Lee Douglas, Author at Kilby Park Tree Farm - Page 2 of 2

The perfect choice for Autumn colour

By | Media | No Comments
The weather may be dreary, but the farm is looking beautiful this month with spectacular Autumn foliage from some of our deciduous trees. Today we’re highlighting three of our favourites:
Acer p. Osakazuki
This Japanese maple is a perfect choice for courtyards and smaller landscapes looking for a splash of texture and colour. With delicately razored leaves, the Osakazuki is showing off a stunning shade of red.

Early Autumn shots of Acer p Osakazuki

Acer p ‘Autumn Blaze’
This variety loves space to grow big and beautiful and spread its broad leaves out proudly. Perfect for large landscapes, parks and as avenue trees, Autumn Blaze lives up to its name with gorgeous intense colour, starting the season with a pinkish coral hue.

(Left) Autumn blaze in its full glory; (Right) Early autumn pinkish coral colour

Cercis c. ‘Forest Pansy’
Looking for something a little different? Forest Pansy is a spectacular choice. Broad heart-shaped leaves in plum and burgundy hues decorate this small elegant tree, fading to a spectacular red-yellow in Autumn. Ideal for small areas and making a wonderful statement when planted alone or with lower shrubs or plants.
Do you have a favourite pick for Autumn colour? Seen any wonderful designs embracing these choices? Tag us on instagram @kilbyparktreefarm

A mindful start to the month at Kilby

By | Media | No Comments

This month we are growing great trees AND great minds at the farm.

Two weeks ago we told you about our commitment to Mindful in May, a fantastic challenge that benefits the giver and the receiver. Each challenger is given a program to learn Mindful meditation, 10 minutes a day, for the entire month of May. In return, donations are made on behalf of that person to encourage their attempt, which go towards providing clean drinking water in developing countries. A clear mind and clean water – Perfect. You can donate to our team here.

This week we also came across a powerful message about compassion and integrity that works directly in with Kilbys dedication to the environment. Prince Ea, a Youtube hip hop sensation, combines rap with social change. This week we’ve decided to share his moving video ‘Dear Future Generations – Sorry’ – A reminder of the importance of the Earth, and how we rely on it to live, that isn’t hopeless. Here at Kilby we are blessed to work with plants and look forward to always supporting a greener future. Have a watch and be inspired:


Our favourite fastigiates

By | Media | No Comments

Last week we brought you inspiration for tight spots to show you that a small design does not mean a boring design – or one that lacks trees!

This week, we are listing our favourite fastigiate trees, perfect for both smaller landscapes and areas with limited lateral space, such as streetscapes, carparks and public recreational areas. All four are currently in stock and are making a beautiful impact this Autumn at the Farm.

Pyrus c.’Capital’ Capital Pear

Looking for a plant that delights in every season? The Capital Ornamental Pear delivers. Enjoy the luscious green of glossy leaves through summer and early autumn, that turns to a variety of deep oranges and reds through late autumn into winter. Come Spring, this ornamental offer a stunning wash of white blossoms. We love the use of Capital Pears used to line a walkway – Perfect to appreciate throughout the seasons!

Carpinus b.’Fastigiata’ – French Hornbeam

This hornbeam fastigiate is a great option for those looking for a delicate leaf with an intriguing texture. With dense growth, Hornbeams placed closely together can be shaped to create screening, ideal for properties close to neighbouring buildings, and anticipate growth of up to 10 metres. Come Autumn, you can delight in the stunning golden-yellow of the leaves, as we currently are at Kilby Park.

Quercus p. Green Pillar

Oaks are a classic option for traditional landscapes, but standard varieties require a lot of space. This Pin oak grows to 14 metres, but with only a 3 metre width, perfect for large spaces requiring the stateliness of an oak with constricted lateral space such as carparks, streets and promenades. Enjoy a large, glossy dark green leaf during the warmer seasons, which develop into dark red and bronze in Autumn.


Betula p. fastigiata

This fastigiate birch is perfect for a design seeking a stunning tree with an ornamental bark. With it’s classic small triangular leaves, the birch reveals its papery silver trunk in winter that only becomes more interesting with age. Beautiful in clumps or rows, you can expect a 8 – 11 metre growth, with beautiful yellow foliage in Autumn.


Come by the Farm to check them out in person, or find more images of our stock on our instagram @kilbyparktreefarm as we focus on Autumn colour in the up coming weeks.

Get Mindful in May with Kilby Park!

By | Media | No Comments


We are delighted to share with you that Kilby Park Tree Farm will be supporting Mindful In May, an initiative that helps get clean water to those who most need it by encouraging participants to practice Mindful Meditation 10 minutes a day through a month long guided program.

Mindful in May is a win-win challenge that benefits the participant as well as the cause. While your sponsorship supports Charity Water, who build clean water projects in developing countries, your 10 minute daily practice promotes well being and focus in your life on an ongoing basis. By learning to switch off the chatter in your mind, you’re promoting mental wellness with well documented knock on effects such as better quality sleep, more energy, improved immunity and simply coping better with the stresses of life – no yoga mat or fancy stretch pants required.


Kilby wholeheartedly supports the dual benefit of the cause and we hope we can be joined by many individuals and groups in the landscaping and horticulture community to challenge themselves. For a beneficial ten minute break a day, you could be changing the life of the 1 in 9 people who live without access to clean drinking water. Sign up today for the challenge that gives while you receive. Find out more at www.mindfulinmay.org

Little space, big impact: Inspiration for courtyards and tight spots.

By | Design Ideas, Media | No Comments

Trees and a tight spot – While the combination might make you feel unsure, we’ve collected some spectacular examples of gardens and courtyards where the two have come together perfectly. The key? Balance, harmony and levels to create depth.

1. This sunny courtyard contrasts bright stone and paint with lush plant choices.

2. Layering and levels creates a modern jungle in this compact courtyard.

3. This maple makes for a stunning focal point, especially in Autumn.

4. Neat borders give this courtyard a luxurious feel without overwhelming the limited space.

5. Stepped levels create interest and allow the trees to be a feature all of their own.

6. This well planned landscape not only looks old euro chic, but adds depth to the yard.

Feeling inspired? Next week we will be sharing our pick of fastigiate breeds – the perfect compact tree for tight spots and high impact.

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 2015.

By | Media | No Comments

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Festival celebrated its 20th Anniversary today with some inspired ideas, breathtaking designs and – most importantly – some lovely weather!


Kilby Park was honoured to have plants featured this year in Ian Barker Gardens “Crossroads” landscape, presented by Australian Home & Garden Magazine, a stunning design that deservedly won Gold, as well as the Horticulture Media Association’s Award for Best Use of PlantLife. Congratulations to all involved on such a beautiful outcome.

Image via Ian Barker Gardens

Competitions aside, there was a few stand out trends at MIFGS that we noticed and thought we’d share our top 4 with you:

1. Modern Metal.

Sculptures and decorations are great for designs with tricky spots, or gardens that require lower maintenance. We saw a lot of spectacular modern designs, with many using corten steel, giving the metal a rustic corroded look without compromising the integrity of the structure.

Left: Corten steel garden sculptures Right: Beyond Blue’s “Wellness Garden” landscape.

2. Asian Influence.

Minimalism, water features, bonsai and beautiful Japanese plants dominated many landscape designs and stalls, including the Silver Award winning “Wellness Garden” by The Landscape Design Group. Inspired by Feng Shui and balance, bamboos and maples proved to be simple but stunning options for a variety of gardens (And Kilby has a great variety of both to explore!)

3. The quiet achiever – Ptilotus exaltatus ‘Joey’

This little native shrub was popping up left, right and centre in designs and stalls throughout the show. With its soft lavender cone flower, it was an understated feature in many gardens looking for a touch of colour with a modern shape. Love the look, but seeking a little extra volume and contrast? Consider the stunning Buddleja d. ‘Buzz Purple’ as a larger, fragrant alternative.

Left: “Joey” Ptilotus Exaltatus Right: Buddleja d. “Buzz”

4. Going up with vertical gardens.

Vertical gardens have been a big trend for awhile now, with their ability to transform even the smallest of landscapes into beautiful natural havens. MIFGS showed a plethora of options including traditional trough designs, soft durable ‘bag’ styles and freestanding three dimensional stackable options


Did you get to MIFGS this year? What was your standout landscape or stall?

The Understated Elegance of the Olive Tree

By | Design Ideas, Plant Profiles | No Comments

Favoured of course for it’s fantastic oil bearing fruit, olive trees also make a fantastic statement as a decorative plant.

No longer constrained to Mediterranean villas or humble farms, olive trees offer a modern simplicity to a whole range of landscapes and styles. Given a well drained soil, olive trees will flourish and add their distinct look to a garden for many years to come.

At present, Kilby has a variety of Olive trees on offer to fit the needs of your design, and we thought we’d feature our top 3. All feature the classic thin leathery leaf with a green top and silver bottom, with their own delights added.


Olea. a “kalamata” 

Known of course for it’s delicious fruit, the Kalamata is a smaller variety of the olive tree, growing 6 x 3 at maturity. Kalamata makes for a fantastic informal hedge or grove, and can be potted if well drained.


Olea e. ‘Tolleys Upright’

Mainly fruitless, this larger olive tree (7 x 4 at maturity) is ideal for urban landscaping as it tolerates dryness and pruning fantastically, offering the opportunity for screening. Fantastic for feature trees as well as creating privacy.

Olea europea ‘Nevadillo Blanco’

The Nevadillo Blanco offers you a similar option to the kalamata, with delicious fruit and a 6 x 3 growth at maturity. Leaves are slightly wider with an outwards spread, offering a different texture to the plant.

Consider adding the understated elegance of an olive tree to your next design.

Tanyas Plant of the Month: Luscious® Tristaniopsis

By | Design Ideas, What’s Hot | No Comments

A hardy tree with stunning features, Luscious® Tristaniopsis is our Plant of the Month for March for a good reason.

Suitable for a wide range of soil types, Luscious® is a fantastic evergreen native sporting wide glossy leaves almost double the size of other tristaniopsis breeds. These large glossy leaves and a beautiful fragrance make it a great alternative to the Magnolia, and suit a variety of styles.

The native status does nothing to detract from Luscious®’ ability to blend into the most contemporary of settings. With a highly decorative bark, it is an ideal tree for pleaching, showing off a slender copper and cream trunk. Growing between 7 – 12 metres, Luscious® offers a wide range of styling options, attractive as both a feature plant and a grouped layout.

 Luscious® Tristaniopsis- A hardy, gorgeous tree that truly lives up to its luscious name and our definite favourite of the month. Find out more here.

Garden and Plant advice for living with Pesky Pets

By | Media, Pests and Diseases, Tips | No Comments

A wonderfully landscaped backyard is a beautiful sight to see.. until you have certain pets who enjoy adapting it for their OWN personal use, and leave destruction in their wake. Digging, trampling and urinating can cause all kinds of issues and spell disaster for plants trying to thrive. Below, we’ve gathered some tips and advice for common pesky pet problems:

1. The trail blazer.

Dogs especially enjoy forming their own paths through your backyard, which may result in worn down lawn and unattractive bare gaps in garden beds. The best way to get around this problem is to consider a garden layout with plants clumped together – Dogs are more likely to divert around clear obstacles, so shrubs and trees presented together are less likely to be knocked aside. Look for plants that are well established and roll out turf options – This isn’t the place for seedlings or smaller options that require softer handling! Establishing paths with pavers or gravel means your four legged friends may stick to the route you’ve established for everyone, rather than discover their own. Landscaping with multiple levels not only looks modern, but also works well to prevent pets from going where they shouldn’t.

2. The digger.

Digging is an instinct for dogs, and can be managed firstly with some behaviour changes. Make sure your pet has lots of toys and is not digging out of boredom. Bare soil and dirt areas are very attractive for diggers, so consider gravel or mulches to fill in gaps that may appeal. For those trickier diggers, why not create a positive place for digging, such as a designated corner of the yard, or even a shell filled with sand? Raised garden beds can help fend off the Digger and the Trail Blazer alike, especially if wired off for a few weeks.

3. The Lounger.

Cats and dogs will seek out cool shady spots for summer, and the perfect sun spot for the cooler months. If you wish to keep your pet out of your garden, make sure you are accommodating these needs accordingly – Look at raised beds with air flow for your dog, and designate it a shady area where they can relax during the heat with leafy deciduous trees. A dry spot with protection from the wind will help keep them cosy during the winter months, ideally a veranda or dog kennel.

Cats are usually less easy to tame in this regard, so ensure you are at least preventing any issues for them by avoiding plants like lilies and nightshade which are poisonous, and consider placing straw mulch in beds that are Cat Approved – the heat is very attractive for outdoor felines to curl up upon.

4. The Marker

Urinating can cause unsightly burns on grass and ironically, no tree likes to be marked either! Choosing coastal breeds like olive trees ensures a tree that adapts well to the habits of the frequent marker, though products on the market, such as Dog Rocks, can also be used to prevent burn marks by filtering out nasties in your dogs water bowl.


Pets and beautiful gardens need not be mutually exclusive – Time, practice, and the right plants and planting can all create a perfect environment for everybody to enjoy.