The Garden You Wish You Had – 5 Breathtaking Garden Designs around Australia

garden at Rippon Lea

Sometimes the best way to get Australian garden design inspiration for your backyard is to actually go out and find it. Australia has so many wonderful gardens you can wander through, why not make a day of it and visit those parks closest to you?

Thanks to the Open Gardens Australia scheme, you can visit many of Australia’s best private gardens, as well as those regularly open to the public. Here are our top 5 designs from gardens all around Australia:

Heronswood, Victoria

This historic property on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne is home to The Diggers Club, so it specialises in mingling vegetables, fruits and herbs with flowers and trees. It teaches you how to combine self-sufficiency with style and elegance to create a stunningly full garden. The result is a lush allotment of green, with views of Port Phillip Bay beyond.

garden at HeronswoodPhoto Credit: damselfly58 via Compfight cc

The property has five separate vegetable gardens as well as Moreton Bay fig trees, wild bluebell vines, the Queensland Brush Box, and much more. There’s also a dazzling array of flowers including perennials and annuals to compliment a cottage garden and a dry climate garden.

The venue has the largest collection of fruits and vegetables for gardeners and is also the first in Australia to be certified organic. You can buy seeds and plants from their onsite nursery.

If you’re looking to make over your garden to make it more sufficient, this is the place to get inspiration (and supplies!).

Address: 105 Latrobe Parade, Dromana.

Stringybark Cottage, Queensland

Many people might see tropical Queensland as a hard place to maintain a stunning garden. But it’s Queensland’s fertility that makes it a delight for gardeners to experiment with tropical plants of all varieties.

The Sunshine Coast’s Stringybark Cottage shows how you can create a forest in the tropics. The two-and-a-half acre property is broken up into themed garden rooms, which you can enter through vine-covered arches.

The best thing about this garden is the rich, indulgent flowers on show. There are waratah, lilypillies, tamarinds and cassias. Plus of course plenty of ferns and fern trees.

To break it all up and lead you from one place to the next are cobblestone paths, pavers, and ground mosses.

Oh, and did we mention the sculptures and other interest pieces dotted throughout the garden? You’ll just have to see it for yourself.

Address: 13 Sudholz Road, Verrierdale.

Hunter Valley Gardens, New South Wales

If you really have no idea where to start with your own garden, the Hunter Valley Gardens near the Brokenback Ranges in New South Wales are the place to go.

Hunter Valley GardensPhoto Credit: Samantha Gale Photography via Compfight cc

Set on 60 acres, there are ten differently themed gardens on one property. You can walk eight kilometres of paths and view 6,000 trees and 600,000 shrubs.

There are themes here to suit every taste, so take a pen and pad and start taking note of the many ideas that will suit your backyard.

You have the Sunken Garden, which has a ten-metre waterfall. The Storybook Garden features sculptures of classic nursery rhyme characters. Take a trip around the world with gardens that give a nod to the tropics of the Mediterranean, the formality of Europe, the mosaics of India, and the superstitions of China.

One garden has a lake trimmed by weeping willows; another the boxy look of manicured hedges. And then, of course, there’s the obligatory rose garden featuring over 8,000 roses. There’s a reason it’s won dozens of Tourism awards.

Address: Hunter Valley Gardens, Broke Road, Pokolbin, New South Wales. 

Mount Wilson Gardens, New South Wales

We’re cheating a little bit here, because the Mount Wilson Gardens in the Blue Mountains are actually made up of several individual gardens. But in fact, the township is so well known for its numerous estates that it sports the title “Heritage Garden Village” and hosts an annual Autumn Garden Festival. It couldn’t get better than that.

mt wilsonPhoto credit: Halans via Flickr.

Among the many cool climate exotic gardens here are the Yengo Sculpture Gardens, Nooroo (with its world famous wisteria collection), Breenhold, and Windyridge. Many of these gardens are open year round.

In the late 1880s, Mount Wilson was a small village home to a number of summer retreats. There, the owners surrounded themselves with gardens reminiscent of their English homeland. Many of the gardens have been growing ever since – one has been continually growing for 120 years! But beware; once you enter the town you may never want to leave.

Address: Mount Wilson, New South Wales.

Rippon Lea, Melbourne

Victoria is called Australia’s Garden State, so it should come as no surprise that our fifth garden returns to this southern state. The gardens of Rippon Lea in inner-city Melbourne are a vast and beautiful place of respite amid the daily metropolitan bustle. Set on 14 acres of gentle lawn, it’s the ideal outing for a picnic.

garden at Rippon LeaPhoto Credit: MollaAliod via Compfight cc

But what we love about Rippon Lea is the garden layout, which uses rustic pieces like lake bridges to evoke an earlier, slower and more peaceful era.

Rippon Lea is romantic, with a European look that uses geometric beds and paths to give shape and direction to the huge lawns. It features the Southern Hemisphere’s largest fernery, plus an orchard with more than 100 varieties of apples and pears!

Address: 192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick.

Of course, these are just a few of some of the best gardens Australia has to offer. All our major cities – and many municipalities – have a Botanical Gardens you’re encouraged to roam. What better place to get inspiration than right in your home town, where you can find durable natives and fantastic garden designs that will suit your backyard to a tee?

Ready to Renovate?

Want to recreate your whole backyard to fit in some of these inspiring ideas? Check out our other resources below:

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About Alex Kuchel

This is Alex. Alex is the National Brand Manager at Australian Outdoor Living (AOL). By day, she’s a member of AOL’s marketing team. She helps to conjure up ideas on how best to promote Australian Outdoor Living and enjoys working with a pretty awesome team of clever cookies. By night (and weekends), she enjoys the company of her family and friends. She’s a big believer in sun shine and does her best to enjoy it with those she loves most.”

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