10 Glorious Gardens Blooming With Inspiration From 2022

Much like the reliability of daffodils blooming in spring, or dahlias flowering in mid-summer, we can always be sure of a beautiful garden story being a hit with our TDF readers.

They’re some of our favourite stories too. Whether it’s a small urban garden or a coastal oasis, there’s something about a lush and thoughtful outdoor space that serves as escapism, as well as inspiration. 

This year we visited some truly glorious gardens, including a clever courtyard in a converted warehouse, and a magical suburban garden – with giant metallic mushrooms! See them all below.

Lucy Feagins

The intriguing entrance garden of the Xavier project, with landscaping established by Vogue Grange! Photo – Sarah Pannell

The full and lush gardens feature ornamental fluffy grasses and purple Sedum flowers. Photo – Sarah Pannell

Pavilion finish concrete adds extra texture to the entry steps of the house. Photo – Sarah Pannell

The soft, dense green planting fills any gaps around the house, featuring Carex ‘Frosted Curls’ and Myrtle spurge. Photo – Sarah Pannell

A Hawthorn Home Enveloped In Dreamy, Layered Gardens

‘Wild’ and ‘organic’ aren’t the first words that come to mind when you think of the traditional backyards in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

But landscape design studio Peachy Green has created something unique at this new Hawthorn home, with a diverse and textural planting scheme that’s reminiscent of a ‘woody meadow’.

The family residence is surrounded in thoughtful, layered garden spaces, which soften the white-brick exterior with evolving shades of green and pastel flowers.

Read the full story here.

Ralph Bristow’s partner Nicky designed and build the strawbale property with the help of Chris Rule from Spacebale. Photo – Ralph Bristow

‘I tentatively started the garden in a small way about three years ago. It has dramatically expanded to about 2.5 acres. Most of the garden, besides some trees, are only around one or two years young,’ Ralph says. Photo – Ralph Bristow

There’s also a ‘decent sized veggie garden’, surrounded by plants, fenced off from marauding deer and kangaroos and access around the garden is facilitated by lawn and steppingstone paths. Photo – Ralph Bristow

A Former Paddock Turned Vibrant Botanical Wonderland In Regional Victoria

It’s hard to believe artist and garden designer Ralph Bristow only started working on this flourishing garden in regional Victoria three years ago.

Tucked away on a six-acre block in Barwite, near Mansfield, the neglected paddock has been transformed by Ralph into a spectacular botanical wonderland filled with Indigenous trees, biannuals, bulbs and shrubs, plus a vegetable patch and a perennial garden!

The colourful landscape changes magnificently with the seasons – witnessed from his strawbale family home. 

Read the full story here.

Inside The Bakery‘s flourishing garden by The Garden Social! Photo – Anson Smart

The heritage building in Newtown was originally a corner shop and bakery warehouse that dates back to the early 1900s. Photo – Anson Smart

‘The existing pool overtook the space and the client suggested reducing the size of it to give space back to the garden itself,’ The Garden Social director Asher Cole says. Photo – Anson Smart

The striking courtyard is now the ideal gathering place for the client and their adult children. Photo – Anson Smart

A Serene Courtyard Garden Inside A Converted Bakery

Attracting the birds and the bees was a central part of the vision for this Sydney home’s intriguing garden.

The heritage building in Newtown was originally a corner shop and bakery warehouse that dates back to the early 1900s. Today, it’s a converted five-bedroom residence designed around a peaceful courtyard by The Garden Social.

Clever landscaping celebrates the property’s rich, industrial textures with soft layers of greenery that successfully bring nature back to its densely urban setting.

Read the full story here.

The folly is located at the bottom of the garden surrounded by hedges and lawn. Photo – Chloe Paul.

It’s just three square metres in floor space, and made from the same painted weatherboard as the main house. Photo – Chloe Paul.

The external wall garden of the guest cottage. Photo – Chloe Paul.

A Cottagecore Folly Buried At The Bottom Of A Grand Garden 

In architectural terms, the definition of a ‘folly’ is a decorative or ornamental structure that is largely non-functional. 

But Cameron Kimber‘s folly is much more than a mere ‘ornament’. The interior designer’s quaint sheltered room at the bottom of his garden in the NSW Southern Highlands is packed with personality and put to good use!

Read the full story here.

Kate Ulman’s dahlia garden was inspired, in part, by flower farmer Erin Benzakein of Floret Flower. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Kate Ulman and Brendon Eisner, of Foxs Lane. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

One of the aims of the garden was for it to be as beautiful as possible – the flower garden delivers that in spades! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

A Dreamy Dahlia Garden On A Regional Family Farm

Daylesford Organics farmers Kate Ulman and Brendon Eisner live on 50 acres of forest and orchards that make up their farm in regional Victoria, with their three kids, Indigo, Jarrah and Pepper.

In the heart of their block is an incredible garden, comprising a kitchen garden right outside their doorstep, and a larger, flower, veggie and berry garden on top of a hill at the Musk Vale property.

These picturesque grounds are straight from the pages of a country living magazine, with abundant rows of brightly coloured dahlias, perennial plants, and an amazing sunroom nearby – complete with lush indoor vines! 

Read the full story here.

Kate Shanasy’s new garden is an entertainer’s coastal delight! Photo – Kate Shanasy.

Dichondra (convolvulaceae) is planted between the pavers for ground cover. Photo – Kate Shanasy.

Kate created meandering paths through the garden with Eagle Point Dust. Photo – Kate Shanasy.

How This Young Photographer Transformed Her Rambling Coastal Garden In One Week!

With a little help from her friends, photographer Kate Shanasy totally transformed her jungle-like garden in Blairgowrie, Victoria, into an entertainer’s coastal delight – in just one week!

Inspired by designer Fiona Brockoff’s Sorrento garden (‘just around the corner’), Kate swapped finger grasses and overgrown ivy for sand grit, boulders and native plants.

Read the full story here.


The front garden is layered and wild with grasses, poppies and perennials dominating the planting. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

The deck was designed by FIGR Architects and built by Kostas Constructions. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

A Magical, Layered Melbourne Garden – With Giant Metallic Mushrooms!

When artist Kate Ballis and photographer Tom Blachford first came across their Ivanhoe East, Melbourne, home, the backyard was an overgrown, unruly English cottage garden with an impressive array of established fruit trees.

The pair decided this was the perfect base to work off, to create their own whimsical version of an English cottage garden, complete with ‘secret rooms’, winding paths, giant metallic mushrooms (!) and arbours leading to the beds of 41 rose bushes.

The result is something you might expect to see in Alice In Wonderland, with surprises around every corner!

Read the full story here.

Green-on-green contrast foliage helps the yard feel lush and full. Photo – Marnie Hawson

A window at the rear opens the home to the garden. Photo – Marnie Hawson

An additional seating area is hidden among the greenery. Photo – Marnie Hawson

The vegetable garden was another highlight of the project. Photo – Marnie Hawson

A Thoughtful Garden Championing Nature In The Inner-City

While the lifestyle and convenience of living close to Melbourne’s CBD has many perks, one of the drawbacks of the inner suburbs is the lack of space – and subsequent longing for a garden.

But if you’re lucky enough to have a yard and a sizeable block, there are still subtle ways to bring a sense of nature back to your urban environment.

Case in point; this Fitzroy North garden by Sam Cox Landscape. Thanks to a mix of native plants and established trees, it transports the homeowners to the Australian bush.

Read the full story here.

The farmhouse was built by current owner Jim Ferguson’s grandfather in 1928. Photography – Marnie Hawson

Emily McEachern moved into the property with Jim six years ago, and has been tending to the grounds and garden ever since. Photography – Marnie Hawson

Hydrangeas, foxgloves, delphiniums, hollyhocks, snapdragons, and daisies instil an array of additional colour. Photography – Marnie Hawson

Photography – Marnie Hawson

A Rambling, Romantic Garden For A Third Generation Farmhouse

The Farmstead Tatura is a third generation farmhouse built by current owner Jim Ferguson’s grandfather in 1928.

Emily McEachern moved into the property (about 20 minutes from Shepparton) with Jim six years ago, and has been tending to the grounds and garden ever since. With her love and attention, she’s revitalised the sprawling five-acre garden previously created by Jim’s mother with soft colourful blooms and over 150 roses, reminiscent of an English garden.

Read the full story here.

The retro-inspired house is engulfed in two acres of sprawling native gardens. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris

It features a steep position that was perfect to create a Modernist-style home suspended on the hillside, with room for more gardens below. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris

Photo – Jessie Ann Harris

The growing greenery will continue to embrace the house over time. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris

A Thoughtful Native Garden Anchoring A ‘Floating’ Home In The Byron Hinterland

This striking home in the Byron hinterland is perched on a crater formed by an ancient volcano that was active 23 million years ago.

Now known as Coolamon House by DFJ Architects, the floating residence features uninterrupted views out towards the ocean. But its Fig Landscapes-designed gardens are just as spectacular.

While the build itself was completed in 2020, landscapers have continued planting almost every week to ensure the sprawling natives will beautifully envelop the house over time.

Read the full story here.

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