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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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​Sunday’s garden: Growing Heide

​Sunday’s garden: Growing Heide

A new book tells the story of one of Australia’s most culturally significant gardens – that at Heide, the home, for fifty years, of John and Sunday Reed.

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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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Art in the Garden

Art in the Garden

Even the driveway is part of the art in Scotland’s inspiring private sculpture park, Jupiter Artland.

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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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Australia's Best Rose Gardens

Australia's Best Rose Gardens

Need to know where to find the best rose gardens in Australia? We've done the hard yards for you, and here they are.

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Autumn in Linda's Garden

Autumn in Linda's Garden

My garden on the coast about one and a half hours north of Sydney is a relaxed mix of coastal natives, blue bamboo, succulents and tough exotics. 

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Berrara

Berrara

Myles Baldwin first saw the shingled walls of this house and its garden of, mixed planting and lawn leading to the beach, when he was holidaying with mates. He liked its style. Five years later one of his clients bought the house, which is at Berrara, on the south coast of NSW, near Sussex Inlet. Myles was asked to tweak the garden ‘a little’. 

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Better balcony gardens

Better balcony gardens

In this extract from his new book ‘Small Garden Design’, Paul Bangay shares his tips for that most difficult small garden - the balcony.

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Bondi

Bondi

Bondi is known for its beach, babes and bikinis, and not for its gardens. But this is where I find one of Australia’s most imaginative pocket-sized spaces. 

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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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Chelsea magic

Chelsea magic

Chelsea is a magical garden world as full of dreams and emotion as it of of sheer hard work and skill. We took three groups on Opening Day this year and asked the tour leaders to tell us what moved them most.

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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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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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Drummond

Drummond

Drummond Castle’s formal gardens, based on the flag of Scotland and the family’s own standard, are justly famous and surprisingly fun.

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Edibles everywhere

Edibles everywhere

Delicious ideas seen on our travels this year

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Five of the best: wisteria gardens

Five of the best: wisteria gardens

Here’s our pick of the best places in the world to be thrilled by the fragrance, form and sheer delight of wisteria.

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Garden festival planner: Chaumont-sur-Loire Garden Festival

Garden festival planner: Chaumont-sur-Loire Garden Festival

The Loire Valley is renowned as ‘France’s Garden’, and in summer it hosts an international design festival that imagines the future of gardening.

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Garden festival planner: Chelsea Flower show

Garden festival planner: Chelsea Flower show

Chelsea is the prize bloom of the world's garden shows, and the reputation is well-deserved. Here Robin Powell shares her observations on what has been another breath-taking Chelsea Flower Show.

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Garden Festival Planner: Floriade Holland

Garden Festival Planner: Floriade Holland

In 2022 this huge, once-in-a-decade festival will focus on inspiring ways for city-dwellers to connect with the beauty of plants and gardens.

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Garden Festival Planner: Hampton Court Flower Show

Garden Festival Planner: Hampton Court Flower Show

If the Chelsea Flower Show is the sophisticated sister, her younger sibling is bigger, more daring - and definitely friendlier.

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Garden festival planner: Japan’s floral festivals

Garden festival planner: Japan’s floral festivals

Once the cherry blossoms fall, Japan bursts into colour with azaleas, peonies and wisteria creating a crescendo of colour unknown to most international travellers - and not to be missed!

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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: Nelmac Garden Marlborough

Garden festival planner: Nelmac Garden Marlborough

The gates open on incredible private gardens in this New Zealand festival, which also offers workshops - Great Dixter’s Fergus Garrett is the keynote speaker this year - and a garden party at Wither Hills Winery.

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Garden Ideas from Appletern Garden Festival, Holland

Garden Ideas from Appletern Garden Festival, Holland

Visiting Appletern is like having your favourite garden magazine come to life. Around every corner of this vast garden showcase in Holland is a new page offering great ideas for your own garden: design, plants, planting combinations, paving options, sculpture, furniture and more.

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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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Green Escape

Green Escape

Michael Bates reckons that while a plumber might live with leaky taps, and a painter with chipped walls, a gardener never lives in weeds. To prove it he introduces his own garden in this extract from his new book, The New Australian Garden.

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Hanging Around

Hanging Around

Cool green curtains dripping delicate leaves from fine stems are mesmerising. Reversing the trend of growing upward to the light, plants that grow down, and hang around are jewels for gardeners. 

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Hedges: out of the box

Hedges: out of the box

Got your shears sharpened and ready to go? Here are a few inspirations for hedges that show a straight line is not always the best way to get from A to B in the garden.

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Highfields

Highfields

In November 2014 David Kennedy and Andrew Dunshea, creators of Katoomba’s wonderful Clover Hill, embarked on a new garden over the mountain in Little Hartley. In this extract from Claire Takacs’ new book, ‘Australian Dreamscapes’, David tells what happened next

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Holiday at Home

Holiday at Home

When summer temperatures soar, I get a little thrill out of heading out to my back yard. That's because I've a gorgeous subtropical garden that boasts cooling foliage, running water and bright colour. Instantly, I'm on holiday – my spirit is refreshed and I'm thinking: why travel abroad when I can have my island paradise at home?

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How to: clip balls

How to: clip balls

Plants clipped into balls add form and structure to the garden, and beautifully balance wilder, looser planting. The repetition of shapes develops rhythm which holds the garden together, while the contrast with other shrub shapes adds variety and interest.

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How to: create a shell garden

How to: create a shell garden

Succulents don’t need a lot of root space as they store most of their water and nutrients in their leaves. This means gardeners can get creative about where they create succulent gardens.

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How to: grow an edible hedge

How to: grow an edible hedge

Trade up from murraya and lillypilly to a hedge you can eat! These four flavoursome options tick the boxes for pretty, practical and productive.

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How to: prune a camellia

How to: prune a camellia

Ken Lamb, Australia's master of Japanese pruning techniques, took to a historic, mature camellia at Retford Park as part of a three-day, hands-on workshop on creative pruning, held at the Southern Highlands National Trust property last winter. The camellia, an old japonica with a pendulous habit and flowers in both solid and variegated pink, had only ever been pruned to stop it intruding onto the driveway, and it now formed a solid wall of dark green, shutting off views to the house.

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How to: set up a hen house

How to: set up a hen house

Thinking about keeping chooks? Good plan. But before you put in an order for fluffy little chickens, get the henhouse right. Whether you are choosing a ready-made option, or building your own from new or recycled materials, here’s what you need to know to create a happy home for your hens.


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How to: style an ikebana

How to: style an ikebana

The key difference between an ikebana approach to flower arranging and a Western style is that in ikebana the focus is on line and space rather than mass. Instead of adding more flowers to make it look better, ikebana is about what can be taken away. The space between the elements is as important as the elements themselves.

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How to: style balcony pots

How to: style balcony pots

To make a balcony feel like a garden it needs to surround you with plants. Somehow you have to get some plants up at eye level, and even above it. A small tree would be just the thing, but on most balconies a pot big enough to support a large plant is just too heavy once it’s filled with moist soil - and a tree! A more pragmatic approach is to arrange smaller pots at different levels. You need to get those pots up off the ground to really appreciate your balcony garden. Here are a few ideas.

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How to: understand humates

How to: understand humates

Humates are prehistoric (20-50 million year old) decomposed organic matter, which is why they are sometimes referred to as ‘dinosaur compost’. They are increasingly being used by gardeners as a soil additive - with impressive results. In fact you may already be using humates on your garden as they are a component in many high-quality fertilisers.

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Hummelo

Claire Takacs is one of the world’s leading garden photographers. Piet Oudolf is the world's most famous garden designer. Here’s what happened when Claire visited Piet’s garden, Hummelo.

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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: Frog Hollow

In my garden: Frog Hollow

Linda’s garden at Catherine Hill Bay had a few false starts as killer black frosts and maddening weeds wreaked their worst, but it now has a welcoming sense of place.

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In my garden: Hillandale

In my garden: Hillandale

Sarah Ryan’s garden reaches a peak in autumn when the perennial border is at luscious full volume and the mature trees that nestle up to the old farmhouse throw fiery reflections into the lake. Here she tells us what she’s up to in this busy season.

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