in September 2016 I will be hosting my second trip for Botanica up the rivers, lakes and canals that connect the USA and Canada.

Holiday with heliconias and hospitality in Colombia

Carla Black

For the last 20 years I’ve loved tramping Panamanian forests, looking for heliconias and marveling at the incredible diversity of humid tropical forests. Recently it’s become possible to get to know Colombian jungles, too

Stunning designer gardens at Auckland Garden DesignFest 2015

Rose Thodey

If you have been thinking of visiting New Zealand, don’t miss this one-off opportunity to see the work of some of our top designers in private gardens that bring out the best of Auckland’s iconic landscape

The Kiss: Gardening with Gustav

Tammy Schmitt

Have you ever seen a piece of art and imagined it as a garden? I am not a horticulturalist, garden designer or landscape architect. My only design experience comes from moving seventeen times in thirty four years and always having to cram my stuff into a new house

Chanticleer Garden, near Philadelphia PA

Amanda Mackinnon

Situated in the beautiful garden state of Pennsylvania, Chanticleer is described as “a pleasure garden.” Whilst I had a giggle over this somewhat quirky term, I must admit that I did derive a whole lot of pleasure out of my visit.

Welcome to the world’s largest maze, in Fontanellato, Italy

Catherine Stewart

Welcome to the Masone Labyrinth (Labirinto della Masone) of Franco Maria Ricci in Fontanellato, near Parma, Italy. Covering 7 hectares (17 acres), it is the largest labyrinth in the world. Will you ever get out?

Book Review: ‘Lessons from Great Gardeners’


‘Lessons from Great Gardeners’ is an inviting book, profiling 40 ‘gardening icons’ – gardeners and garden designers. You will respond to their creative ideas and their passion for gardens, and learn from them.

Promenade du Paillon in Nice, France: A Public Open Space that Works!

Helen McKerral

Nice may be the playground of the rich and famous but, frankly, few Australians will be impressed by its most famous open space: a small, crowded, pebbly beach, oppressively hot on the day we visited. For me, the real attraction lay within the city.

Which gardens make your heart sing?

Janna Schreier

When I first took an interest in garden design, it was all about the look. Some combination of colours, textures and forms would jump out at me from a page and I would ooh and aah about how beautiful it was.

Macquarie Island cabbage at Tasmanian Botanic Gardens

Jennifer Stackhouse

On an already chilly day I made my way into the still colder environment of the Subantarctic Plant House in the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG) for a glimpse of the native vegetation of Macquarie Island.

Sa Pedra Arrubia: Maurizio Usai’s garden

Carlo Gabriele

Sometimes I just need to take a quick look at a garden to understand the personality of its owner. I don’t think it’s because I am particularly intuitive; it’s more that for some gardens the aim of the design is so clear and easy to interpret.

Henry James and his Lamb House garden

Susannah Fullerton

“I am hopeless about the garden, which I don’t know what to do with and shall never, never know – I am densely ignorant,” said Henry James, whose garden at Lamb House was both refuge and inspiration.

Singapore Botanic Gardens: 5 things to LOVE

Stephen Read

Singapore Botanic Gardens deserves its World Heritage Listing – for its economic botany, orchids, rainforest dipterocarps, dynamism, and its managing of change.

Northern Portugal: like Scotland with more sun

Alison Stewart

A June trip to the Serra d’Arga mountain region in northern Portugal, just south of the border with Spain, reminded me of one of the many pearls of wisdom to be found in Catherine Stewart’s blog postings for GardenDrum.

Whisper of stars: Daniel Spoerri garden

Carlo Gabriele

For a very special Italian sculpture garden, the Daniel Spoerri Garden in Tuscany shows a collection of artworks made specifically for him and his garden, flanked by mature plantings of oaks, chestnuts and olive trees.

A garden tour of Italy (Part 2)

Anne Latreille

Travelling in Italy, I am constantly surprised at the green planting that defines the gardens and the landscape. So much so that when colours crop up, they’re a kind of embroidery, something that focuses the eye

Sri Lanka garden tour: a piece of serendipity

Fiona Ogilvie

Sri Lanka is rich with tropical gardens that intertwine many influences, from local ayurvedic and spice gardens, temple and boulder gardens, and the British colonists’ love of gardening

Chelsea 2015: 10 things that caught my eye

Helen Young

What caught my eye at the Chelsea Flower Show 2015? From moss-covered lampshades to colourful potatoes and a must-have shell-covered pig seat, there really was something for everyone.

Astonishment and surprise: Tarots Garden

Carlo Gabriele

I have never seen anything that I can compare to the Tarots Garden: astonishment, surprise, and fascination are some of the feelings I felt exploring this 20,000 square meter Art Park.

Chelsea 2015 Fresh: World Vision Garden

Helen Young

One of the Chelsea Flower Show 2015 gardens in the Fresh category that I loved was the ‘World Vision Garden: Grow Hope’, inspired by the beauty of Cambodia. It won a silver-gilt medal for

London’s ‘Sloane in Bloom’ 2015

Helen Young

In Sloane Square close to London’s Chelsea Flower Show, retailers compete annually in ‘Sloane in Bloom’, dressing their shops with glorious floral displays, this year themed ‘Fairytales’.

Gardens of southern Italy & the Amalfi Coast

Angus Stewart

One of my favourite garden tours visited southern Italy, from Rome south to the Amalfi Coast near Naples. Aside from the spectacular views, there is a surprising range of sub-tropical and temperate zone plants

South African garden at Chaumont sur Loire

Leon Kluge

When I opened the email last year asking me to be part of the Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden Festival (IGF), I just about fell off my chair, as it’s been on the top of my bucket list

Lights, Camera, BLOOM – and a win at Philly!

Leon Kluge

Arriving in freezing temperatures, Bayley LuuTomes and I could see this would be a show garden build like no other, but the Philadelphia Flower Show has been a bucket list show for me for a very long time.

The Brontës and their garden

Susannah Fullerton

“There is not a knoll of heather, not a branch of fern, not a young bilberry leaf, not a fluttering lark or linnet, but reminds me of her” wrote Charlotte Brontë, of sister Emily after her death.

Four favourite parks in Central West NSW

Stuart Read

Almost off the radar in terms of heritage listings at state or national level, yet uppermost in local communities’ minds and affections and emblems of regional pride as meeting places, beauty spots and centres for social or important gatherings, local public parks across NSW are one of its glories. A handful of the hundreds spring […]

Boab trees of the Kimberley

Linda Green

The 4,000km drive from Perth to Darwin took us through Australia’s boab country, the Kimberley region, where each tree seems to have its life story etched into the distinctive swollen trunk.

Lessons from Italy’s summer windowboxes

Helen McKerral

Container gardening is challenging. Pots often require daily watering, especially on exposed, sunny windowsills. The window boxes of northern Italy’s offer up some handy tips for success

Sir Walter Scott and his Abbotsford garden

Susannah Fullerton

In 1811 Sir Walter Scott bought a small farm on the Tweed River in Scotland where he built the Scottish Baronial-styled ‘Abbotsford’, surrounded by gardens and picturesque grounds.

Review: Garden DesignFest tours

Chantelle Leenstra

Melbourne’s Garden DesignFest has been Australia’s premier open garden style event since 2004, giving public access to creative, elegant, quirky and pampered private gardens

La Trobe’s Cottage garden wins award!

Sandi Pullman

The Friends of La Trobe’s Cottage are a band of dedicated volunteers and who entered for the second time into the Victorian Community History Awards in the category Historical Interpretation.

Garden oddities – floral clocks

Silas Clifford-Smith

One of the horticultural oddities of the last century is the floral clock. A curious landscape design practice of the 20th C., floral clocks have a history that dates back to the 18th century.

Public parks will save our wildflowers

Angus Stewart

Australian designers are evolving a distinctively Australian style for our public parks that can solve the dilemmas of wildflower predictability and tourism damage

The terraced food gardens of Cinque Terre

Helen McKerral

Forget award-winning landscape design, perfectly pruned hedges or immaculate lawns – be inspired by the terraced food gardens of Cinque Terre in coastal northern Italy

The hunt for red wreath flowers…a WA treasure

Kath Bafile

The roads out from Geraldton in Western Australia are lit up in August with the dazzling wildflowers, drawing travellers from all over to a wildflower treasure hunt

Sleepless and Serene in Seattle

Angus Stewart

I had long harboured a desire to visit Seattle with a vague notion of a spectacular marine landscape against a backdrop of mountains and conifer forests. I found all of this as well as

Great Dixter: a manic masterpiece

Angus Stewart

I have long been fascinated by the work of the late British garden designer Christopher Lloyd. So it was with great anticipation that I recently visited his Great Dixter garden in Sussex to the south of London. And I must say I was not disappointed by the extravagant use of interesting plant material throughout the landscape […]

Guilfoyle and his warm climate plants

Arno King

A few years ago, whilst researching Polyscias (commonly called Aralia) cultivars for a magazine article, I came across mention of their discovery and introduction by William Guilfoyle during his voyage on the HMS Challenger in 1868. I was surprised to learn this was the same W R Guilfoyle (1840 – 1912) who later became the […]

Wordsworth’s outdoor office at Rydal Mount

Susannah Fullerton

Wordsworth is of course familiar to all as one of the greatest of English poets, founder of the Romantic movement and Poet Laureate. What is less well known is that he was also a brilliant landscape gardener and his home Rydal Mount is testament to this genius.