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The Wrap Up: Hidden Design Festival 2015

The Wrap Up: Hidden Design Festival 2015

Hidden Design Festival offers a look at some of Sydney’s most exciting, professionally designed gardens. Here’s a look at a bit of what caught our eye this year.

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Winter Fragrance

Winter Fragrance

Linda Ross steps into the winter garden for aromatherapy of the botanical kind.

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3 Ways to Jazz up your Front Garden

3 Ways to Jazz up your Front Garden

‘There’s nothing half so pleasant as coming home again’ wrote the American poet Margaret Elizabeth Sangster more than a century ago. Here are some great ideas for that perfect welcome home.

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7 great ideas from Holland's Floriade

7 great ideas from Holland's Floriade

Once a decade the horticultural industry of Holland celebrates with a grand expo called Floriade. Each massive event is held in a different place and in 2012 it was carved out of a forest near Venlo, close to the Dutch border with Germany. Ideas? Well it had a few!

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Arylies

Arylies

Over a lifetime Bev McConnell has created one of the world’s great gardens – and it’s just outside Auckland.

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Book review: Capturing Flora

Book review: Capturing Flora

The West Australian beauty exploding from the cover of Capturing Flora is Eucalyptus macrocarpa. The illustration is by Walter Fitch for a 1947 edition of Curtis' Botanical Magazine. Fitch used as his model a plant that had been grown from seed by the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, William Hooker.

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Bronte House

Bronte House

Bronte House does not open to the public often. So when the opportunity arises gardeners line up to catch a glimpse of this Sydney treasure. Catch Sandra Ross there at the Spring Open Day, September 18 2016. Carla Petit has been looking after the garden for four years, continuing a tradition of highly skilled gardeners who have cared for this histric house and garden. Here she tell us what's happening.

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Chelsea 2015

Chelsea 2015

After her first trip to the Chelsea Flower Show Robin Powell gave us her impressions. It was a show that reminded us of the beauty of nature barely gardened, and of gardens tended intensively.

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Chinoiserie

Chinoiserie

Most of us choose to garden where we live; Dominic Wong chose to live where he wanted to garden.

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Clever

Clever

Robin Powell sifts through her ideas file, drawn from a year of garden visiting, to find garden inspirations, both practical and whimsical. Aren’t some people clever!


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Cloudehill

Cloudehill

Jeremy Francis tells the story of his magnificent garden in ‘Cloudehill: A year in the garden’. In this extract he describes how a garden inspired by the golden days of Edwardian Arts and Crafts Design began to take shape in the rich moist soils of the Dandenong Ranges.

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Cotswold Cottage Style

Cotswold Cottage Style

Michael McCoy says the charm of its private gardens bolsters Bibury’s reputation as the most beautiful village in all England

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Country life

Country life

A romantically pretty country garden, on the edge of the city. That’s the dream of the owners of The Old Vicarage in London’s Petersham. Find out how they made it a reality in this excerpt from Great Gardens of London.


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Courtyard Makeover

Courtyard Makeover

This courtyard makeover matches the style of a Parisian café with the colours of rural France to create a charming space. Linda Ross tells how the space translated blah to ooh la la!

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Creating Inspiring Gardens

Creating Inspiring Gardens

Michael McCoy says a garden shouldn’t just look good, but feel good. Creating it is simple: make a great space, then decorate it. Could it be that easy?

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Garden festival planner: Melbourne

Garden festival planner: Melbourne

MIFGS blooms in Melbourne in March. Here’s how to turn a day at the show into a real garden festival

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Garden Festival Planner: Nambour

Garden Festival Planner: Nambour

Garden lovers flock to Nambour in winter for their fill of new plants, gadgets and ideas. Here’s how to turn a day at the show into a real garden festival.

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Garden Sculpture

Garden Sculpture

Make your garden indisputably your own realm by the way you choose and use sculpture and ornament within it. Linda has some ideas for expressing humour, passion and personality in your garden.

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Great Ideas

Great Ideas

Want some great garden ideas. Grab some tips and trends from the professionals who showed gardens in this year’s Hidden Design Festival.


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Great ideas from Country Victoria

Great ideas from Country Victoria

We found plenty of inspiration on our Ross Garden Tour of country Victoria last spring. Here are a few of our favourite ideas – all worth including in your own garden.

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How to: create a water wonderland

How to: create a water wonderland

You don’t need a big space to have your own water feature: a sunny spot on a balcony or in a courtyard will do. You can use any container, as long as it hasn’t had chemicals in it that would kill the fish. Isla made her water feature in a half wine barrel. Here’s how:

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How to: grow a 'coral reef'

How to: grow a 'coral reef'

Such a simple idea – a coral reef garden full of dazzling succulents – and so fun! Philip Withers’ imitation of a world seen through water thrilled visitors to the Australian Garden Show Sydney and won him the people’s choice award.

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How to: lift your courtyard

How to: lift your courtyard

In just one weekend the Garden Clinic team transformed a chilly corner into a welcoming sanctuary, that is simple to pack up and move to a new location when necessary.

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How to: make a garden bridge

How to: make a garden bridge

While most of us don’t have a lake, our gardens may still benefit by a bridge used to link different sections across a ‘stream’ of garden bed, or dry creek of stones.

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How to: make a garden in a glass

How to: make a garden in a glass

Bottle gardens or terrariums are mini plant worlds to enjoy indoors. 

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How to: make a painted succulent bowl

How to: make a painted succulent bowl

Succulents can survive long periods of dry weather so they are great plants for people who forget to water! Isla paints up a pot to match a succulent selection.

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How to: make a strawberry pot

How to: make a strawberry pot

Isla is looking forward to picking sweet fresh strawberries to eat with ice cream this summer. Follow her tips for your own homegrown dessert!

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How to: make a sweet pea tepee

How to: make a sweet pea tepee

Isla is planning ahead by planting up a tepee of sweet peas. Come spring it will be a towering cone of sweet-smelling pretty flowers.

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How to: make a wreath

How to: make a wreath

A Christmas wreath made with flowers and foliage from your own garden beats the dazzle of commercial baubles and tinsel

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How to: make heart-shaped topiary

How to: make heart-shaped topiary

Topiary is the garden art of trimming plants into shapes. You can make geometric shapes like balls or cones, and animal shapes like peacocks or chickens - even elephants! Isla decided on a heart for her topiary treasure.

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How to: make moss art

How to: make moss art

Graffiti is so much more appealing when it’s green! Toronto is the home of moss graffiti but we think it’s worth bringing home. In fact when we posted about moss wall art our Facebook friends were thrilled. In case you missed that, here’s how to do it.

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How to: press flowers

How to: press flowers

Isla and her friends Abbey and Elise chose some of spring’s prettiest blooms to press and turn into cards for Christmas.

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Ideas from Singapore

Ideas from Singapore

We grabbed some tropical inspiration in Singapore a few months ago when we took two groups of Ross Garden Tours travelers to the biennial Singapore Garden Festival.


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In My Garden: Wendy Whiteley

Wendy Whiteley’s harbourside garden is Sydney’s secret public park. Here Wendy tells us about the garden in Autumn.



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In the garden with Ben and Ros Walcott

In the garden with Ben and Ros Walcott

This large garden in Canberra’s Red Hill is a showcase of almost 1000 native plant species. Its owners, Ben and Ros Walcott are passionate plants people with a keen eye for design.

 


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Indoor Plants

Indoor Plants

Our mission? To make coming home a pleasure when we step inside the front door, and take a deep, calming breath. 

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Is Villa Gamberaia the most romantic garden in Italy?

Is Villa Gamberaia the most romantic garden in Italy?

We join a long line of world-weary travellers who have fallen for the charms of Villa Gamberaia hook, line and sinker.

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Japanese Garden Design Ideas

Japanese garden design offers some great ideas to gardeners. With a bit of imagination we can incorporate aspects and approaches that enhance our gardens without turning them Japanese

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Jim Fogarty's Melbourne garden

Jim Fogarty's Melbourne garden

Jim Fogarty has won a swag of international gold medals for garden design and Linda Ross finds that his private garden is just as lovely as you would expect.

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Mágico Mexico

Mágico Mexico

Three of Mexico’s native plants are behind three of Linda’s favourite things - chocolate, vanilla and tequila - so she was always going to love the place, but how much surprised even her.

 


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Meet Chris Cuddy

Meet Chris Cuddy

Perenialle Plants is a mail-order nursery for tough plants, but you can also drop in. Don’t miss the chance if you are in the Canowindra area. As well as the plants, there’s an inspiring garden and lovely little shop full of artisan-made house and garden desirables.

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Meet Pat and Bill Rhodin Tulip Tops gardeners

Meet Pat and Bill Rhodin Tulip Tops gardeners

Meet Pat and Bill Rhodin, Tulip Tops gardeners. They work hard all year to make this garden's spring display something memorable

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Meet Robert Price

Meet Robert Price

Meet: Bob Price, founder and curator, Mexico’s Vallarta Botanical Gardens. Bob Price plan was to conserve Mexico’s unique flora and birdlife and the Vallarta Botanical Gardens he founded to help achieve that were recently included on the list of Top Ten Public Gardens in America you should visit.

 


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Meet the Lindesay gardeners

Meet the Lindesay gardeners

Every Thursday morning a group of garden lovers gathers in the beautiful grounds of Lindesay in Darling Point and gets to work. Here Robin Powell talks to the group about their passionate connection to this historic house and garden


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Meet: Alex Elliott-Howery

Meet: Alex Elliott-Howery

Meet Alex Elliott-Howery, pickler and community builder.To say that Alex Elliott-Howery and her husband James Grant have a café doesn’t begin to tell the story. Cornersmith is not just a café, but a pickling and preserving business and school, and a trading hub for the produce gardeners of Marrickville.


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Meet: Bethany Linz

Meet: Bethany Linz

Meet Bethany Linz. Wallpaper and textile designer. Bringing the garden inside develops a whole new meaning with Bethany Linz’ botanically inspired wallpapers.


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Meet: Brendan Moar, show garden creator

Meet: Brendan Moar, show garden creator

You really can't help but be a big fan of the work of landscape architect and television presenter Brendan Moar - he's adorable. Seeing one of his gardens come to life on his Lifestyle channel shows is a treat; seeing one live at the Singapore Garden Festival is even better.

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Meet: Caitlin Sawyer

Meet: Caitlin Sawyer

Meet Caitlin Sawyer, Young Horticulturist of the Year in 2015, and winner of the BBM Sir John Pagan Horticulture Travel Scholarship for 2014/15. 

 

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Meet: Saskia Havekes, florist

Meet: Saskia Havekes, florist

Saskia Havekes is the owner of Grandiflora. Her recent book, Grandiflora Celebrations is a behind-the-scenes look at 60 themed events, from weddings to fashion shows.

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Meet: Tony Lennon, botanical sculptor

Meet: Tony Lennon, botanical sculptor

Tony Lennon shapes rock, tree fern or bone to create a home for an orchid, which wraps its roots into its host to form a living sculpture. We talked with him about his work.

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