Ballintubbert Gardens in Co. Laois are a complete revelation to the first time visitor. On entering through what must be one of the most humble and unassuming garden entrances, and then a short distance further there’s a fine Georgian Manor House around which are an astonishing 14 acres of gardens.
Eden Unearthed lives up to the best of contemporary art in the garden. The works, often beautiful, sometimes whimsical, and always enchanting and stimulating, engage with Eden Gardens’ rich resources of spaces, nooks, cliffs and ‘rooms’.
In Spain’s capital Madrid, two impressive garden works caught my eye and enhanced my ‘art experience’: the Caixa greenwall and cloud pruning in Retiro Park, with both of these outdoor living works offer their own distinctive appeal and artistry.
While holidaying in Florence I visited the famous and historic Villa Gamberaia. Yes there are great views and engaging statuary but also non-working fountains, dead hedges and poor maintenance.
Tropical George Brown Botanic Gardens in Darwin sits close to the centre of this vibrant city in the ‘Top End’ of northern Australia. The town itself has wonderful gardens established since the devastating Cyclone Tracy hit the Northern Territory in 1974. The gardens are easily accessible and extend over many acres.
New York. The swathes of concrete and glass; the vast canyons formed by major streets cutting through the highest of tall towers. This is where dogs and cats are declawed to deal with life inside apartments and population density is amongst the highest in the world, yet there are still pockets of green delight.
It was at a meeting of heritage rose lovers that I first heard about Ninfa, a romantic, rambling, Italian garden built in the ruins of a medieval town. I put it on my garden ‘bucket list’ and in May, on a journey from Rome to Sorrento, I got the opportunity to see if the anticipation lived up to the experience.
Western thinking on garden history tends to be almost unconsciously European in focus – we might evoke the eighteenth century, and think of ha-has and arboreta, or perhaps a Renaissance Italian stroll garden, ornamented with classical statuary. But when mediaeval apothecaries were busy enclosing medicinal herbs in box compartments, one of our greatest cultures was […]
Each year Garden World in Gauteng, to the west of Johannesburg, has its Spring Festival. This year there are more than 20 designer gardens on display until 4 September 2016. Many of these designer gardens are different from your usual show garden as some of them are revamps of the previous year’s garden and some are makeovers […]
The new Calyx and its chocolate-themed first exhibition in the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney is fun, educational and worthwhile for both chocoholics and plantaholics.
It is so completely entrancing; we have stumbled into an enchanted forest threaded with sunny meadows of daisy-strewn lawns, tiny cottages & bright gardens
For many gardeners the word camellia conjures up images of a reliable shrub that produces gorgeous autumn and winter displays of flowers. A recent visit to the Yunnan Province of China has taught me a whole other side to the versatile camellia genus.
As the coach left the Melbourne Arts Centre the clouds darkened and raindrops spattered on the windscreen, increasing to a deluge as we progressed towards north east Victoria. But we are intrepid gardeners and obsessive garden visitors so we refused to be daunted!
Checking in to our Fort Cochin Hotel, the friendly staff invited us to relax in the garden while waiting for our room. We didn’t need an invitation – I was already out there craning my neck to see what caused the dappling in the courtyard. It was an enormous mango tree, and as I looked up something caught my eye. There was someone sitting on a branch, a very long way up.
One part of Australia that has some stunning walking and floral displays and that’s relatively safe in summer is known locally as the High Country, in the Alpine and Kosciuszko National Parks. Garden lovers are nature lovers and one of my favourite pastimes is packing my rucksack and saying goodbye to reality before taking off into the Australian bush on my own for a few days of walking.
Scarecrows, chooks, chocolate cake and jam – they’re all part of the fun and festivities of the Leura Harvest Festival held on 1 May 2016 in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia. The festival ads said there would be outstanding produce, fine fare and innovative sustainability initiatives. It all boded well for an interesting and feast-filled time.
In July 2016 my show garden ‘The Butterfly Effect’ will be in the prestigious Singapore Garden Festival. As I’m just developing a new landscape design career while managing a young family, how did this amazing thing happen?
I recently had the pleasure of attending the third Koonya Garlic Festival, in Tasmania on a picturesque inlet of Norfolk Bay on the beautiful Tasman Peninsula.
This enchanting “cold greenhouse” is located at the end of the Parque Eduardo VII in Lisbon, Portugal, in a protected and sheltered area of an abandoned former quarry. Walking within this park becomes a sensory experience that is fantastic for both adults and children.
Come with me in the footsteps of the plant collectors to one of the most botanically diverse areas on earth, Yunnan Province in China, home to many of our most treasured garden plants such as roses, magnolias, rhododendrons and poppies.
I’ve offered to write a review of this book, simply because I enjoyed it. Such books don’t always live up their hype but this is one I’m happy to add to my collection. And whenever I can get to London again I have a new list of gardens to see.
Mayfield, a huge, private, cool-climate garden near Oberon in the NSW Central Tablelands has been described as “marvellous” and its public Water Garden a “masterpiece” and “magical“. I first saw greater Mayfield in 2010 and wasn’t that keen but thought it just needed maturation time.
Join me and Craig Lidgerwood on this garden tour to explore Madagascar’s unique flora and fauna, exploring Madagascar’s rich and unique wildlife habitats, venturing into exquisite national parks and reserves ranging from semi-tropical rainforests, succulent and spiny thicket, rocky landscapes of the central west and marvelling at the spectacular mineral forest (karst spires) of the Tsingy de […]
Growing lawn in coastal gardens can be a struggle due to salty winds and sea spray, but consider the challenges of sustaining a healthy lawn on a ship in the middle of the ocean! I’ve just returned from a cruise and am slightly embarrassed to admit that one of the aspects of ship life I […]
The handful of varieties on a supermarket shelf is a fraction of those grown around the world, as you can see with the hundreds of different pumpkins displayed at the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival.
My first walk in the morning light was a revelation, moving from spontaneous vegetation and minimal intervention through striking contrasting swathes of native grasses, flowering shrubs and low ground covers
I contacted Catherine Stewart with a challenge: find me a garden to visit on my Normandy driving holiday. She said “It will cost you a shiraz”. My summer visit to the Jardins du Bois du Puits was well worth the red!
After 5 years my promise to return to the DaNang orphanage in Vietnam with a plan to give these people gardening skills and then help find them a resort job has finally begun.
Garden travel starts with desire…you want ALL the beautiful gardens, exotic locations and intriguing local cultures. But I know that this desire is best satisfied when its balanced by restraint, as that’s what will give you the most holiday pleasure.