Book Reviews

The Australian Garden: Designing with Australian Plants


by Diana Snape

There are many books about landscape design on the bookshelves, but Diana Snape has written a book that is unique in so many ways, and not only because it draws on the inspiration of Australia and our plants. First impressions are that this book is very user friendly - it has non-reflective matt pages of varying soft ‘Australian’ colours that accentuate and compliment the subject matter appropriately. The photographs are excellent, very descriptive and inspirational as they interpret the visual qualities of our landscape.

Diana skilfully analyses the writings and design philosophies of some very prominent Australian and international authorities. People like George Seddon, Bruce Mackenzie, Edna Walling, Rodger Elliott and Gertrude Jeckyll, to name just a few, have influenced the traditional and contemporary design of our gardens and our appreciation of Australia's landscapes.

The book progresses through the whole process of garden design step by step, making it simple to follow and ensuring that the unique character of the Australian landscape can be interpreted in any garden format. You will learn how to define your aims and visions for your garden; to apply design principles; to understand the site; and, to prepare a plan on paper.

The unique qualities of our natural landscape have inspired Diana to coin a number of terms describing truly Australian garden styles - native plants obviously create an ‘Indigenous Garden’; however our multicultural society demands a ‘Blended Garden’ of native and exotic species; most SGAP member’s gardens fit into the category of a ‘Walkabout Garden’ or perhaps a ‘Collector’s Garden’; walk through the wallum in spring and be inspired to establish a ‘Tapestry Garden’; be ‘true blue’ and introduce Aussie colours into your garden; stimulate the five senses in a ‘Sensory Garden’.

Diana's book is an appropriate and timely volume to assist garden design in all of the varied regional landscapes of Australia; it is not meant to be a reference for a wide range of species; “The Australian Garden - designing with Australian Plants” should be used as a valuable companion volume to other books, which provide detail information on local plant material. It is highly recommended for your library and coffee table.

Price: $45.00  + postage $8.00

Available from:


PO Box 1137, Glebe. NSW. 2037

Phone: 02 9571 8222   Fax: 02 8208 9938


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