Is there an Australian Garden Style?

Last month Mary Jo and I presented a talk about ‘Our Australian Gardens – Ideas to Inspire’ on The Garden Platform at the Ekka – Brisbane’s annual agricultural exhibition.

We’d like to share with you a few of the elements we discussed – not all in one post – there’ll be plenty of time to reflect!

Successful gardens usually:

* relate to the climate

* are in context to their environment

On a personal level they:

* reflect the culture of the owners

* reflect the taste of the owners

* suit the lifestyle of the owners

Here’s a garden relating to the climate in outback Queensland. At Darriveen, Longreach, 1600 kms from Brisbane, the Hetheringtons have planted a canopy of shady trees including coolibahs, whitewoods, kurrajongs, Cook trees, poincianas and oleanders, and when summer temperatures soar in the high 40s, shade can create a magic sanctuary. (For further information about this garden read the current RM Williams Outback Magazine.)

In the cooler months, and when friends visit, the family love to catch up and share a drink and bite to eat around the garden fire place – complete with a sculptural rock table and gnarly log seats.

While rich red dirt has been imported into other sections of the garden, in this sunken garden, pebbles and gravel work well. Note the sloping flat rock sides, and in the middle a fountain sits in a pond made from a sheep trough, clad in timber.

Over the garden fence is the veggie patch, and beyond that are hundreds of thousands of acres…

Yes, we think this garden is in context: a beautiful retreat embracing its environment.

While high above, in the treetops, prolific bird life is a sure sign that in this micro-climate it’s a great place to live.


Categories: Reviews

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