How to get the 'English garden' look in Australia

There are some beautiful ways that you can incorporate English plants, flowers and trees into your garden to add a touch of English charm to your Australian garden.

Although the Australian climate is very different to the English countryside, Amanda Woodhams, gardener at Cruden Farm, reveals how you can get the English garden look down under. 

Ground your garden

Firstly, Amanda suggests anchoring your space with a classic English tree like a Quercus robur (English Oak).

"For the first three years of the tree's life, please put a guard around its base. The last thing you want is a bush rat, possum or rabbit to nibble its base!" she says. 

Introduce structure

Next, to get a real English feel, Amanda says you need to add structure to your garden. 

"The low hedge that the English use, a Dutch box or the English box, are usually quite a dark shade of green but in the Australian context, I find that the Japanese box, which is a fresher shade of green, is more suited to the tones in our Australian gardens; it also grows better," Amanda explains. 

With your hedge, Amanda adds that it's important to always trim it in cooler weather, and never in the heat of summer as the sun will scorch the leaves.

Top flowers

As for great blooms to top of your English garden look, Amanda suggests three of her favourites:

Firstly, the Cruden Farm gardener says to introduce Seaside daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus) into your space as it's a favourite of one of England's most renowned landscape designers Gertrude Jekel.

"It's low maintenance and will volunteer itself freely around your garden," she says. "It will look particularly lovely when it finds it ways into the cracks of paths and stone walls, giving a beautiful softening effect."

Best of all, the Seaside daisy isn't sensitive to the Australian heat. Amanda says just be sure to pull it out of any unwanted areas immediately to avoid it taking over.

Secondly, Amanda says an English garden isn't complete without at least one type of rose. 

"The Mutabilis is an incredibly versatile rose that flowers almost the entire year," she tells. "It is a simple rose with antique shades of pink, which turn into soft shades of buttery yellow - it truly is a knockout."

To keep this rose happy, Amanda says to trim it lightly and regularly to keep the flowers at eye level. 

Lastly, Amanda recommends using Nepeta (Catmint) to edge a rose bed.  

"It offers a long season of floral interest with its lilac flowers," she adds. "This will also boost the bee-friendliness of your garden."

When maintaining, Amanda suggests trimming it back in spring to avoid any frosts. 

For more gardening inspiration, watch Inside Dame Elisabeth's Garden on Lifestyle at 8.30pm on Thursday November 8.

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