Natives and exotics beautifully balanced

The Moffatt garden in south Mudgee brilliantly showcases Australian native plants, and exotic shrubs provide an unexpected and effective counterpoint. This was one of the open gardens I visited at the recent Mudgee Garden Spectacular.   The garden began with the inspiration provided by a huge White Gum (Eucalyptus alba). Over many years the owners…

A garden of joys and simple pleasures

The Mudgee Garden Spectacular gave visitors the chance to enjoy the experience of exploring Claire and Greg Toole’s three-acre garden in south Mudgee. Pleasing, simple design gives this garden a sense of space and tranquillity. Understated brick and stone edgings meander along, connecting garden beds and defining broad areas of pebble and wood chip ground…

Desert Drama at Cranbourne Botanic Gardens

The Australian Garden in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne Victoria, turned my ideas of native gardens upside down, with its dazzling evocation of the Australian landscape and plants. Its 360 hectares include heathlands, wetlands and woodlands, providing habitat for native birds, mammals and reptiles, including rare and endangered species. I visited one winter afternoon,…

Exciting Gin Botanicals- Updated with Exciting News!

Do you love Australian native plants? Do you love gin? Good news! Botanicals are the essential ingredients of gin, and Australian distillers are capturing our imagination with the use of native Australian botanicals. And more news just to hand- Brookie’s Gin, created by Cape Byron Distillery (about which you can read more, below) has won…

Hot debate in the garden

There’s a controversy which can stoke passionate debate in gardening circles all over Australia. It’s been on the agenda for over 50 years, and it still has the power to generate heated letters to the editor in gardening magazines. Here’s a clue. A stunning Australian native plant, Banksia ericifolia (banksia), and an equally stunning exotic, climbing rose. In the 1960’s, a…

An elegant transformation

Overlooking a waterway in the historic Newcastle suburb Tighes Hill,  The Watershed is a contemporary house complemented by a garden which announces its creators’ love of the natural environment in all its forms. In just 3 years, an almost-bare block has been transformed into a haven for people, birds and animals. This garden integrates beauty, elegance, restraint and…