Our Favourite Gardens of 2018

Gardens have become a HUGE focus for us over the past two years, and we have our intrepid gardens columnist, Georgina Reid of The Planthunter, to thank for that! (ps. Have you bought her brilliant new book yet!?)

Today we take a look back through the most popular gardens we featured in 2018. So lush!

Lucy Feagins

Sean Cook and Michael Bright’s inner city Sydney garden connects seamlessly to the house. Photo – Daniel Shipp.

Sean  Cook didn’t want flowers in his garden, he wanted texture and lots of green. Photo – Daniel Shipp.

Lucy Feagins
4th of January 2019

A Florist’s Lush Inner City Garden

Florist Sean Cook, of Mr Cook, has lived a long love affair with plants! Only two years ago, Sean’s Sydney garden was a trashed construction site, but it’s been transformed by famed landscape designer Richard Unsworth. Today, despite it’s small size, this is a lush outdoor sanctuary with a brilliant sense of energy and drama. ‘It’s all a bit wild, and crazy and generous,’ Sean says. A great example of the value of creating an oasis of green in the inner city!

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The garden of Jenny Rose-Innes, in the NSW Southern Highlands. Photo – Abbie Melle.

‘I am in the garden all day. I am forever planning and thinking about it!’ says Jenny. Photo – Abbie Melle.

Jenny’s garden has a relaxed formality. Photo – Abbie Melle.

Jenny Rose Innes, Serial Renovator And Garden Maker

Jenny Rose-Innes is a ‘serial renovator and garden maker’, who has been building houses and gardens for over 40 years! Her latest creation in the Southern Highland town of Bowral is a testament to her many years of experience and vast gardening know-how. It’s full and voluptuous… and only four years old!

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The Fitzroy garden of Peter Stephens and Anna Charlesworth. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

The pool is embraced by lush planting. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Peter Stephens and Anna Charlesworth at home. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

A Verdant Garden In Fitzroy North

In 2013, which feels like approximately 200 years ago, we featured the stunning North Fitzroy home of real estate agent Peter Stephens, and metalworker Anna Charlesworth. This year, we ventured back for a closer look at the couple’s beautiful and insanely lush inner city garden, created by landscape designer Amanda Oliver.

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The Sydney family garden of landscape designer William Dangar. Photo – Daniel Shipp.

Will has used old timber railway sleepers to define the lines of the garden and address level changes within the space. Photo – Daniel Shipp.

Will planted the frangipani for his wife Julia – it’s one of her favourite flowers. Photo – Daniel Shipp.

The Bondi Garden Of Landscape Designer William Dangar

The lush, relaxed Sydney garden of landscape designer William Dangar was a hugely popular one this year – and it certainly exemplifies his expertise and passion for plant life!

Will’s garden, like the man himself, is no-nonsense. It’s striking – with clumps of foliage plants like Fatsia japonica, berberis, Japanese blood grass and the ever-clumpy Zoysia tenuifolia – and the details are impeccable.

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Sunnymeade; an expertly landscaped property in Anglesea, belonging to Peter and Simone Shaw of Ocean Road Landscaping. The garden is dominated by a couple of magnificent stringybark trees (Eucalyptus obliqua). Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Peter likes the way the clipped forms of the coastal rosemary (Westringia spp) and germander (Teucrium fruticans) contrast with the twisted branches of the stringybark trees, as well as the looseness of the grasses (Poa spp, and Lomandra spp.). Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.


Sunnymeade is an expertly landscaped property in Anglesea, belonging to Peter and Simone Shaw of Ocean Road Landscaping. Its centrepiece, of course, is that incredible sculptural lawn – what a showstopper! Framed by the incredible beauty of the old stringybark trees, this garden is sensitive, grounded and incredibly beautiful.

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With garden beds full of late summer flowering perennials, March is the perfect time to visit Heronswood house and gardens.Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Not only is the garden at Heronswood spectacular, so are the views! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Sunflower ‘Evening Sun’. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Heronswood is one of Australia’s most highly regarded gardens. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Heronswood House + Garden

The INCREDIBLE gardens at Heronswood on the Mornington Peninsula need to be seen to be believed! This magical garden belongs to Clive and Penny Blazey, founders of the Diggers Club, Australia’s largest gardening club, with over 75,000 members.

Here, Clive, Penny and their team have preserved and cultivated an astounding abundance of rare plants and heirloom seeds over the past 40 years.

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Inside artist Bill Henson’s garden. Photo – Daniel Shipp.

From the indoors to the outdoor.  Photo – Daniel Shipp.

Bill Henson’s Post-Industrial Walled Garden

We were more than a little starstruck to feature the Melbourne garden of Bill Henson earlier this year, courtesy of our garden’s columnist Georgina Reid.

For Georgina, Bill Henson was a surprise. ‘I had been told he had a good garden, but I had no idea of the depth of his obsession. I presumed art had a controlling hand over Bill’s heart, but I was wrong. He’s a very serious garden maker, garden lover and garden thinker.’

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Our tour of Bill Henson’s garden is an extract from Georgina’s book, The Planthunter: Truth, Beauty, Chaos and Plants


‘The garden was designed for kids to run through,’ Ian Barker says. Photo – Claire Takacs, courtesy of Ian Barker Gardens.

Lush, perennial planting augments an enticing and beautiful family garden. Photo – Claire Takacs, courtesy of Ian Barker Gardens.

The sculptural form of the crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) contrasts beautifully with the fine, textural grasses in this Camberwell garden. Photo – Claire Takacs, courtesy of Ian Barker Gardens.

A Perfect Family Garden In Camberwell

Ian and his team at Ian Barker Gardens were engaged by the owners of this garden, surrounding a gorgeous old home in the Melbourne suburb of Camberwell, to design and build a garden for their large family in 2015.

Responding to new additions to this gorgeous old home by architects Herbert and Howes, the garden’s lines are simple and elegant. ‘We really toned down the garden,’ Ian says. ‘It’s restrained, yet it has a huge impact.’ Part of the success of the garden, according to Ian, is its relationship with the architecture. ‘Without the backdrop of the pavilion, the garden wouldn’t look anywhere near as good as it does today’, he says.

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Recent Gardens