Meet private garden owners and learn first-hand what it’s like to garden in different countries and climates.
Each year, Botanica visits more than 100 private gardens around the world, and these special visits ‘beyond the garden gate’ to gardens not usually open to the public, are a unique highlight of Botanica journeys. The private gardens we visit change from year to year, depending on the unique itineraries we develop or the personal circumstances of the garden owners.
We are so lucky to have so many garden owners who are happy to welcome Botanica guests into their private domains. The gardens we select have not been built for commercial purposes but have been created as a labour of love by the garden owner. Our guests are guided around the gardens by the garden owners who love to share the trials, triumphs and stories of their garden. Private garden visits often provide the most inspiration for our guests. Seeing gardens on a small scale, that have been achieved through the work of the garden owners, not teams of gardeners and without an endless budget, provides Botanica guests with ideas on what they can achieve in their own patch back home. Here are our top private gardens in Australia and New Zealand.
Located in Victoria’s Central Highlands, Stonefields Garden is considered a masterpiece in garden design and plant selection. Not surprising, considering it is the labour of love of Australia’s most celebrated garden designer, Paul Bangay. Visit Stonefields with Botanica on our 7 Day Victorian Private Gardens & Galleries trip or our 5 Day Victorian 'Fork to Fork' trip and Paul will share his story of the garden’s evolution, and how he transformed it from a 16-hectare cow paddock to the grand, majestic garden you see today.
Sophie Thomson’s Garden ‘The Patch’
A presenter for ABC’s Gardening Australia, Sophie Thomson opens up her property, ‘Sophie’s Patch’, for Botanica guests on our 7 Day South Australia’s Wine & Roses with Clare Valley trip. The 1.2-hectare property has its own sustainable organic garden including a large veggie patch, fruit trees and what she hopes will be a breathtaking climate-compatible ornamental garden.
Not far from Hobart, Corinda is one of Tasmania’s finest private gardens. On Botanica's 9 Day Private Gardens, Art & Taste of Tasmania trip, wander from garden ‘room’ to ‘room’ over the 0.4-hectare site and admire the symmetrical parterres and box hedges. Overlooking the gardens is the owner’s beautiful Victorian mansion. The garden’s centrepiece is a magnificent magnolia tree that is more than 100 years old.
First laid out in 1865 by one of New Zealand’s first botanists, Ohinetahi Garden, overlooking Lyttleton Harbour near Christchurch, has faced many challenges including recent earthquakes. The gardens have now been lovingly restored and feature different compartments, long axis and viewing sites to admire the many different aspects, including a white garden, the Hornbeam Walk, a woodland garden with swing bridge and a native vegetation walk. Notable plants include manicured box hedges, golden robina trees and spectacular peony trees. Visit on Botanica's 11 Day New Zealand Private Gardens & Landscapes trip.