Need design inspiration? Here are designs from Garden Designfest 2012

Here is a selection of design styles from Designfest 2012 to satisfy everyone's sense of 'outside'. Of course, there were top-end residences with built-in backdrops that could only be seen to be believed. They are provided here for design inspiration.

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The award winning design from Robert Boyle's 'The Ivanhoe Project'

Here is a selection of design styles to satisfy everyone's sense of 'outside'. Of course there were top-end residences with built-in backdrops that could only be seen to be believed. But there were also modest yet quirky properties where designs seemed to take on more personality. There were many varied applications of the typical vegie patch, the inclusion of citrus trees, the use of sculpture to draw the eye and succulents to transfix once caught. 

We think there is something for everyone and these designs cover a broad sprectrum of styles; formal, semi-formal, strictly native, eclectic assortments and rambling gardens. Clearly each designer was passionate about what they were trying to achieve and each one showcased practical use of hard surfaces.

Conscious of their environmental footprint, this native design was the work of Phillip Johnson.

Planted some time ago and maintained beautifully, Eugene Gilligan's design was an oasis of green.

Some gardens, like Phillip Johnson's design at 24 Glencairn Avenue, Brighton East was newly planted which allowed visitors to clearly see what was planted and where. In five years time that same garden will take on a completely different feel once plants and trees grow into their space. Others like Robert Boyle's award winning design at Ivanhoe and Eugene Gilligan's design at Kew were much more established and chock full of mature specimens.

Stylish and practical use of sloping land seen at Don Thomson designed garden at Mont Albert

The mature speciments at Ian Barker design at East Malvern

All the gardens viewed utillised the natural features of the site, even as far as blending in with neigbouring properties. Design landscape businesses with post planting maintenance crews were obvious at some of the larger, more extablished sites such as Ian Barker's design in East Malvern and the stylish and very practical Mont Albert property designed by Don Thomson.

Many gardens included eye-catching garden art which had the effect of drawing the eye to specific focal points. A thoughtful inclusion in the Lisa Ellis designed garden in East Malvern was a sculptured piece of fruit to suit her edible theme of citrus, avocado, bay trees and herbs. Tucked into Wendy Clarke's design in Hawthorn was a wise owl, tucked away behind multiple plants and trees of interest including Corymbia ficifolia and under the shade under two magnificent Peppercorn (Schinus Molle) trees. Clever sculptures also work well to add interest to minimalist gardens which use a handful of species but to mass affect as used by Eugine Gilligan at his garden in Kew.

The stand-out and stand-alone feature definitely went to Fiona Brockhoff's red rabbit in her design located in Malvern. Amongst the lush green oasis and mix of exotic and native mature trees, this contempory artwork sits alert like a beacon among the trees. Another eye-catching use of art was in Phil Stray's design in Alphington which used enormous snakes as retaining walls and sitting structures adding a playful interest to a predominant Australian native garden.

Using art as part of the overall theme, this is Lisa Ellis's edible-inspired pear sculpture.

In keeping with the eclectic nature of the garden with its mix of exotic and native, Wendy Clarke's owl sits amongst the natives.

Playful was the theme at Phil Stray's garden, and this snake provided both protection for vegetation and a great place to rest and admire the view.

Probably not the first thing you expect to see, but a delight amongst the Lagerstromia was this modern rabbit at the Malvern property designed by Fiona Brockhoff.

For more images, designer profiles and notes about each individual garden, please click here or visit


Where wasn't Pyrus used? Most gardens utlised this very popular, very practical and very versatile tree. Nathan Burkett's garden at 120 Winmalee Road Balywn used Pyrus to blend straight lines with curves over a sloping site with fantastic results. Due to their popularity we have a range of Pyrus to suit anyone's requirements from 30cm to 200 litres. 40cm/27L 50cm/52L 200L
Garden Designfest simply highlighted what a magnificent residential tree this is for outstanding colour contrast. Bold colour is only matched by the brilliant heart-shaped leaves found on this magnificent tree. Of particular note were plantings located at Fiona Brockhoff's garden at 21 Wilks Avenue, Malvern and Ian Barker's design at 2 Ash Grove, Malvern East. This image is from the latter. We have material most of the year in 50L, 100L and 200 Litres. Be quick! 40cm/27L 50cm/52L
Prunus lusitanica is a brilliant tree for screening. It is green and lush all year and when in flower offers another dimension to the landscape. It was used to stunning affect in Eugene Gilligan's design at 5 Hansen Street Kew as part of Garden Designfest 2012. We have good numbers in sizes 20cm to an instant screen at 2 metres with our 100 litre stock. 30cm/14L 40cm/27L 50cm/52L
A very popular tree, it takes on higher status in the landscape planted in multiple numbers. Fine, white barked and willowly with pendulous foliage, they add visual interest without blocking deeper views of the garden. This example is from the garden designed by Don Thomson located in Mont Albert. Along with the fastigiate Silver Birch we also offer 'Moss White' and weeping specimen in 'Youngii'. Contact us for more details. 40cm/27L 50cm/52L
It was very hard not to notice the Allocasaurina torulosa at the Cantebury garden designed by Rick Eckersley. A large and sprawling specimen, it blended well with Ulmus planted behind it and provided a shady oasis to the front of the house. Often an underestimated tree, Allocasuarina torulosa is not often seen as a main feature to a garden and looked magnificent. We have material ready to go in 30cm, 40cm and 50 litre containers. Of course it will be some time before it looks as majestic as this!
What's the best tree to have in a productive garden. Citrus of course. And Lisa Ellis' garden at East Malvern had plenty of that. Planted with avocado, bay trees and numerous complementary herbs, this mostly evergreen garden has a floral side too, that being seen in white crepe myrtle, magnolia, daphne and gardenia. For a citrus selection try Meyer Lemon. We have stock available now in 30cm containers, 50 and 100 Litre bags.
Facing north and next to a red brick wall, these Lagerstroemia 'Tuscarora' at Kate Seddon's design in Barkly St Elwood, were a great selection for confined space being branched high enough to be out of the way of the driveway. While green now, soon they will be flush with coral red flowers across the entire wall. Offering a selection of flower colour to choose from, we have mauve, white, hot pink, coral red and purple. 'Tuscarora' is available in sizes from 30cm through 300 litre bags. 40cm/27L 50cm/52L 100L
A very popular line and used a lot in design due to its compact size evergreen fullness all year round. Seen here in Nathan Burkett's garden in Balwyn. Of course no-one can go past the magnificent flowers you come to expect from an evergreen magnolia. 'Teddy Bear' has become quite a phenomenon because of its tight foliage making it a great option for screening. We have great stock looking good from 1m to 3m tall. 30cm/14L 40cm/27L 50cm/52L 100L 200L
In Wendy Clarke's garden in Hawthorn, the entire back garden was planted under the dappled shade of two beautiful peppercorn trees which complemented the blend of native and european plantings. Schinus molle has a graceful weeping habit with dark green aromatic pinnate leaves. We have material available in 30cm, 50 and 100 litre bags.
This small tree is fantastic for colour and visual interest. Commonly called 'Smoke Bush' it takes on this magical appearance in spring when in flower. This image is from Fiona Brockhoff's garden in Malvern and you would agree it is a stunning inclusion. This form is more purple both in foliage and flower. Talk to us about supply in 50 litre containers.

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