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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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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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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: 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: 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: 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 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 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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How to: arrange flowers

How to: arrange flowers

I love the look of flowers picked straight from the garden and casually arranged in a charming jug, jar, urn, vase - even a bucket. But when I pick a posy from my garden and aim for a natural aesthetic with casual grace, my arrangement looks not so much just-picked as just-plonked! So I asked Sonya Gardiner for help and these are her tips - the 5 Fs of Fabulous Flower Arranging.

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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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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: 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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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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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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In the garden: Retford Park

In the garden: Retford Park

Rick Shepherd, head gardener at Bowral’s grand Retford Park, dishes the dirt on what goes on in the garden in spring.

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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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