Ballintubbert Gardens, a revelation

Lorna Vallely

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.

Bhutan: The Land of the Thunder Dragon

Peter Whitehead

Once you have experienced the delights of Bhutan, you will want to return. It’s not well-known, making this astonishing country so fascinating, as it’s off the beaten track and is a truly magical, unspoilt destination.

Eden Unearthed: Sydney’s first ‘garden as gallery’ festival

Graham Forsyth

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’.

Two Madrid garden masterpieces

Louise McDaid

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.

Garden review: historic Villa Gamberaia, near Florence

Bernard Chapman

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.

Darwin Botanic Gardens in spring

Arden Dearden

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 […]

High intensity and demanding New York still has places of peace

Kate Seddon

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.

The Garden of Ninfa – is it worth all the superlatives?

Deryn Thorpe

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.

Classical gardens and contemporary art in China

Genevieve Jacobs

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 […]

Designer gardens at Garden World’s Spring festival 2016

Rose Vermeulen

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 […]

Review: A tale of two Normandy gardens

Paul Morgan

I visit two gardens in Normandy – Les Jardins en Le Pays d’Auge is a rambling garden packed with plants, while geometric topiary defines Le Jardin de Castillon. So which garden did I prefer?

Cloud forests and other wonders of Peru

Heather Miles

Cusco is fascinating place of stark contradictions – old Spanish wealth, religion and power and pre-Inca (prior to 1300) and Inca culture and buildings..and gardens and very interesting plants

See Madagascar’s palms before they’re gone

Tim Entwisle

The extinction of Madagascar’s palms are “truly terrifying…the situation cannot be ignored”. For 192 palm species, Madagascar is the only place on Earth where you can see them growing in the wild.

Review: The Calyx reveals its Sweet Addiction at Sydney RBG

Catherine Stewart

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.

Amsterdam’s secret: an enchanted forest and gardens

Paul Morgan

It is so completely entrancing; we have stumbled into an enchanted forest threaded with sunny meadows of daisy-strewn lawns, tiny cottages & bright gardens

The remarkable genus Camellia

Angus Stewart

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.

Autumn leaves and private gardens: AGHS garden tour April 2016

Anne Vale

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 […]

Chelsea Flower Show goes on

Steven Wells

There is just so much to take in at the Chelsea Flower Show. So here is some more of the fun, fashion, flowers, fascination and fantastic gardens that makes Chelsea so special.

Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Steven Wells

On a glorious, sunny spring day in London the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show delivers again. The pinnacle of horticultural endeavours and exhibitors were on display and I was certainly impressed by the gardens on show.

Mango tree of Fort Cochin

Louise McDaid

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.

Walking in Victoria’s High Country

James Beattie

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.

Leura Harvest Festival, Blue Mountains, NSW

Louise McDaid

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.

A designer’s path to the Singapore Garden Festival

Alison Douglas

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?

Tasmania’s Koonya Garlic Festival is a pungent delight

Angus Stewart

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.

Ready, aim fire! The amazing cannonball tree

Peter Whitehead

There is so much to see at the very impressive Royal Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya, not far from Kandy in Sri Lanka, including the astonishing Cannonball Tree, which stole the show for me.

Estufa Fria – Lisbon’s greenhouse (serra fredda Lisbona)

Dana Frigerio

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.

Hidden Design Festival comes to Brisbane

Arno King

Hidden Design Festival Queensland showcases 6 stunning rarely-seen, professionally designed, constructed and maintained gardens in Brisbane on Saturday 5 March 2016, plus you can meet our top garden designers.

Yunnan, China, treasure trove of plants and ethnic cultures

Angus Stewart

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.

Where to see the world’s best autumn/fall foliage

Deryn Thorpe

Fall colour in North America is even more dramatic than Europe with lots of rich red hues. Many forms of maple, black tupelo, sour wood, sassafras and liquidambar have intense colours.

Book Review: Great Gardens of London

Helen Young

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 […]

Review: Why I don’t like Mayfield Water Garden

Catherine Stewart

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.

The Living Eden: Madagascar’s Unique Flora and Fauna

Stephen Ryan

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 […]

When your lawn is all at sea

Deryn Thorpe

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 […]

Ludwigsburg: one of the world’s best pumpkin festivals

Linda Green

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.

The High Line changes, and is changed by, New York

Kate Seddon

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

My challenge, the acceptance, and the Jardin du Bois du Puits

Andrew Davies

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!

When cars and landscape collide


Porsche has been turning heads with this soaring new 25m 911 car sculpture by Gerry Judah outside its Porscheplatz headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

I kept my promise: garden skills to give independence in Vietnam

Don Thomson

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 – how do you temper your desire?

Helen Young

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.

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.