Event Highlight: Autumn Coach Tour to Gisborne Gardens

A great day was had by 35 attendees on our first Garden Coach Tour, Saturday 21st April 2018.  We had the opportunity to visit 4 gardens created by two Garden Designers who live in the Gisborne area – Kathleen Murphy and Sue Meli.

None of the gardens were similar in any way.  From a small suburban property designed for the aged and disabled to a huge rural property with expansive grounds and a hilltop view to the city.   And a Garden Designers own garden incorporating drought tolerant plants with perennials and a large modern minimalist indigenous garden with attracts and encourages the native wildlife.   Lunch (provided by the Trading Post Cafe) was enjoyed at Tieve Tara Gardens and the day was capped off with a visit to Frogmore Gardens & Nursery.


“Pindara” – This garden has been designed by Sue Meli Landscape Designs.  The property was purchased in 2010 by the current owners, and at the time the hillside below the house was just paddocks.  The owners wanted to improve the plantings and provide flat lawn areas for their children to play on.  The challenges of the slope were some of the key issues for this site.






Aging in Place – This is a newly designed and planted garden (appx 1 year old).  Again a difficult site due to sloping land, current owners wanted a space and garden that could be easily navigated as they grew older.  This garden was designed by Kathleen Murphy Landscape Design, at the same time as the house was designed and built.  Plants were all selected for their frost and drought tolerance.







Native Retreat – This garden and work studio designed by Kathleen Murphy Landscape Designs blends into the natural landscape, a mix of native and exotic plantings chosen for textural and foliage interest.  Locally sourced material is also used amongst frost and drought tolerant plants.










Kelly Gardens – Designed by Sue Meli Landscape Designs the brief for this garden was to retain and enhance the connection of the house to the natural surroundings of the adjacent bushland reserve.  While still maintaining space for children to play and explore, the local fauna was also welcome to engage with the garden.  Plantings used are native and with low maintenance and water requirements.  Challenges included shallow top soil and a hard clay base, winter frosts, damaged soil profile following house construction, and rabbits.






Frogmore Gardens & Nursery




Judith Brand talking with group at Tieve Tara

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