Category Archive: Events

Gardenworld at 2015 Melbourne Flower Show

By James Wall

We are proud to once again be involved in the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show which starts today and goes until Sunday.

Here are some of the things Gardenworld have been up to:

Candeo Design – The Bronzed Brolga

Brent Reid – Candeo Design. Brent runs his company out of the Design Studio here at Gardenworld. He has been commissioned by the Northern Territitory Government to build a site to promote Tourism NT. The garden is called ‘The Bronzed Brolga’ and includes an amazing pond and a beautiful stone wall. Construction is by Semken Landscaping and the plant list includes 5 Phoenix roebelenii palms borrowed from Gardenworld Nursery. These wonderous specimens are over 30 years old and were grown in Brisbane and shipped down to the nursery. Very rare plants indeed. Brent’s garden received a Bronze Medal.

Phillip Withers Landscape Design – ‘Food Forest’

Phillip Withers Landscape Design – ‘Food Forest’ – Phillip also runs his business out of the design studio at Gardenworld. This quirky design celebrates the fusion of food plants and style in a home garden. There is something here for everyone. There is a fully fruiting persimmon tree that many visitors to the show will never have seen growing before. Phillip’s garden received a Silver medal and also took out the Honda Sustainabilty award for the second year running. Special thanks must go to Semken Landscaping for construction and Outdeco garden screens which looked sensational painted in Phil’s latest colour palette. These screens are available to buy at Lotus Watergardens at Gardenworld. – ‘Resonate’

LocalNurseries – ‘Resonate’
Designed by Vivid Design and construction by Semken Landscaping
A retro styled garden with dramatic undulations and a unique watere feature that resonates sound throughout the garden. This garden was awarded a Gold Medal.

Gardenworld Nursery is proud to be a member of the Local Nurseries group. We are retail nurseries based in Melbourne and Geelong that work together in sourcing the best plants and aim to have the best garden centres we can. If you want your local nursery to be around in 20 years, don’t just go to the big chain stores – come and meet the horticultural experts who love their plants and care about your garden.

 Competition – Guess the weight of this pumpkin

Gardenworld is offering a $150 gift voucher for whoever guesses the correct weight of this giant Atlantic pumpkin. The pumpkin is on display at the Royal Horticultural Society and their Great Hanging Basket Competition. Just look for the hundreds of hanging baskets. We believe this pumpkin may weigh over 200 kg !

Thankyou to the efforts of hundrerds of people, including Gardenworld staff and suppliers, without which this show would not be possible.

Touch of Class plants for 2015

By James Wall

At this time of the year, some of our growers show some of the new plants that are in the system. One such company is Touch of Class plants, located about an hour out of Melbourne, in Tynong.

They propagate plants and sell them to growers all over Australia. Nurseries like ourselves get to see what’s coming up for future gardeners – and we all have different opinions, and here is mine:

Hebe Grace Kelly

Hebe Grace Kelly:

Ok, it’s just a hebe, but this aptly named plant has a classic antique look that is not at all modern. I shouldn’t actually like this plant, but its somewhat dated old school look would actually be stunning in the right pot. Hebe’s also make very good filler plants as they are hardy and need little water once established. This one might just end up a classic.

Heuchera by Terra Nova


These come from a US breeder called Terra Nova who are famous for this range of plants. I just love the lushy leaf growth more so than the flowers. They become vivid in winter and will take a dappled light situation. Pictured above is Lime Marmalade and Black Taffeta. Below is Coco and then Sugar Plum.

Heuchera Sugar Plum

Agapanthus Barley Blue

Agapanthus Barley Blue:

There were quite a few nice agapanthus, but this one pictured above was my favourite. It was a lovely shade of blue and quite compact. Next to it is Phormium Back in Black, a comapct dark coloured flax that makes a great coastal plant.

Eucomis by Terra Nova: 

These young plants look quite special. Alas, they will grow into a bigger hardy clumping plant. Apparently they have little pineapple like flowers on them. Pictured above is Dark Star and below is Freckles

Buddleia Blue and Pink Compact:

These two buddleia are compact forms and only grow 50-60cm tall. They are long flowering, and require no dead heading. They are a much more controllable plant and pictured above is Blue Chip Jr, and below is Micro Pink Chip. These are sure to be cottage garden favourites and would be right at home in a mixed salvia garden.

Some of these plants will be released, some may not. It is pleasing to see some exciting plants in the pipeline and I will looking forward to offering them in our nursery in 2015.

Touch Of Class Plants website.

Terra Nova Website.

A modern Highett garden.

By James Wall

Was lucky enough to visit two gardens in the 2014 Garden Design Fest and this garden in a Melbourne suburb called Highett was one of them.

It was designed by Stephen Read. I found it to be a very refreshing garden and it reinforced some old ideas and introduced some new.

The use of bollards might be an old idea, but it was executed with perfection. The curve of the structures and the simplicity of the planting of Bearberry Cotoneaster dammeri that surround the solitary Cypress, and common plant in this suburbia. The house seems protected yet at the same time open to the world around it.

But what really hits you in the face as you walk in is this stunning wall of Boston Ivy intertwined with Chinese Star Jasmine. In this spring November garden, it was peaking.

This Chinese Star Jasmine by itself looked pretty good too ! And further in behind the bollards was a nice sitting area surrounder by a ‘wonderful’ Pomegranate hedge with Feather reed grass. Hmmm what a good idea. I could imagine mum out here on the ipad, just getting away for a bit of wireless online shopping.

Another fence covered spectacularly but this time with Boston Ivy and Silver Vein Creeper, another one of the Parthenocissus species and another stunning blending of varieties.

Heading down the side of the house, note the red bricks drawing you along what is a very narrow path, but which allows for a nice wide vegetable garden, sensibly designed on the north side of the block. Incorporating terracotta pots into the actual garden, creates a really nice effect, especially with some blue lobelia added for colour.

At this point you reach the backyard. In between the paving is three poignant olive trees and pencil pines adorn the main bed. They are surround by Salvia and Rudbeckia. There appear to be more pomegranate along the back fence, but this is still a young planting and the garden hasn’t yet fully pronounced its full coming.

From there, the things that really impressed me were the differing levels of the ground and the way decking and garden had been incorporated. Nothing was too overdone, but there was just so much there to take in. I am sure the proud owners spend hours siting out there with a paper, occasionally peering up to watch it grow.

A fig tree which will one day shade the house and provide food for the family in just a month or so’s time. A great place to end this little tour. I hope you enjoyed this garden as much as i did. Its simplicity in the front, flowed through to a more complex back yard, that in about 5 years time would have me really curious in seeing. I left this garden content. I wanted to go around each next corner….yes it really dragged me in. It is a privilege for both the designer and owner to let us see it. Next time you hear about an open garden, why don’t you just drop by for a little bit of inspiration….and a little bit of joy. 

Stephen Read Landscape Design website.

Garden Design Fest website.

A coastal Mt Eliza garden.

By Milli Wall.

Yesterday I visited a beautiful open garden in Mount Eliza called Earimil Gardens, a privately owned and independently displayed coastal garden rambling over 3 hectares located on a steep cliff block. Many mature trees protect the gardens exposed position and provide shade in a mostly sun drenched space. Admire sweeping views of surrounding land from a jutting viewing platform – once a helicopter landing pad.

Elaine, the owner of the property at in Mount Eliza, invites the public into her gardens for a $10 entry fee going to charity (children free) When I arrive I find Elaine talking to a group of visitors. She is obviously enjoying the experience of sharing her wonderful gardens. I can see she and her helpers have taken care to put on a terrific day, the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, an acoustic guitarist plays to several groups enjoying picnic lunches on the lawns. Many inspired noises can be heard from people as they make notes to apply to their own gardens.

My kids enjoy finding all the Australian wildlife sculptures tucked away in the gardens but to me the flower beds are the highlight of this garden; providing the visitor with delightful layers of prolific colour. Thought has been put into the smallest details, from nasturtiums and erigeron encouraged to grow randomly through a fence to grand bay views framed through magnificent cascading rose and clematis vines in full bloom. Breath taking, a delightful chaotic wildness is tempered by someone’s loving attention to detail, not a weed or a dead flower to be found.

When Elaine decides to open her delightful garden again I highly recommend a visit.

‘The Block’ hits Gardenworld…

One of Gardenworld’s resident design teams, Phillip Withers Landscape Design have been working really hard over the past week on a terrace garden on the hit television show on channel 9 – the ‘The Block’. Phillip, is pictured centre, with Maxine and Karstan. Outdeco screens are available at Lotus Watergardens and online.

They put together a garden with the wonderful Maxine and Karstan which was about being fun, entertaining and lively. It contained Pops of colour through decorative screening and patterned pots to enhance the space, along with vertical gardens with all sorts of plants from luscious foliage through to the colourful succulents, even the additional Japanese string balls to hang from the roof to create different eyelines…

Phil explains that “The design looks to frame a different view from every room, so it was all about creating a set of photos to enhance this both from the exterior and from the interior to capitilise on the central garden space.

So if you enjoyed the design as much as we did, be sure to get down to Gardenworld where Phil has created a mini replica of all the ideas created with Maxine and Karstan on ‘The Block’ and Phil and the team would be happy to talk to you about creating something like this in your very own home..


Australian Garden Show – Sydney 2014

It’s been a busy month or so leading up to the Australian Garden Show Sydney (AGSS), with 3 designers located in the Landscape Design Studio at Gardenworld making the journey to Sydney to complete 3 individual gardens for the Australian Garden Show Sydney.

Brent Reid and Kim Earl from Candeo Design and Phillip Withers of Phillip Withers Landscape Design are now back in the studio creating gardens all whilst coming down from the excitement of winning 2 Bronze Medals, a Gold Medal and ‘Best Balcony Garden’ at the show.

Phillip Withers put together an absolute gem called ‘My Island Home’, featuring a timber beach hut and a waved and curving bridge surrounded by tall palms and colourful succulents which mimicked the Great Barrier Reef. You could have imagined being on a beach anywhere in the world as the garden transported you to a place of relaxation.

Brent Reid created a hiding spot with ‘Cache’, a stunning garden in which you could retreat from the world and slow down the pace of life. A giant Bronze snail called Joseph hid in the textural planting and added character to the garden while a steel arched arbour created a sense of intimacy. It really was an escape from the world with a bit of fun giving it a light hearted and joyous feeling.

Kim Earl’s balcony garden was aimed to entice people living in high population residential areas to look at their outdoor space in a new light. Planting on differing levels showed how you could create a garden on a balcony and cantilevered bar turned the space into a usable area. Reinvesting in green spaces within the cities was paramount, and what’s an outdoor area if not complete by being able to enjoy it.

Unfortunately the weather wasn’t ideal however the growth from last year’s show (the augural year) to this year was amazing. AGSS had more gardens and stall holders than the previous year and the infrastructures put into place to assist people getting to the show were unfaultable.

Watch out for next year’s show, if this year was anything to go by it’s going to be a cracker!

Gardening with soul – the movie

Love, faith…and compost.

This movie started today at the Classic Cinemas in Elsternwick. It is sure to be a gardeners favourite and an inspiration to anyone under the age of 90. If Sister Loyola can do all this in chilly New Zealand, there is no excuse for us younger Melbourne winter gardeners.

This lively, beautifully shot documentary is filmed almost entirely in the small community of Island Bay on the southern coast of Wellington and follows a year in the garden with 90 year old Sister Loyola Galvin, the main gardener at Home of Compassion. Sister Loyola’s optimism is infectious and it’s fed every day by her love of gardening. Themes of faith, aging and compassion sit alongside the practicalities of community life, issues within the Catholic Church and the importance of good compost in this intimate, funny and moving portrait of a woman approaching the end of her life.  

The following was written about this movie by Jo Randerson (NZ International Film Festival):

As the main gardener at the Home of Compassion in Island Bay, Wellington, her daily tasks include heavy lifting alongside vigorous spade and wheelbarrow work, which she sometimes performs on crutches. Loyola and the other Sisters of Compassion follow the vision of Mother Aubert to ‘meet the needs of the oppressed and powerless in their communities’. 

Filmmaker Jess Feast (Cowboys and Communists) has been following Sister Loyola over the last year, charting her journey through the seasons which included her 90th birthday. Through her garden, we begin to understand Loyola’s commitment to nurture all living things, especially those which ‘don’t get a good start’. From her early work as a nurse with sick or stillborn babies, to her role as a nun raising children with disabilities, we see Loyola’s incredible energy and faith in her God to carry her through the difficult times.

The lively, beautifully shot documentary (edited by Annie Collins) is filmed almost entirely in this small community on the southern coast of Wellington. With music by local musician David Long, and full of the sea- and garden-scapes that have informed Loyola’s life, Gardening with Soul uncovers a local legend and her community for the wider world. It is a conceptual triumph for Feast. Any belief we might harbour that becoming a nun is avoiding the real world is turned firmly on its head as we witness this extraordinary soul steer a sharp course through all weathers, trying to shine love on everything she sees.

Ticket prices: Adults $19, Child $13.50, Concession $14, Senior $11

More information: Classic Cinemas

Winners Of our Gardening With Soul competiton:


My favourite plant has to be the Venus Fly Trap. I was first given
one as a child and it was the perfect plant/pet combination. My
brother and I used to search the window sills to find dead flies to
feed it. They also remind me of one of my favourite movies : “Little
Shop Of Horrors” – while the plant was still cute of course.


My favourite plant is the jonquil.  In the depths of a dark and depressing Winter, up pops their vibrant flowers with the most intoxicating scent.  It is a lovely reminder that Spring is on the way.


my favourite plant is a Lemon Scented Gum. I grow it in a container in front of the entrance door to my house. Every time I go in or out I rub one of the leaves between my fingers and get invigorated by the fresh, strong aromatic smell. I use the leaves for tea or put it in the bath water. It also looks quite pretty: its new leaves are shiny and reddish, and the stems have little hairs that make it look red. Last but not least, the lemon scented gum is easy to care for – it has few pests, doesn’t mind being cut back, and keeps growing happily as long as it gets well watered in summer!

Gardenworld goes yarn bombing

The call came out from Eastland Shopping Centre in Ringwood. Find us some trees to yarn bomb. If you don’t know what yarn bombing is, its when some fanatical knitters, crocheters, stitchers and quilters get together and cover everyday objects with yarn.

It was not easy to find a tree with a reasonably thick trunk, yet still able to be wheeled through a door way. We managed to find four lovely Ficus macrophylla from one of our growers. Of course you would know these trees as Moreton Bay Figs. That’s right, those massive trees you see in parks that are decades old. In fact I remember my last trip to Sydney when I saw the giant fig at Government House. It’s around 169 years old !

Moreton Bay Fig

Moreton Bay Fig planted circa 1845

But back to the yarn bombing. The Eastland Park is a combined project, by local knitters from Domain Gracedale, Waldtreas Village Aged Care Facility, Wyreena Arts Centre, BUPA Aged Care Croydon and The Yarn Corner.

It is on at Eastland Shopping Centre from now until the 15th June. There is a list of activities for adults and kids on their website here.

Now you might think Ringwood is a long way from Gardenworld, but not any more. Driving the Eastlink Freeway, I get from Gardenworld to Eastland in about 20 minutes. The traffic is usually free flowing. For anyone in Ringwood’s surrounds you can get to Gardenworld in the same time, but you’ll have a different type of yarn when you get there. We’d love to see you !

If anyone wants to buy one of these magnificent 5 year old Moreton Bay Figs, they are available for $495 including Melbourne Metro delivery, but only while the 4 trees last, and only if you have a very big backyard.



Silver Medal at Australian Garden Show

Phillip Withers and Semken Landscaping are both part of the Gardenworld team. Phillip designs beautiful gardens and Semken builds them.

Last weekend they were in Sydney for the first ever Australian Garden Show, and their garden was awarded a Silver medal.

Here is Phillip’s account of the first ever Australian Garden Show held in Sydney last weekend:

So I’m back on solid ground after being up in Sydney for a couple of weeks taking part in the Australian Garden Show and all I can say is what an experience it became! And what a great effort the show put together in such a short period of time to get it to where it did.

My feeling was that both the inspirational and urban gardens were of a great standard and set a great bench mark for the standard of gardens for years to come. Gardens such as Brendan Moar’s ‘Suspended’ which became best in show and September sky by Andrew Fisher Tomlin and Tom Harfleet were truly imaginative and inspirational and I could here first hand from the public that they were blown away by there interest.

I was lucky enough to also take part in putting an inspirational garden together entitled Viridus ‘Green and Blooming’ which was quite the challenge in the 6 week period leading in. Though lucky enough I had the support of a great group of individuals led by Outdeco and Limestone Australia whom presented the garden and Semken Landscaping whom built the garden – we pulled it off to create something really special. The feeling from our cabin was met with an overwhelming amount of support both for the garden at day and at night and we were very pleased to be awarded with a silver medal and a groundswell of support in the ability of translating the garden into a Sydney courtyard atmosphere, which is definitely something I was a little apprehensive about being from Melbourne.

Its really nice to be able to go from my everyday of designing gardens in Melbourne to adapt and recognise plants suited to a slightly more warmer climate. There’s so many plants in our kingdom and so many that will work in separate conditions, so for me I love to be able to step into different shoes to work with some different shapes and hints of a more daring tropical notion.

One of the real keys I felt the show provided and can build upon was being open into the evening, it was a special feeling each night at dusk to watch the park slowly bridge into a whole different experience. The lights dimmed, the mood set and the gardens were brought into change, into excitement. See I feel having gardens open at night can do more then one recognises as it creates a whole different experience for the viewer, here we get a chance to create moods within a space and it lets gardens become atmospheric and challenging.

I really believe in this process and I feel it builds an even greater audience to our sport of gardens. So not just plant enthusiasts and garden lovers can appreciate a show experience but so the wider public engage as I feel they started to at the show. They could sit back and enjoy there drink of choice at the Harvest bar and have a chat to people involved and watch over the show in all its glory.

See Its funny when you become involved in a garden show in its first year, many wonder how it will go, there’s questions marks everywhere other than from the people that truly believe in it and put everything into it to make it work. So I can’t thank all of these people enough for the opportunity in creating an event that I feel has a great future and will only get better over the next couple of years. So I sit here leaning back in my chair and step back into reality and I can say that I’m so glad I was involved and saw the success of the first ‘Australian Garden Show’ this year.

Phillip Withers Landscape Design.

Orchids in full bloom.

By James Wall, Nurseryman.

Yesterday I attended the ‘Melbourne Orchid Spectacular’ at Springers Leisure Centre in Keysborough. The quality and variety of blooms this year were of a very high standard. Experts, enthusiasts and novices all seemed to mingle together well. Many people had come from many miles, allured by the beauty of these mystical flowers. I have taken some photos for all those who missed out.

Collector’s Corner here at Gardenworld also have a magnificent array of flowering orchids on display right now and for the next couple of months. Conveniently located right next to the cafe !

Oncidium maculatum

Peter Nelson "Starbright" x Adelaide "Mint"

A stunning mottled pink

One of my favourites

New Century "Spica"

Masdevallia orchids

Beaconfire "Cecile Park"

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