The Garden State

Inside Victoria's Private Gardens


From Mildura to the lush rolling hills of Gippsland, this is a comprehensive survey of the best private gardens across one of the most diverse Australian topographies.


ISBN: 9781760760861 Category:

Richard Allen


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.

Additional information

Weight 2046 g
Dimensions 25.5 x 33.5 cm
Publisher name Thames & Hudson Australia Pty Ltd
Publication date 4 December 2020
Number of pages 276
Format Hardback
Contributors Photographs by Kimbal Baker
Dimensions 25.5 x 33.5 cm
Weight 2046 g

Richard Allen has been a writer for more than 30 years and has written on a wide variety of subjects for The Australian Financial Review, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Good Weekend, Sunday Telegraph (UK) and BRW. Together, Richard and Kim have collaborated on several books, including Australia's Remarkable Trees and Great Properties of Country Victoria: The Western District's Golden Age.

Kimbal Baker has photographed everything from society weddings to hundred-year-old vineyards but gardens remain his passion. His images have been featured in many Australian and overseas publications, and he has worked for various Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Australian Consolidated Press (ACP) publications. Kim also photographed Grand Melbourne Gardens, written with David Wilkinson.