March 2025


Warners Nurseries in collaboration with Robert Boyle

Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2002 – Best In Show


Behind every plant produced by Warners is a heartfelt passion for plants, gardens and the people involved with our business. The Warners story begins, and continues, with the plants we grow.

Since 1914 our reputation has been built on growing a complete range of quality plants for the horticultural industries, grown through experience to perform in a range of Australian gardens and landscapes. 

Over the years we have developed the “Warners style”, constantly adapting and evolving our range to inspire new trends in garden design. Our time-honoured slogan “We sell gardens, not just plants” is more than just lip-service – it is a reminder to us, that every garden created with Warners plants should thrive and provide beauty, enjoyment and a sense of wellbeing for years to come.



Gardens tell stories, and indeed, many great stories are told with a garden as the perfect setting.  This Show Garden, a collaboration between Warners Nurseries and Robert Boyle Landscape Design scratches beneath the surface and explores the old adage that “a gardener is part scientist, part artist, part philosopher and part ploughman”.

‘More than meets the Eye’ is four gardens in one, the Bay hedge clipped into the Warners ‘swish’, providing a backdrop that hides our view to the other side.  Each garden area has a different look and feel, highlighting the rich diversity of the Warners stock range, and artfully designed into separate rooms, each with their unique stories to tell.  Fashion changes over time, but great performing plants and good style will always endure.

With this garden we have chosen to celebrate 50 years of Robert Boyle working with Warners plants, designing landscapes across the country and creating spaces for families to enjoy. Living amongst the beauty of green space is Robert’s gift to his clients, his philosophies on garden design bring enjoyment and continued wellbeing.  The real benefits of a beautifully designed garden become apparent when you involve yourself, take time to discover its subtleties and
immerse your senses.

The garden has been designed with minimal built structures, reducing our footprint and adhering to the idea that gardens should be simple and achievable, and in the very symbols of self-sufficiency, have plentiful plantings of vegetables and other edibles amongst the ornamentals.

Warners have been an integral part of MIFGS since the seeds were sown in 1925 at the first Melbourne Garden Week, where W.R.Warner exhibited his fledgling nursery business with the aim “to further the love of horticulture in the community”.  Now in 2020 we are still here, growing quality plants and helping others create
gardens to make our cities a better place to live.  We foster collaboration with designers and landscapers, and this year we partner with one who shares the same passion and values in creating glorious green spaces.  In the words of Rudyard Kipling, “the glory of the garden lies in more than meets the eye”.

Enjoy the story, explore the garden rooms and be inspired to create your own.

A Few Thoughts On Making Gardens


It is for more than 50 years now that I have been afforded the great privilege of not only designing, but also creating and bringing to life an abundance of beautiful and functional landscapes.  While the diversity of garden styles, locations, property sizes and client expectations continues to challenge and inspire me, my single objective in designing each garden is to ignore the current fads and trends and to create an inspiring and refreshing sanctuary specific to the wants and needs of each of our clients and their unique parcel of land.

When first sitting down to consider a garden for a new client, sitting actually plays a very minor role.  My team and I visit each site at different times of day, weather conditions and seasons.  We consider the existing views – both into and out of the property.  We take note of environmental conditions such as climate, soil, existing vegetation, exposure to both nature and man-made elements and the availability of water.  We meet with as many members of the family as we can, as each family member will have a very unique viewpoint and wish list.  We discuss practical concerns such as budget and preparedness for ongoing care and maintenance, but more importantly we try to garner an understanding of our clients’ specific sources of inspiration.  Inspiration can come from such a wide array of both practical and emotive places –  from childhood memories of a winding gravel path through an ‘enchanted forest’ to the scent of a specific rose, to the formality of a parterre garden visited during a family holiday in Europe.

As designers, it is then our privilege to combine all of these technical, scientific, aesthetic and personal influences to create a garden.  The built elements and the earth form are very important elements of each garden; however it is the plants, especially the trees, that give lasting character to a home and garden.  Plants create a place of beauty, they evoke memories, enrich lives and provide health, food and sustenance to our bodies, minds and spirits. 

In 1969 my grandparents handed me a most wonderful gift – the just re-published Edna Walling ‘A Gardener’s Log’. The pages, marked with time and dirty thumb prints, offer a glimpse of just how this much loved guide continues to be a source of inspiration and  education to me.  Each morning I still get excited about the possibilities and opportunities before me and I wonder if there can be any more fulfilling a task than to spend the time to make a garden, to nurture it, and then to wait and watch it grow and flourish over the years as it slowly creates the pictures and the beautiful environment initially imagined.

See Warners Nurseries in collaboration with Robert Boyle, as well as several other Best In Show designers all coming together for the 25th Anniversary of the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show.


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