garden About the
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.