The New Ornamental Garden

Paperback - March 2011 - AU $39.95

eBook - March 2011 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

A practical, fresh look at garden-worthy plants for Australian conditions.

This book takes a fresh look at garden-worthy plants for Australian conditions. It will help gardeners to reappraise their climate, select appropriate plants and modify gardening practices to create beautiful gardens featuring native and exotic plants with proven drought tolerance, reliability and minimal weed potential. + Full description

The New Ornamental Garden shows how heat, cold, water availability, rainfall patterns, length of growing season, evaporation rate and humidity influence plant growth in Australia, from the wet sub-tropics to the temperate climate of southern Australia. It also discusses the influence of microclimates within a garden: dry sun, dry shade, moist sun, moist shade, seaside conditions, exposed sites, urban situations and root competition from eucalyptus and allelopaths.

The main focus of the book is the plant index, which contains notes on hundreds of plant varieties and how they function in the garden. All gardeners will benefit from reading this book!

- Short description


"Inside the soft cover of this book is a wealth of practical knowledge that will impress both the novice and the professional gardener...the way Simon challenges much that is seen as sacrosanct in the gardening world really pushes my buttons! This is a must-read for Australian gardeners and you'll enjoy the pictures as well."
Stephen Ryan, Gardening Australia, July 2011

"Plantsman Simon Rickard has written The New Ornamental Garden to take the guesswork out of planting in tough conditions, and helps growers make the most of profitable selections."
Green Guide

"CSIRO books are always meticulously researched and accurate in detail, and this book will assist the gardener in taking into account the changes in our climate."
Canberra City News, 14 July 2011, p.16

"This book explains how both climate and microclimate influence plant growth and may encourage gardeners to reappraise what is suitable for their spot, to good effect... knows his stuff."
Grass Roots, June/July 2011, p.73

"The New Ornamental Garden is a valuable resource for creating gardens using appropriate and reliable native and exotic plants with proven drought tolerance potential. The information provides an opportunity to think outside the square, and expand your garden horizons."
Gail Thomas, Australian Horticulture, April 2011

"Simon Rickard is the former head gardener of the Digger’s Club, where he oversaw two beautiful and productive gardens in Victoria: Heronswood and the Garden of St Erth. He has now collected all that experience in this informative book, which helps readers choose native and exotic plants that are drought tolerant, reliable and unlikely to become a weed problem."
Jenni Bird,, 16-22 March 2011


Paperback | March 2011 | $ 39.95
ISBN: 9780643095960 | 280 pages | 240 x 190 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour photographs

ePDF | March 2011
ISBN: 9780643101760
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • New plants for a sustainable garden
  • New ideas to inspire the Australian gardener
  • Practical guide for plant selection based on Australian experience


About the author
Understanding climate
How plants adapt to climate
Garden microclimates
Choosing plants for Australian gardens
Plant index
Further reading


Simon Rickard is a passionate gardener and plantsman. He is best known as the former head gardener of the Digger’s Club, in which role he oversaw two of Australia’s best-known public gardens, Heronswood and the Garden of St Erth, until 2009. More recently Simon has been a kitchen gardener, growing bespoke produce for Annie Smithers’ Bistrot in Kyneton, Victoria. Simon is a botanical guide for Botanica World Discoveries, helping to bring alive the world’s most beautiful and influential gardens for Australian gardeners abroad. Simon has lectured and held masterclasses for the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, the University of Melbourne and many local horticultural societies. As a garden writer he has contributed to Your Garden and ABC Organic Gardener magazines and The Digger’s Club notes. He has made several appearances on gardening radio and television, most notably on ABC television’s much-loved Gardening Australia.