8 Beautiful Gardens Blooming With Inspiration From 2023

Whether it’s a small city courtyard or a rambling country estate, the stories in our garden section never fail to impress.

This year we saw a wide variety of outdoor spaces, with all manners of plantings including an enchantingly layered perennial garden in Trentham, a rambling country garden in Korumburra, and a thriving vegetable patch in suburban Melbourne. We simply can’t choose just one favourite!

Scroll down to see them all!

Lucy Feagins

Tim and Sarah Lincoln’s Donvale garden. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

Raised vegetable beds. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

This Lush Garden Channels An Italian Villa, In Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs!

Tim and Sarah Lincoln were fortunate to both grow up on large properties with open space, and they shared a deep desire to create this same lifestyle for their own family.

Working with Plume Studio and numerous contractors over many years, they’ve created a lush suburban garden incorporating a pool, tennis court, vegetable garden, mini orchard and rambling lawns with towering established trees, at their Tuscan-inspired home in Donvale, Melbourne.

What was once an ‘overgrown mess’ is now a peaceful outdoor haven that Tim and Sarah stop to appreciate every single day.

Read the full story here

Heide Museum of Modern Art features five gallery spaces and acres of parklands, including the Heide Modern kitchen garden.

The Heide Modern kitchen garden has a production area in the lower section of the space that is filled with seasonal vegetables all year round, accompanied by annual and perennial flowers, roses and herbs.

‘Many of the produce varieties are selected for their heirloom status, and the herbs reflect a European diet such as rosemary, tarragon, sage, basil, and mint,’ heritage gardener Michelle Stewart says.

A Look At Heide Modern’s Enchanting Kitchen Garden Restoration

One of the defining features of Melbourne’s Heide Museum of Modern Art is its heritage gardens — and none are more famous than the Heide Modern kitchen garden.

The kitchen garden was originally established by Heide co-founder and arts patron Sunday Reed, who modelled it on French and English cottage styles, combining rambling flowers with fragrant herbs and leafy vegetables.

Now about 50 years on from its creation, Heide has fundraised more than $100,000 to restore the garden with the guidance of heritage gardener Michelle Stewart. Take a closer look at how the works have already improved the space for generations to come.

Read the full story here

Materials from the building—off form concrete and blackbutt timber—extend into the landscape, which seamlessly flows onto the bushland beyond. Photography – Derek Swalwell

Crimson glory vine (vitis coignetiae) provides a soothing green within the main outdoor entertaining space. Photography – Derek Swalwell

The architects were influenced by the small weatherboard former camp buildings with gabled roofs across the site, Photography – Derek Swalwell

A Boundless Garden Immersed In Native Bushland

The existing landscape of this project in Shoreham, Victoria, adjoining a woodland reserve, was all the inspiration required to design its new house and garden.

Both the landscape by Plume Studio, and house by Planned Living Architects, harmoniously reference the original camp buildings scattered across the site, and surrounding native bushland near surf spot Honeysuckle Point.

Materials such as concrete, blackbutt timber and rusted steel extend into the landscape, which seamlessly flows onto the bushland beyond, alongside a thoughtful, restrained planting palette that provides seasonality, colour and texture.

Read the full story here

The family’s chickens scratch around under the big willow tree on the property. ‘It is so majestic the way it swings in the wind and creates a roof over the garden,’ says Alice. ‘It’s like something out of a fairy tale.’ Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The vegetable beds are also dotted with rows of beautiful dahlias! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The Bountiful Country Garden of The Design Files’ Alice Ziebell!

You might remember that we also featured Alice’s home this year. There were a few shots of her beautiful garden in that story, but because it’s truly such a magical space, we felt it deserved its own moment in the spotlight!

Alice and her husband, Marlon Ziebell, have transformed their previously empty backyard into a prolific vegetable and flower garden, whose bumper crop of zucchini and tomatoes, the TDF team can attest, would make any home chef swoon!

Read the full story here

‘Rhonda’s Garden’, designed by Tim Pilgrim. Photo – Martina Gemmola

In order to overcome the complexities of the skinny garden space, Tim created a winding path to allow more depth to the planting. Photo – Martina Gemmola

Grasses such as Miscanthus transmorrisonensis, pennisetum thunbergii (red buttons), pannicum virgatum (autumn glory) and calamagrostis acutiflora (Karl Forster) are key plants in this natural, perennial garden. Photo – Martina Gemmola

An Enchantingly Layered Perennial Garden In Regional Victoria

Gardener and designer Tim Pilgrim has transformed this once flat and vacant plot of land into a magically layered garden that blooms and evolves with the seasons.

In spring evergreen varieties take the stage in emerging hues of mauve, purple, grey and yellow.

Summer see the grasses and late flowering perennials fill the garden as the trees and shrubs come into full, verdant leaf.

The crescendo hits in Autumn, as a scene of golden hued seed heads, bare stems, oats, and straws take centre stage. But, the show isn’t over!

Come winter those varieties that put on such a performance in autumn manage to keep their structure and form in the colder months to capture the light and harness the wind for a symphony of texture.

Read the full story here

The suburban backyard garden of digital creator Connie Cao. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

Towards the back of the garden is a flower patch, fruit trees, and perennials that require less attention. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

Connie’s gardening advice is to give everything a go! ‘Be okay with imperfection and not being afraid to make mistakes. The garden is a great teacher, and holey veggies are just an indication that you’re growing pesticide-free produce that are so delicious the bugs can’t seem to resist!’ Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files

Connie Cao’s Thriving Productive Garden In Suburban Melbourne

Connie Cao and her husband bought a home in Melbourne’s outer east with a generous backyard but no existing garden. Three and half years later, they’ve created a thriving productive garden, brimming with summer vegetables, Asian greens, berries, and cut flowers.

Connie shares how she’s created the garden based on permaculture principles, and how you can do the same!

Read the full story here

E-GA have created a garden wonderland under the home’s large pergola. Photo – Will Salter

Eckersley Garden Architecture (E-GA) created a beautiful garden surrounding the home. Photo – Will Salter

The site behind the home is gently sloping. Photo – Will Salter

A Spectacular Garden On A Country Farm, Complete With Outdoor ‘Rooms’

Illangi Farm is a 64-acre working farm in Barrabool, about an hour’s drive from Melbourne. While most of the property is dedicated for grazing livestock, the family home of textile designer (and passionate gardener) Leesa Cowan is also nestled into the farm.

Woven alongside the steel-framed Sean Godsell-designed residence, you’ll find a series of organic, layered gardens and unique green spaces by Eckersley Garden Architecture.

Lush outdoor ‘rooms’ ensure the garden can be enjoyed rail, hail, or shine, enhancing the sweeping views out to the rolling hills and beyond. This is one unique garden!

Read the full story here

The couple have establish a thriving garden to complement the property’s built structures.

New planting complements the site’s existing 100+ year-old Bellarine yellow gums (found only on the Bellarine Peninsula).

At the time of purchasing the property, it hosted a 1970s house, 1980s pool, grass tennis court, and two cedar cabins built in the 2000s — but little surrounding garden.

An Incredible Bellarine Peninsula Garden Established By Longtime Locals

About 50 years ago, this Ocean Grove property was an empty block of land being sold by a local real estate agent. The property was sold one more time in 2016 — this time to the same real estate agent’s daughter, Steph King.

By this point there was a 1970s house on the block, but the surrounding land was relatively empty except for a 1980s pool and mature Bellarine yellow gums endemic to the peninsula.

Steph King and her husband Jason King, founder and director of King’s Gardens & Pools, have spent the last six years creating new plant life on the 1.6 acre property, resulting in the colourful, lively, and layered garden you see today.

The garden is formal without being pristine, in keeping with the wild woodland roots of the coastal area.

Read the full story here

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