gar­den About the

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Garden Walkaround -

Make fo­liage plants the foun­da­tion of a year-round gar­den

The story of this amaz­ing gar­den dates back to the 1880s, when Sa­muel Hordern ac­quired the land and re­named it Ret­ford Park, build­ing the Ital­ianat­estyle res­i­dence. In 1964 me­dia iden­tity James Fair­fax AC ac­quired the home and 20 acres. He brought in English land­scape ar­chi­tect John Co­dring­ton to ad­vise on the gar­dens. For more than 50 years they were un­der the care of Fair­fax, un­til he gifted Ret­ford Park to the Na­tional Trust of Aus­tralia, which took over in 2017 and is manag­ing the his­toric prop­erty in keep­ing with its her­itage roots while adding modern touches, such as go­ing chem­i­cal-free. Fea­tur­ing an abore­tum, knot gar­den, foun­tain walk and emu run, pool and pav­il­ion, this gar­den is a de­light year-round.

3 Crushed gravel

is a softer al­ter­na­tive to con­crete or paving for gar­den paths and is ideal for cre­at­ing curves. You can choose a colour to suit your gar­den, from white and gold to brown and red, and buy it from land­scape sup­pli­ers.

4 Tiered foun­tains

are a for­mal gar­den clas­sic, but def­i­nitely have their place in modern spa­ces, too. The sound of bur­bling wa­ter is ef­fec­tive at screen­ing traf­fic and other noises, and it ac­tu­ally helps to cool the air dur­ing the warm months.

5 How cute is this guy?

You prob­a­bly don’t have room for an emu run at your place, but there are lots of other na­tive birds you can at­tract and make wel­come in your gar­den.

6 Don’t go past

gar­den­va­ri­ety flow­ers such as tried-and-true petu­nias. Even in the grand­est de­signs, they’re ef­fec­tive at in­tro­duc­ing those splashes of much­needed colour.

You can green your scene and be wa­ter-savvy at the same time

7 Cre­ate a sim­ple

gar­den-themed art in­stal­la­tion with a col­lec­tion of wa­ter­ing­cans. Ask around for do­na­tions of weath­ered spec­i­mens and scour the kerb for cast-offs.

8 Gar­den stat­u­ary

adds a whim­si­cal touch to any land­scape; just scale the piece to suit. You can po­si­tion small fig­urines to peep out of gar­den beds or go for a ma­jes­tic stag such as this one.

9 Turn off the taps

with a ‘wa­ter­less’ gar­den. This bed fea­tures non-func­tional gar­den taps in a wav­ing sea of the or­na­men­tal grass Im­per­ata cylin­drica.

A tough, Aussie plant that thrives on ne­glect, it’s per­fect for hot, dry cli­mates.

10 Please be seated!

Turn rusted me­tal chairs with an or­nate wrought iron de­sign into eye-catch­ing planters. Re­place the seat pad with weed mat, fill with mix and plant up with sil­ver he­lichry­sum.




Con­trast the bur­gundy of aeo­nium with sil­ver-leaved cotyle­don.


The sil­ver fo­liage of Dusty miller is time­less.





Grow suc­cu­lents in a hol­lowed-out log.

Add pops of colour with red dahlias.

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