Keep Cosy: 10 Greenhouses to love, covet and inspire

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We love being amongst plants, but sometimes the frost of winter is just a little too much. This week we are inspired by the beauty of the humble greenhouse, and the escape from the cold that they also bring. No longer stuck in the realm of daggy old designs, greenhouses can be customised to suit a variety of landscape designs, from rustic to ultra modern. Below, we share our top 10 favourites:

1. The classic potters greenhouse: Part storage, part greenhouse, we love the pop of spearmint on the door.

2. Romantic rustic: This greenhouse creates a stunning focal point for a field of wildflowers. Gorgeous in any season!

3. Classic timber: We think this greenhouse would look only better with age, and love the modern shape.

4. The upcycled space saver: No room? DIY with old windows and furniture pieces!

5. The sunny attachment: We love how this greenhouse is a part of the home, and can be used for storage.

6. The polished finish: This stunning Edwardian style greenhouse goes beautifully with a manicured courtyard.

7. The Dream: An indoor orangery complete with pond? We’d probably never leave.

8. The Convert: Convert your dingy old shed into a cosy space for your plants.

9. The ultra modern: We love the clean lines and Scandinavian vibe of this greenhouse.

10. The Classic: Veggie patch, old tin rainwater catchment and tidy little greenhouse? Perfect.

Do you have a greenhouse in your yard? Show yours off on our Kilby tag on instagram – #kilbyparktreefarm

All images via Pintrest

Plant of the Month: Acer p. Senkaki

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If you’ve been to the Farm recently you may have noticed a splash of colour standing out, especially around the office. These are our beautiful Acer p. Senkaki maples, a stunning Japanese tree worthy of our Plant of the Month.

Some of our beauties at Kilby Park

Like most Japanese varieties of Maples, Senkaki offers smaller leaves that go through spectacular colour changes throughout the year. New growth is bright green, standing out against the bright coral bark, before fading into apricot and all shades of red in the Autumn.

Left: Kilby Park Tree Farm. Right: Source

Beautiful as this may be, the Senkaki shows it’s true beauty and individuality in Winter. Standing out against the stark deciduous trees around it, the intense red of the Senkaki’s bark is fully revealed and makes for a wonderful focus when the rest of the garden is fading into its winter hues.

Left: Source  Right: Source

Like many Japanese Maples, Senkaki likes the dappled shade of larger trees nearby and makes for a beautiful spot of colour amongst evergreens, or placed in a group for a real punch. We love how the Senkaki has been placed in this traditional oriental garden below – Teamed with other plants that offer colour in Winter, the garden remains as beautiful and interesting as it would at the heigh of Spring.

Image via flickr

Come and chat with us today about placing an Acer p. Senkaki in your next design.

Beautiful and Bare – Inspiring images for Winter

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Even though it’s frosty, dark and getting bone chilling cold, Winter still offers some beautiful moments in nature. Bare trees allow a glimpse into their structure, cloudy days highlight beautiful light and shade, and native plants offer a burst of colour in the midst of a sleepy monotone. Today we are sharing with you a couple of our favourite images from around the globe and home that highlight the beauty of the coldest season.

Bare Tree – Source

Canal Du Midi – Source

Snow gums in Cradle Mountain, Tasmania. Source

The Winter Garden (Sir Harrod Hilliar Gardens, UK) – Source

Anglesea Abbey Winter Gardens, UK. Source

The Mottisfont Ancient Spring, Hampshire. Source

Share your beautiful winter garden images with us at our Facebook page, or via the #kilbyparktreefarm hashtag on Instagram.

Mindful in May: Keeping up the good work!

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Today is the final fundraising day of Mindful In May (and not too late to donate HERE to bring water to much needed communities in Uganda) and we are incredibly proud to have been involved in such a beneficial community action.
Meditating daily has proven to be a challenge for the Kilby team as we are all busy people, but choosing to find that five minutes is a wonderful chance to stop, recalibrate, and start again with a fresher mind.
But for those in the horticultural industry, or who just love to garden – You’re already at a wonderful advantage to start improving your mental and physical health. The benefits of working in parks, gardens and amongst nature are enormous and well documented. Some of the stand out benefits include:
1. A decreased risk of stroke and heart disease due to contribution to your 2.5 recommended hours of exercise per week.
2. Studies have shown gardening reflects lower levels of cortisol – the stress hormone – in difference to a group who stayed indoors and read. This is thought to be due to our natural connection to the Earth and the satisfying contribution planting or maintaining plants offers. “Horticulture Therapy” is also an effective method for reducing depression and anxiety.
3. Daily gardening has been shown to lower the risk of dementia by 36% – Thought to be due to the endurance, dexterity, problem solving and sensory awareness that gardening requires.
Combine these benefits with those that come with mindful meditation practices – a mind better structured to deal with stress and negativity, increased immune function and a reduction of genetic ageing (It’s not all just sunshine – It’s also science!) and you’ve got yourself a wonderful kick start to a happier life.
Whats your favourite relaxation technique? Have you found your balance of being busy and taking time for yourself?

Beauty all year round with the Dogwood

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Dogwoods are often loved for their stunning bracts during Spring, and are a popular item for bridal bouquets and floral arrangements, but what about the cooler months? This month, our Kilby dogwoods have shown off their spectacular Autumn foliage.

At the farm we currently have three dogwood options available. All dogwoods available feature bright green leaves, beautiful flower bracts with insignificant petals in the centre, and in summer will develop ornamental fruit that birds love.

 Cornus Kousa: A native of Japan, Korea and parts of China, this offers white flower bracts in late Spring. Grows 8 – 12m tall and looks striking as a focus plant.

 Right: Via    Left: Via

Cornus k. Satomi offers heavenly pink bracts in Spring and is an upright spreading cultivar that attracts butterflies. Depending on planting, flower bracts can range from a delicate to deep pink – A perfect choice for a landscape needing a pop of colour.


Left: Via  Right: Via

Cornus ‘Eddie’s White Wonder’ has a narrow form and lax layered branching habit with stunning white bracts. This option is a hybrid of Cornus Florida and Cornus Nutallii and made resistant to dogwood anthracnose. Like all dogwoods, Eddies White Wonder makes for a wonderful backdrop layer to garden designs, or stands alone as a stunning tree.

Left:  Right:

For an option that delights throughout the year, we can’t go past the dogwood – Pop in to have a look today and plant in happy anticipation of Spring. Seen any in your travels? Share your finds with us on the #kilbyparktreefarm tag on Instagram.

Mindful In May: An Update

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As many of you know, Kilby Park has been a part of the Mindful in May challenge, which involves practicing mindful meditation daily while raising money to provide clean drinking water for third world countries. Find out more about Mindful In May here.

5 minutes of meditation a day is the goal, so that’s not difficult right? You’d be surprised! 
Speaking to both Alex and Tanya, the two agreed that their main challenge was setting aside that time to actually do essentially nothing. Mindful meditation centres around the practice of letting go of thoughts and living in a moment – Something clearly very tricky for these two who are always busy on the farm.
As the centre of the Kilby tornado, Tanya is brilliant at doing fifty things at once and somehow keeping all balls in the air. Her encouragement for doing the challenge was a very busy May both at the Farm and at home, so she well knew that she needed all the practice she could have to keep sane! Her commitment to the task was brilliant, and hopes next week she can report back at the end of the challenge having achieved a new level of inner serenity.
Alex, when asked about the challenge, gave me a suspiciously guilty look before laughing. I asked whether he thought his difficulty was a generational issue, being a young bloke in a world where you’re always switched on, and he agreed – “It’s hard to take a moment to sit and do nothing, when in that time you could be talking to someone, reading this or that, or just thinking about what you’d be doing after”.
Overall so far, Mindful in May has brought into focus the challenge of ‘Stopping’, a relevant thought when we’re all so busy being busy. If you’d like to find out more about Mindful Meditation and the benefits it can bring, or make a donation to the Kilby Team to go towards clean drinking water for those who need it most, check us out here.

Sunny Inspiration for Cold Days: Native and Coastal

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We’ve loved watching our deciduous varieties show off their Autumn colours, but sometimes you want something that looks spectacular year round. That’s why we’ve round up 10 stunning landscapes full of native options to keep you feeling toasty even when the weather would have you feeling otherwise.

The Essence of Australia garden in Cranbourne is a beautiful example of spectacular natives!

Native landscape design inspiration

We love this combination of stone and plant life – Pic via

Native garden design inspiration

A smattering of trees brings any native landscape to life.

Native landscape design inspiration

A beautiful low maintenance coastal inspiration.

Native garden design inspiration

Ferns and stone bring a touch of Gippsland wonder into this backyard design.

Native garden inspiration

A dry creek bed adds a point of interest to any landscape and juxtaposes with interesting plant options.

Native landscape garden inspiration

How stunning is this combination of textures – Native grasses, wood, stone and steel.

Native garden design inspiration

Keeping ponds and dams safe doesn’t mean compromising your design!

Native garden design inspiration

What a perfect example of levels and hierarchy! Fiona Brockoff Design.

Native garden design inspiration

Another dry creek bed design – Beautiful with lush plants.

Feeling inspired? We have a variety of native tree options currently available at the farm to get your design up and running!

The perfect choice for Autumn colour

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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

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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

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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.