Garden Photo of the Day

Before and After Down Under

Progress in an Australian garden

Brian Mazzer sent in these images of his garden today and what it looked like when he first bought it.

I bought my house in the suburb of Holland Park in Brisbane, Australia, in 2006. It was a challenge at times, but perseverance won the battle. Over the years the design of the garden continually changed until it reached its present state. Getting here involved trying many different shrubs and other types of plants that either loved their new home or curled up their toes!

As we all know, our gardens are works in progress and are never really finished.

The soil in the yard has been amended to a beautiful, rich growing medium thanks to access to cow manure and homemade compost from all the clipping that come from lawn and hedge trimmings. A mango tree and a native macadamia nut tree offer good shade over the dry garden, where not a lot would grow. Learn more about fertilizing with manure here.

The house as it looked when Brian first purchased it—pretty much a blank slate.


The backyard as it was when he first moved in. Other than a place to dry clothes, it offered little.


The view today from the back corner of the garden.


The dry garden where nothing did well except the bromeliads. Bromeliads like this are often grown as houseplants in colder climates, but in a warm place like Brisbane, they can be grown outside. But even a gardener in a snowy northern area could recreate this look by planting the bromeliads out for the summer like annuals and bringing them inside when frost threatens.


Looking out at the garden from the shade of the mango tree. Here are 10 great water-wise plants for hot, dry areas.


An overall view of the yard after some recent rains greened things up.


Have a garden you’d like to share?


Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. mjensen 06/28/2018


  2. Maggieat11 06/28/2018

    Nice job! I especially like your grouping of conifers in the round garden. Nice to have the privacy hedging, also. A lot of work, but a "labor of love". I am sure you and your guests enjoy it very much! Thanks for sharing.

  3. NCYarden 06/28/2018

    Excellent transformation. Will be interesting to see how it develops even more over the coming years. Like you said....never done. Thanks for sharing.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/28/2018

    That's definitely a wonderful metamorphosis, Brian...from bare yard to interesting garden areas. It must be very satisfying to look out from your windows and see how your hard work has paid off. I love the bed of bromeliads and envy that they can be year round outdoor plants for you.

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/28/2018

    Thank you for sharing this. Love the little wagon placed in the small bed. Really interesting to see gardens from down under.

  6. wittyone 06/28/2018

    Oh, I love before and after pictures, it really gives the viewer an idea of all the work that sent into the finished product. You really did start with a blank slate which is interesting but daunting. The privacy fence and plantings really add a background for those wonderful curvy beds. And I see you have put in some trees for future shade and to give some structure to those island beds.

    You didn't say how long you had been working on this project and did you start out with a definite plan or just let things grow incrementally with one area suggesting the next?

  7. Catasetumkid 06/28/2018

    Wow, outstanding job! I especially like your bromeliads! Can some Aussie orchids be far behind? I'm sure some of your dendrobiums would love your back yard.

  8. btucker9675 06/28/2018

    Great transformation - love the rock edging! My husband and I spent hours going to construction sites last fall in our new neighborhood collecting good sized rocks turned up by the equipment. All of our front beds and the border between the grass lawn and the wooded area in our backyard are lined with rocks. We got some strange looks, but all of the work was worth it!

  9. grannieannie1 06/28/2018

    Thank you for the before and after photos which are always helpful when we need a prod to make changes. And I especially like seeing gardens from other countries. (Mouth watering (drooling) at thought of mango tree in backyard!) You have wonderful privacy fencing with evergreens and the wavy bed edgings add to the flow as the eye travels around. I also really like how your multiple beds break up the back yard. It always has seemed odd to me that breaking up an expanse of open yard makes it seem larger somehow, and yours is a great example of that.

  10. bsavage 06/29/2018

    Very Nice! I also love the before and after photos. You've made a beautiful oasis!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest