"For me, a garden is sanity. I get very tetchy and irritable if I can't get my hands into earth for any length of time."
"A lot of people felt betrayed by nature but personally I don't think we were betrayed because we knew that could happen - we knew it in our heads, but never in our hearts expected it to. We very much believe that the bush was here first and if we come in and impose on it then we can expect to be impacted when nature takes the upper hand. We are getting so far away from an appreciation of the role of nature in our lives it worries me..."
"Autumn in my garden is when trees give their tickertape welcome to winter."
"The modern Australian must find their sense of place in order to feel truly at home. For me the natural Australian landscape gives that sense of place. "
"Mate, all gardeners are happy. What else would we be? Put your hands in the earth and let the static run out of your head."
"It's the sheer joy of seeing things grow and helping them to grow, even harvesting the stuff that you've grown yourself, no matter how old you are. "
"Old gardeners never die; they just very slowly turn into the most magnificent compost. But what a marvellous, active brew it is! "
"One constant in a world of variables - a man alone in the evening in his patch of vegetables. and all the things he takes down with him there, where the easement runs along the back fence."
"Today's gardens have become far more than things of beauty. And today's generation is fast finding out that backyards can be an extremely resourceful and powerful tool in not just providing food for the family but also a brilliant way of connecting children with the natural world."
"Gardens are a form of autobiography."
"For me, the act of designing and constructing a bush garden is a prose lytic exercise. Such a garden encourages awareness, in a micro way, of the macro environment in which we live. "
"The bush garden is idealised bush, an aromatic and visual artifice evoking a love of the real bush. "
"I believe that gardens offer us something beyond the material world. They provide a spiritual component allowing us to participate in the wonder and mystery of creation."
"A well-designed bush garden is timeless - a garden for today and a garden for tomorrow. A garden with a sense of region, a sense of place. "
"I can see that the changes that occurred in our garden were a microcosm of changes taking place in the gardening world...The establishment of an exclusively bush garden was a consciously constructed new 'place'... "
"There was nothing jingoistic about our fascination for Australian design, appropriate to climate and topography, or indigenous plants, which flourished in the relatively dry conditions."
"We must feel part of the land we walk on and love the plants that grow there... if we are to achieve a spirit in a garden. "
"The design concept of the bush garden was developed following that of the natural garden. A formal garden based on geometric principles could never be the base for a bush garden in either a philosophic or a physical sense. The bush garden is idealised bush, an aromatic and visual artifice evoking a love of the real bush. The bush garden deals mainly with mass ? vegetation arranged to simulate the bush. It is possible if space permits to incorporate a void ? a clearing or glad or perhaps an open space in the mulch planted with native grasses could never be the base for a bush garden in either a philosophic or a physical sense. The bush garden is idealised bush, an aromatic and visual artifice."
"We're all nurtured by mother nature's cycles and seasons."
"The language of gardening fuels the senses: talk with your hands, observe with your ears and listen with your eyes."
"It's not just about facts, information and technical know how... Gardens are about time, observation and intuition."
"Gardening is about communication, relationships, routines and life-enrichment. Gardens are places that connect us to the seasons and the life cycle. They're a vehicle for talking about esoteric and - as far as TV goes - alien topics such as beauty and fulfilment. "
"In gardens it's not just plants and insects and microbes that grow. People grow too, and the best bit is that they don't realise it's happening. It just happens. "
"But we have to look after mother nature so she can look after us - the water, the soil, the air and all the life within it."
"Every creature and plant is part of her (mother nature's) amazing interconnected garden... The whole world is a garden."
"Get growing. Back yourself and make mistakes. It's your mistakes and observations that are your greatest tutors. "
"I believe in gardening the soil as well as the soul."
"The love of gardening and a desire to cultivate the soil is a natural inheritance of the human race... The advance of civilisation has ever been marked by a development of horticultural art"
"Gardening really opened up a whole lot of ideas. It started me thinking about the life cycle of plants and I became passionate about representing the nature in my food. "
"A Garden Is Not Passive. It has its own way of responding to your involvement and commitment to it. When you walk into a garden, you know whether it is loved or not. "
"The Garden Was My Delight. I grew up with gardeners and I just love gardens. I was always very much aware that gardens were important and they were for sharing... "
"Living Things. The garden can be as unlimited a resource as you want it to be. It's an escape from everything if you just want a break. It is something to do with living things, not a static piece that you put there and look at but something that changes every day. You're committed to it. If you don't look after it, it dies on you. And if you do look after it, it will give you rewards ? pleasure, and a feeling of achievement. There's a sense of responsibility developed in a garden. "
"Its (the gum tree) main appeal to me has been its combination of mightiness and delicacy - mighty in its strength of limb and delicate in the colouring of its covering. Then it has distinctive qualities; in fact I know of no other tree which is more decorative, both as regards the flow of its limbs and the patterns the bark makes on its main trunk. In all its stages the gum tree is extremely beautiful."
"The gardener gives us roses, not gardeners."
"My backyard is a place to recharge and it's a sanctuary as well, because past the green lawn and the green trees is just brown dirt and 40-degree temperature. In the middle of a hot, dry season you wonder how anything can ever be green out here - I guess the lawn reminds me of that."
"A backyard is where you sit and think about life... We think about our kids and how we want them to grow up to be free. Life here is good. If you contribute and do your fair share you get to enjoy this beautiful country and your kids get to play in the park and go to the local school and they're safe."
"Our backyard is our little piece of heaven... You can hear the birds, the sounds of nature, kids screaming, playing and enjoying themselves."
"I like the space. I enjoy it immensely when people come around and say, 'Gee that's a big backyard.'"
"The garden talks to me . This is my passion, where my creative energies come alive. Amidst the forest of native plants, grasses, herbs, spring bulbs, brilliant deciduous autumn trees, orchids and roses are emerging in pots and across archways. The garden is ever changing, just like the weather and me. I walk in it, sit in it, marvel at it and drink it in. I dream of what I can do, then I make it happen, bit by bit. And then I walk, sit, marvel and drink it in some more."
"The sun is higher now, highlighting the grass and the bushes while I write. It is so beautiful. It lifts my spirits bringing light to the darkest areas."
"I need to get out and about more, taste the world, taste nature, and taste the garden. I'm too house bound. That limits my spirit. My spirit needs contact with the outdoors to flourish. I need my garden. I need to plant, to watch things grow, to feel the earth under my feet and in my hands, to know that life will go on."
"The garden is my palette. This is where I create, where I visualise what could be."
"Spring is here. Outside is a glorious blue sky. Sunshine streams though the trees and into our window seat. Sprays of golden wattle burst from the trees. The garden is sighing, sated after the recent rain. Birds are everywhere. The shade houses are filled with orchids in spike. Beautiful orchids fill the house. It is the season of hope and new beginnings."
"There's a touch of blue sky out there and wind - a cold wet winter's day is in the making. The snowy river wattles are laden with blossom. It won't be too long and the yellow will burst out. So too will the bulbs. Hopes for spring, for the future will burst forth, in a blaze of colour."
"The bulbs should flower in a month or so. The place will be a picture of colour, smell and beauty. All the rockwork and the planting of hundreds of bulbs will come to fruition. The lemon and lime trees are languishing, in need of water and food, a bit like me. I'm in need of nourishment for the brain, food for the soul and solace for the spirit. I wonder how long we will have together."
"It's my life really, my backyard is my life. My garden is my soul and my heart."
"You keep so healthy. It's so nice being outside, getting our hands dirty, watching stuff grow with all the fresh air, all the trees, listening to the birds sing. It makes me feel very relaxed and happy. "
"If you're a gardener, or creating a garden you're clearly looking to the future. You have a sense of your own future and a sense of yourself in that space. People coming here feel that hope, that renewal, and that sense of regeneration. They get their hands dirty and connect back to the ground, which is what we feel strongly about - giving everybody the opportunity to get connected to the earth. "
"The Australian backyard was once built for tradesmen and outdoor toilets. As suburbs spread, it became a playground and source of pride..."
"Backyards are as Australian as the Hills Hoists they host, and as individual as those who work and play in them. Whether haven, pantry or playground, they all tell a story."
"Your trees must be tended; if you can afford it, you owe it to them. I don't buy expensive plants; if I am extravagant in any way it is in the care of my garden. "
"Making a garden is somehow like conducting a symphony... different plants come forward at different times and you need to think very carefully about their placement in relation to each other. "
"If you eat from the land, then you connect to it in a profound way. I enjoy being part of that link to the seasons and the identity of the land."
"I love creating gardens and working in the dirt. And it's the sort of red earth, which once in your blood, is there to stay."
"Indeed, so deep is my pleasure in the work of the garden that, if there be a dimension after death in which grieving for the loss of the world of senses is possible, I shall grieve for no person however once agonisingly desired and passionately beloved, for no emotional adventure however uplifting, for no success however warming, no infamy however exhilarating, for nothing half so much as I shall grieve to the loss of the earth itself, the soil, the seeds, the plants, the very weeds... It is a love almost overriding my love the words that could express that love."
"Beauty attracts the eye where all the surroundings are unattractive. "
"The great Australian backyard... it's weird, it's wonderful and it's ours."
"There are many possible approaches to Australian garden design, and they all reflect the designer's individual response to gardens. For my part, I love all things most gardeners abhor... I like the whole thing to be as wild as possible, so that you have to fight your way through in places... "
"I never cease to be thrilled when entering my own gateway... and always feel that entrance gardens should give the first sensation of rest to those returning home. "
"Blossoms on the fruit trees everywhere and the perfume is very heady. I love it. How amazing that nature can produce these blossoms like clockwork and that they smell as sweet as the fruit. "
"I find is absolutely essential to my daily existence getting out into the backyard. When one's feeling dishevelled, stressed out, rattled, I know that in ten minutes of fossicking about in this backyard I am very quickly, therapeutically almost, back on an even keel."
"I think human beings need contact with soil... it's almost a sensual, textural - I won't go so far as to say sexual - experience to actually get your fingers in the soil and the grit under your fingernails."