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The Garden Designer

Arcadia Sustainable Design is based in Melbourne and caters to the Melbourne metropolitan area as well as regional Victoria.  It is operated by Gary Shadforth who has a strong and varied background in horticulture, design and education.

Gary has a science degree with a diploma of Horticulture at Burnley College (University of Melbourne) and Cert IV in Applied Design (Landscape) at NMIT.  His career with plants and gardens has also been as a teacher of Environmental Science, mathematics  and Horticulture. This has included a stint of several years at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Healesville Sanctuary.

Drawing on this background, Arcadia has a working knowledge of how people relate to gardens and plants and what garden designs work best.

Gary works with trusted teams of contractors who can take the plans he has developed with you to fruition.

He has a passion and commitment to sustainable practices and incorporating them in creating gardens. This includes the use of landscape materials, the choice and placement of plants, and the importance of growing fresh food. Minimising the use of water and resources while keeping the garden healthy and attractive is also a priority.

Urban gardens, even small courtyards, that provide some haven for wildlife and contribute to protecting some biodiversity, are also a delight to be in.

Gary’s experience and knowledge contributes to Arcadia’s special expertise in all types of garden and landscape design, including:

Native gardens

Having a great passion and knowledge of the ecology of plants helps when creating an authentic indigenous garden. A landscape of indigenous plants doesn’t need to look scruffy. A natural garden can be designed for you that will be an attractive haven for you as well as wildlife. You don’t have to be a native plant purist either. Exotic plants can coexist in a suburban garden with native plants in a nice balance of shapes, sizes and colours and still provide food and shelter for birds and butterflies. Having a good healthy balance of invertebrates in the garden will also reduce the need for pest management because there is a natural self management.

Children’s gardens

Children are more effectively engaged in an environment where they feel stimulated. At home, children can be safe but it is also wonderful to provide interest in the garden to provide a little sense of adventure in the plantings and design of the spaces. Giving children some direct contact with a natural environment, with all the sensory stimulation it can provide, helps in their health and development. A natural wonderland can be created – all in the safety of the home.

School grounds can also be improved as educational resources to complement the classroom and become learning spaces in their own right. Educators can get support in to develop school grounds as the effective and engaging educational places they should be.

Contemporary Gardens

Innovation and imagination are all part of the fun of creating and living in a gorgeous garden. So, we are always on to all the interesting, constantly developing trends in styles, materials and plant varieties. The colours and forms of natural materials, such as stone and timber, provide wonderful opportunities for expression and creativity. Using a pleasing balance of organic lines and mathematic symmetry, to define different parts of the garden, is a way of making feel ‘just right’.

Of course, a garden is not truly comlete without plants. It may be a set of very formally arranged plantings in a strict symmetry or a wonderful chaos of shapes and colours. It often depends on your style and taste but usually a nice balance of formal and chaos works best for most people.

Call Gary if you are considering a garden consultation or garden design, Melbourne Metropolitan area.

Gary Shadforth – Arcadia Sustainable Design – 0431 022 953


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