An Evening at Historic ‘Chesterfield’, Geelong

Join landscape designer Stephen Read and owner Mary-Jane Walker for an evening in the grand dining room at ‘Chesterfield‘, one of Geelong’s oldest surviving Georgian homes and surrounded by a beautiful garden. Held as part of Garden DesignFest 2016, the Chesterfield soirée includes a talk by Stephen and Mary-Jane about the historic property. From 5.30 to 7.30pm, Saturday 19 November 2016 at 221 Nobel Street Newtown. Tickets available through Eventbrite.

Hear Mary-Jane describe the history of Chesterfield and how it was saved from the developer’s bulldozer and new life given to this old Georgian gem. Stephen will talk about ‘Reflections on Sense of Place and Purpose‘, discussing why landscape and garden designers need to be present, and take time to tap into what makes a place unique.

Chesterfield‘ is also open during the day from 10am-5pm on 19 and 20 November 2016 as part of Melbourne’s Garden DesignFest. More info on Garden DesignFest here

Perennials at Chesterfield garden, Geelong. Design Stephen Read Landscape Design
Perennials at Chesterfield garden, Geelong. Design Stephen Read Landscape Design

Australian Conifers, Casuarinas, Bonsai + more

Broaden your knowledge and outlook about our ‘other’, fantastic Aussie trees! Dr Roger Spencer will lead us into the world of the non-flowering Australian Tree Gymnosperms such as Agathis, Araucarias, Athrotaxis, Callitris, Largostrobus, Phyllocladus, Podocarpus, Prumnopitys and Wollemia. The renowned Dr Greg Moore will cover aspects of urban tree planting, Kevin Ritchie from the Victorian Native Bonsai Club will speak about ‘Penjing’ with Australian trees, Rodger Elliot will be covering Casuarinas and their allies including the beautiful ‘Daintree Pine’, Rodger & Gwen Elliot will show how shrubs might become small trees and John Thompson will tell how these plants have been utilised and the inspiration for a whole range of other uses over time.

Bookings are essential. Members $60 • non-members $75 • students $30
Booking forms: Friends of RBG Cranbourne – Activities .

Burnley Plant Sale

BURNLEY PLANT SALE on Wednesday 17 August 2016 from 12:00 – 3:00 pm. Select from a range of native, exotic and produce plants.
Location – outside the Student Union Building, University of Melbourne Burnley Campus, 500 Yarra Boulevard Richmond. Parking on Yarra Boulevard (Melways Map 45 & X872). Plant list will be available on the website. Payments by cash only. All funds raised go to Burnley Gardens Projects.

Which gardens make your heart sing?

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. Continue reading “Which gardens make your heart sing?”

Review: Garden DesignFest tours

Garden DesignFest has reigned as Australia’s premier open garden style event for a number of years now, since its inception relatively recently in 2004. Biennially and over two days in and around Melbourne, several thousand garden lovers from all around Australia converge to have their garden curiosity taste buds sated as the gates are opened to some of the most creative, elegant, quirky and pampered private gardens that one could ever dream of entering.


Continue reading “Review: Garden DesignFest tours”

La Trobe’s Cottage garden wins award!

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. This award recognises the unique formats of historical representation through the use of physical exhibitions, artistic interpretation, history walks and tours. And we won which is very exciting for all the volunteers that help at the cottage.

Continue reading “La Trobe’s Cottage garden wins award!”

Garden oddities – floral clocks

One of the horticultural oddities of the last century is the floral clock. Most of us have encountered them from time to time during our travels, often sighted on gentle slopes in manicured public gardens at tourist destinations. Apart from a moment’s thought at the sophistication of the technology and the intricate plantings used by the designers, most of these outdoor landscapes are soon forgotten. Continue reading “Garden oddities – floral clocks”

Captain Cook’s ivy a worthy sailor

“Ambition leads me not only farther than any other man has been before me, but as far as I think it possible for man to go.” A quote by Captain James Cook in reference to him digging for potatoes in his garden? Perhaps unlikely, but the great explorer may have had a greener upbringing than his sea blue finale. It wasn’t my sole reason for heading to Melbourne, but along with the restful Fitzroy Gardens, the ever changing observatory and the house and gardens of the Cook family, the area remains a focal point of horticultural attraction in the heart of the Victorian capital. Continue reading “Captain Cook’s ivy a worthy sailor”

Green is the new black in Melbourne

A few months ago I took one of my regular trips down to Melbourne to visit a close girlfriend who lives there. Over the three days I was there, I was struck by how green Melbourne was. Not that it has more parkland that I remembered or that it was mindblowingly sustainable – but that at the moment green seems to be the new black. Terrariums in cafes, rooftop veggie gardens in the city, living cacti necklaces…you name it, it’s there, and accessible for the average tourist. Continue reading “Green is the new black in Melbourne”

Garden DesignFest is Design Feast

I am smugly replete. What an amazing two full-on days of gardens. About 327 gardens all up I think, although maybe that was me feeling a little drunk on the heady elixir of high-quality design. Checking the DesignFest book, I see we made it to 17 of the 26 possible gardens, taking in tiny courtyards, suburban-sized yards and even enormous estates that seemed to roll down the hill with a cornucopia of flowers, paths, pavilions and foliage. Continue reading “Garden DesignFest is Design Feast”