The Garden State: Inside Victoria’s Private Gardens by Richard Allen and Photographs by Kimbal Baker
Victoria’s rich soil, mostly cool climate (apart from mid-summer heatwaves) and – in many places – nourishing volcanic soil mean that with passion, patience, imagination and commitment, amazing gardens can be built and maintained.
The Garden State includes stately old wonders like the magnificent Macarthur Street Garden at the foot of the Grampians in Dunkeld and the rambling gardens of Mount Macedon, with 120-year-old trees, grand houses and moss-covered paths. But there are also plenty of newer, innovative and exciting gardens that have been built up over the last 20 years. In Mildura, for example, an eccentric desert garden appears like an oasis in the landscape. While in the Dandenongs, a miniature garden displays a collection of rare alpine flowers from around the world and deep in the Barabool Hills, a Sean Godsell house becomes a seamless part of the dry-garden planting.
Chapters cover a range of garden types, including Rural Estates, Hill Stations, Climate Conscious gardens, Coastal Retreats and Old Curiosities, and cover the history of each garden, how it works within the landscape and what measures have been taken to adjust to or cope with environmental conditions.
Photographed across all four seasons, The Garden State showcases the finest private gardens of Victoria from all angles, highlighting the diversity of each region.