TDF Design Awards

Australia’s Most Stunning Gardens, Revealed!

Call us biased, but Australia is home to some of the most beautiful gardens in the world.

Representing the very best of the industry are the shortlisted Landscape Design entries in the 2020 The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards. This category awards one standout residential, public or community garden completed within the last three years, as determined by industry legends Paul Bangay (Paul Bangay Garden Design), William Dangar (Dangar Barin Smith) and Georgina Reid (The Planthunter). 

Finalists in this year’s awards range from rugged coastal gardens, to historic suburban estates, family-friendly backyards, and a museum pathway. Take a closer look below!

Amelia Barnes

Ben Scott Garden Design, Garden House Garden. Photo – Derek Swalwell

Ben Scott Garden Design, Garden House Garden

Terraced over three levels, Ben Scott Garden Design has created a multi-dimensional landscape in the Malvern Garden House. Every facet of the garden supports the architecture principles of the accompanying home, providing flexible and adaptable spaces for a growing family. It’s an animated and immersive space that captures the wonder and imagination of a child’s mind. 

Revisit our feature on the Malvern Garden House here.

Acre, Dune House. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Garden Life, Palm Beach Garden. Photo – Nick Watt

Acre, Dune House

A steep, difficult beachside site has been activated by a raised lawn, lap pool and emotive planting palette. Adopting a new take on coastal garden design, Acre have created a space that remains stylish, refined, and almost European in its design intent. The material palette is textural and timeless, with a selection of plants that feels sophisticated while also loose and emotive. Perennial grasses and flowers give this project a uniqueness not usually seen on a coastal property. 

Revisit our feature on this project here

Garden Life, Palm Beach Garden

A clifftop, seaside wonderland has been refreshed  by Garden Life with a naturalistic planting palette inspired by the dry gardens of the Mediterranean and Morocco. Combining miscanthus, aloes and salvias with Mexican lilies, rosemary, Indian hawthorn and Mauritian hemp bush, the various textures and colours come together to create an enchanting scheme. There is always something flowering in this garden, from the orange winter-flowering aloes, the agapanthus in summer, and salvias going right through to autumn.

Rolling Stone Landscapes, Amongst The Trees. Photo – Peter Crumpton. Ian Barker Gardens, Deepdene. Photo – Claire Takacs

Rolling Stone Landscapes, Amongst The Trees

Nestled among the trees is this relaxing garden surrounding the Rolling Stone Landscapes headquarters. An existing circular concrete rainwater tank converted into a fire pit area sets the tone for the remainder of the garden, with a curved path forging its way through lush mixed plantings of grasses, succulents and trimmed hedges. A set of custom pre-formed concrete steps connects the areas in an informal way and provides additional seating area around the fire pit. 

Ian Barker Gardens, Deepdene

This 1860s one-acre property is believed to have been designed by William Guilfoyle, the creator of the Royal Botanic Gardens, and it is listed on the National Trust. A recent two-year makeover by Ian Barker Gardens has restored as much of the original garden charm, including a nationally registered 135+ year old cork oak tree, requiring x-raying of the ground before excavation. Original rose arbours and existing sculptures have also been restored to their former glory.

Revisit our feature on this Deepdene garden here.

Eckersley Garden Architecture, Yarra River Cascading Garden. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Kathleen Murphy Landscape Design, Native Retreat-Studio Garden. Photo – Marnie Hawson

Eckersley Garden Architecture, Yarra River Cascading Garden

On the edge of the Yarra in Melbourne’s Toorak is this truly spectacular garden by Eckersley Garden Architecture, inspired by Guilfoyle’s Volcano garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Planted in challenging conditions on a steep site, this bold, eclectic outcome demonstrates the power of close collaboration between client, environment and designer. Eckersley Garden Architecture have worked with the existing bones of the garden, adding finesse and flair to encourage people through the space and down to the river. 

Revisit our feature on this Toorak garden here

Kathleen Murphy Landscape Design, Native Retreat-Studio Garden

Kathleen Murphy’s own studio garden is an ongoing project that serves as both a hardy family garden for her three children to enjoy, as well as a place to explore ideas and demonstrate concepts in context for her clients. The vision for this garden was to frame views of the Macedon Ranges, nestle the studio into the landscape, visually connect the outdoors to the accompanying home, and use drought and frost plants. The garden allows Kathleen to experiment with plants before using these in client projects, and is therefore always changing. 

Revisit our feature on Kathleen Murphy here.

Kate Seddon Landscape Design, TarraWarra Museum of Art Pathway. Photo – Rob Blackburn. Tristan Peirce Landscape Architecture, Cottesloe 01. Photo – Tristain Peirce

Kate Seddon Landscape Design, TarraWarra Museum of Art Pathway

This garden was commissioned to connect the lower carpark area of the TarraWarra Museum of Art in the Yarra Valley to the Allan Powell designed building at the top of the hill. A subtle approach was required, as to complement and not interfere with the existing harmonious setting. Kate Seddon has designed a landscaped footway that guides visitors through the sloping park. Steps disappear into the verdant hills, materials reflect those already on the estate, and a deck provides a gathering place for events.

Tristan Peirce Landscape Architecture, Cottesloe 01

A unique opportunity to design a small sheltered courtyard with multiple living zones on the Cottesloe beachfront has resulted in this outdoor living space, which is used daily as an extension of the accompanying home’s living spaces. Central to the design is an outdoor fireplace that is visible through the home, flanked with a raised decking space for casual entertaining, and built-in seating for reclining. Planting developed in conjunction with a landscape contractor has delivered a detailed and drought-resistant outcome.

Kieron Gait Architects & Dan Young Landscape Architect, Whynot Street Carport and Pool. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones. Kate Seddon Landscape Design, The Composed Garden. Photo – Rob Blackburn.

Kieron Gait Architects & Dan Young Landscape Architect, Whynot Street Carport and Pool

This new carport and pool by Kieron Gait Architects & Dan Young Landscape Architect in Brisbane highlights its surrounding landscape to provide a connection to place. The concrete carport roof is functional, while providing a terrace to enjoy the northern views. Utilising the slope of the site and stepping down the walls, the rear garden is connected to the gumtree green palette of Mt Coot-tha beyond. The use of excess stone leftover from the carport excavation around the pool gives the illusion of a natural swimming hole, with deep coloured water reminiscent of that found in a gully. 

Revisit our feature on this West End garden here

Kate Seddon Landscape Design, The Composed Garden

This minimalist design combines a natural material palette with a celebration of seasonality. Inspired by the natural and designed landscapes of both Japan and Denmark, Kate Seddon devised a series of layered spaces, providing areas for lounging, entertaining and transition. The rear garden encourages engagement with nature, transitioning from a terraced seating space into greenery, then a seating area with a fire pit. Paving materials including concrete and split stone pavers link the various spaces. 

Revisit our feature on this Hawthorn garden here.

We’re proud to partner with heritage Australian brand Laminex to realise The Design Files + Laminex Awards program 2020.  Laminex is Australia’s leading supplier of modern laminates, quality engineered stone, timber panelling and more. Find out more here.

Winners of the The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020 + Laminex will be announced November 5!


Recent TDF Design Awards