January 8, 2020 Grasses new and old

I'm an aficionado of grasses, I championed them thirty years ago at my nursery in Sydney and have been a fan of them ever since and as with the last post I wrote on lilies I buy new ones and experiment every time I see

December 17, 2019 Familiarity

There's something very comforting with the familiarity one receives from a garden - especially a garden that you've lived with for some time, it's a part of you. In my own garden I see things flowering at the same time each year and it reassures

May 24, 2019 Quiet time

For once I'm having a quiet afternoon in the studio by myself, attending to all the emails I've started and never finished and doing the same thing with invoices - because if they're not sent nobody is ever going to pay them

May 7, 2019 Autumn leaves, flowers, scents and berries

It's a wild messy time of year and I love it! The paths are strewn with fallen leaves, the weeds are growing like there's no tomorrow and the garden surprises me every week with a new appearance - often unscheduled and unexpected. The days have been unseasonably

October 7, 2018 Summer on my mind

It's cold, wet and windy, we've been waiting for rain for so long and I'm not complaining which has given me the opportunity to get writing. I've been out walking around the garden this morning making slight adjustments to plantings. I get about questioning myself

July 22, 2018 Inside Out Magazine

Sorry I've been tardy, neglecting my blog and Facebook page but hopefully I'll get some time to rectify this soon. To get kick started I've attached a link to an article by Louise McDaid that featured one of our Terrigal gardens in Inside Out Magazine

February 27, 2018 Gardening Australia Feature

Costa Georgiadis and the Gardening Australia Crew visited our garden recently for Episode 4 of Series 29. We took a tour (along with the dogs) and talked plant combinations and the knowledge gained from 30 years of gardening on our 2.5 hectare plot.

January 8, 2018 A New Year begins

2017 was a big year for Michael Cooke Garden Design. We've completed some really rewarding designs and the landscape contractors we work with have been implementing them beautifully. Time flies, and Mark finished up working with me after seven years and Ben swiftly moved in

January 7, 2018 Summer Flurry

It seems like nothing is growing - and then all of a sudden it happens. I like to think of the plants in my garden as a room full of people at a lecture; the speaker asks if there are any questions and most of

January 7, 2018 Sculpture

It's so hot today so I'm hanging out in the studio in the air conditioning where making adjustments to posts that I've had in my drafts box for ever I've been lucky to establish relationships last year with two new  colleagues that enrich my life artistically.

January 7, 2018 Roadside Agave

The time is almost here to say goodbye to the old Agave at my entry gate.  Agave are monocarpic which means they flower once and then die - now the buds have opened and the yellow blooms almost spent this will be it. The leaves

December 28, 2017 Summer Break

It’s been a while since I’ve had a moment to stop, chill and really relax like I now am, and I’m loving the luxury of sloth.   I usually wake up around 4am and go to the gym before I begin with my first appointment or I

October 8, 2017 The garden in October 2017

At times I've had an urge to write that was so strong I couldn't hold back - just now is not one of those times. So I've been a bit quiet on the blog, preferring the immediate reward of Instagram where I can post an image

August 11, 2017 Japanese Quince

In some winter gardens things are bleak, but in my own garden - and in the gardens we design, this is rarely the case. There are countless plants that have been virtually lost from our Australian gardens, like the japonica as they used to be known.

May 7, 2017 Cooler days = time to get out in the garden

At last the summer heat is behind us, and after the recent rain the garden couldn't have a broader smile. There's a fat Camellia sasanqua `Yuletide' outside the studio by the driveway and I walk past it many times each day and it's not only it's