Years ago, on one of our early Jacaranda Cruises, a woman presented me with a cardboard toilet roll. I was a bit surprised until I saw the round pink bud
inside. It was a single long stem of the‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peony. Over the next two weeks I was captivated as the bud gradually opened to a multitude
of pink petals and a boss of golden stamens. I’ve been mad for peonies ever since and have admired them in peak perfection in gardens in England, Canada,
USA and France, as well as in cool climate gardens in Australia.
Powis Castle is a medieval fortress and grand country manor of striking red limestone that perches on top of a hill. Its crenelated battlements reach into the clouds and its mullioned windows overlook Italianate terraces planted up with fine herbaceous borders. Fromteh lake-like lawn at the bottom of the hill the castle appears to be resting on lumpy cushions. The are giant yews, planted as a hedge in the 1720s. The intervening centuries have allowed them to bulge and slouch and become their individual selves, rather than a single well-behaved entity. They’re called tumps, and look like giant green bean bags balanced on the weathered red brick wall. From their vantage point they have watched 400 years of history and garden-making play out in the grounds of Powis.Read More
Secret Gardens is one of Sydney’s most successful garden businesses – designing, constructing and maintaining beautiful gardens across the city. In this extract from a new book featuring 19 of the company’s finest gardens, founder Matt Cantwell explains how a garden can balance privacy with views out - and into - the garden.Read More
On a sodden April weekend some of Sydney’s professionally designed gardens opened their gates to visitors for the Hidden Festival of Outdoor Design. There were 21 gardens, lots of rain, and plenty of take-home ideas for solving everyday design issues in our own gardens. Here are a few of our favourites.Read More
Most mornings Dame Elisabeth Murdoch and her gardener Michael Morrison shared a breakfast of tea and toast and discussed the day’s plans for the garden. Michael filled in a garden diary, as requested by Dame Elisabeth early in their working relationship. The diaries have now been published as 'Cruden Farm Garden Diaries' by Penguin/Lantern, with explanatory text by journalist Lisa Clausen and contemporary photographs by Simon Griffiths. This brief extract shows how the diaries chart not just the garden, but also the attitude of its gardeners to each other.Read More