Garden Design Study Group: Spring Excursion to Buderim & Gympie

At the end of August 2019, members of the Garden Design Study Group travelled to visit two gardens in Buderim then travelled on to accommodation in Gympie and a wonderful evening at Gunnabel Homestead, enjoying country cuisine and a great social time together. The next day two more gardens were visited. Each of the four gardens was completely unique...

This excursion offered a feast of inspiration about garden design and plant selection in four very different ecological areas.

Dan & Wendy in Buderim

The house and garden is located at the north east corner high on the very steep upper western slopes of a 100m x 100m property where Dan’s grandfather and father grew bananas on the rich basaltic soils as well as tropical fruits. Since 2007, Dan and Wendy have progressively cleared the exotic trees and revegetated with locally endemic species. Most of the soft wooded trees have decayed away and become absorbed by the rich volcanic soils, others like Camphor Laurels remain as substantial logs here and there.

Entrance to the property is marked by the largest Elaeocarpus grandis Blue Quandong that any of us have ever seen – a remnant of the once extensive rainforest cover of Buderim. It shades and protects the house and garden from the north and provides a brilliant unmissable focal point. The steep garden unfolds down the escarpment below the house and as the upper slopes are exposed to the western sun Dan and Wendy have established an arboretum of some of the more spectacular flowering trees Alloxylon flameum and Hymenosporum flavum and tall shrubs which in spring punctuate the green canopy with their flowers.

Lyn & Everard in Buderim

This is a suburban garden that is evolving from an existing established garden to create a composite native / exotic garden. It is a work that has been in progress over several years as Lyn and Everard have planned and applied their design expertise to progressively transform the garden, which apparently had no specific theme or function, into a formal and structured landscape integrating the house/garden relationship.

Carolle in Gympie

This large rural garden can be, and is, described using many superlative terms but really it is a simple garden where Carolle has used her knowledge and experience to create a very special landscape artwork of botany and horticulture in such a way that at every step from the front gate to the lower slopes there is species diversity, colour harmonies and contrasts, textural variety and interesting focal points that I would term a ‘walkabout’ garden. Certainly all of our GDSG members were enthralled and the two hours we spent there passed very quickly as did the images stored on camera memory cards. We all learnt so much as we randomly progressed around the garden absorbing everything at the typical NPQ ‘snail pace’.

Alison & Eric in Gympie

This garden could not be more different to the three previous - a relatively new ‘garden in progress’ around the homestead of a very interesting five acre property on a sandstone formation on the rural outskirts of Gympie. This young couple have done extraordinary things in a short time and they soaked up our garden design suggestions like a sponge. We were all envious of the sheets of surface sandstone and the wonderful sandy soils derived, enthusing that carpets of Actinotus helianthi Flannel Flowers could be established here! And even more envious of the expansive sculptural sandstone outcrop across the bottom third of the property which was in need of ‘dressing’ with an appropriate plant community – but that has to wait for the house and garden to be completed.

by Lawrie Smith
Extract from ANPSA Garden Design Study Group Meeting Notes August 2019

The Garden Design Study Group has been in operation since 1993 and we include both amateur and professional designers among our members. The Group gathers and shares information mainly through regular newsletters and site visits. If you are interested in the use of Australian native plants in landscape planning, either on a small scale in the home garden or in larger, public gardens, why not consider joining and helping to develop beautiful native gardens that can be enjoyed for years to come. Learn more about study groups and how you can join here.

Copyright © 2018 Native Plants Queensland : All Rights Reserved