Welcome to the Garden Design Society


Trish Bartleet (FGDSNZ) designed garden from her recent talk about her work to members of the Garden Design Society

The Garden Design Society of New Zealand (GDSNZ) is a non-profit professional organisation offering a wide range of services and activities to support and encourage excellence in garden design. As a group of enthusiastic garden designers and teachers, we aim to share our passion, experience, inspiration and knowledge, with the hope of raising awareness of the difference good garden design can make to people’s lives.


Detail of a Xanthe White designed garden from 2013 Garden DesignFest

Jan McGowanhome

 Jan McGowan (ProfAccredGDSNZ) designed garden from 2013 Garden DesignFest


Latest News

Bernard Trainor is coming to town!

GDSNZ is very proud and excited to announce that the wonderfully talented and award winning American Landscape Architect, Bernard Trainor is coming to Auckland. On Tuesday 22 November, Bernard will take us on a design journey delivering an illustrated lecture followed by a light supper. On Friday, 25 November, members are offered the chance to have a more intimate encounter with Bernard through a full day masterclass/workshop. For further details, visit our 'Events' page.

The Good Dirt by Xanthe White

Fellow Member, landscape designer Xanthe White goes beneath the surface to reveal the secrets to successful gardening in her new book The Good Dirt. This book is all about the soil we find in our garden and offers ideas on how we can maximise its growing potential. An essential for anyone looking to establish a new garden or improve their existing one. 

Bill Holden gains awards

Our congratulations to accredited member, Bill Holden Design & Landscape Ltd on winning 'Urban Paving' Best Construction of the Year as well as three Golds for Landscape Design, Landscape Construction and Landscape Horticulture for his wonderful garden, Pumpkin Hill, in the 2016 Placemakers Riccarton Landscapes of Distinction Awards held on Saturday, 6th August 2016. What a fantastic achievement!

Japan Garden Tours

Penny Cliffin and Ian Henderson are leading a 2 week trip to Japan in November. Gardens, art and architecture are the focus of the trip. The many wonderful gardens of Kyoto and the Setouchi outdoor sculpture festival (think of Waiheke's sculpture on the Gulf, but spread over 12 islands) will be highlights. See itinerary, costing, link to Facebook page and contact details on the attached document and please contact Ian or Penny if you are interested.

Announcing new Fellow Member - Xanthe White

At the last AGM, the GDSNZ had the pleasure of formally presenting Xanthe White with a certificate recording her status as our second Distinguished Fellow Member. Over the years, Xanthe has been a prominent exhibitor in many of the world's significant garden shows including Chelsea. Not only has her studio been kept busy designing numerous private gardens, but she also manages to find the time to appear regularly both on screen and in the print media - not to mention authoring two gardening books with a further one on the way. Congratulations Xanthe!

NZ Flower & Garden Show

Auckland is again to host an international flower and garden show. The inaugural show will be held at Bastion Point and Okahu Bay on the 22nd to 26th November 2017. It is shaping up to be a very exciting event with lots of new categories such as community gardens and farmers' markets. The Garden Design Society urges everyone to get in behind this exciting new venture! For more information, visit the NZ Flower & Garden Show website.

GDSNZ Unitec Award Winner for 2015

The recipient of the GDSNZ Award for excellence in garden design in 2015 is Murray Reid, who had his own garden in the recent DesignFest.  Lecturers describe him as "an excellent student who has really developed his design skills and interest in gardens during his time at Unitec". Congratulations from us all!

DesignFest a huge success!

We've ticked off another outstanding AGDF, thanks to our talented designers, their incredibly generous owners and our fabulous supporters and volunteers - especially our own members, some of whom went way beyond the call of duty by doing 2 stints at the garden gate. Many, many thanks to you all. Our charities will benefit to the tune of $60,000 - a 50% increase on 2013.

Announcing 2 newly accredited members

The Accreditation Board was impressed with the high calibre of both of the portfolios submitted by our successful candidates for 2015 - Renée Davies and Nick Robinson. Congratulations on this professional affirmation of your considerable experience and well-established reputations in landscape architecture and garden design. 

Fukuoka Friendship Garden update

Fukuoka Friendship Garden 1

Concept plan of the new Fukuoka Friendship Garden costing about $1 million. It should be in place at Western Springs Lake by August 2016 - in time to celebrate next year’s 30th anniversary sister-city relationship with the city of Fukuoka. A triumph for the Garden's dedicated Friends.

Congratulations to new Life Member - Gil Hanly

We are privileged to welcome photographer extraordinaire, Gil Hanly as a Life Member of the Society. A familiar figure around Auckland, Gil has been quietly documenting gardens and garden shows, as well as public celebrations, events and protests with her camera for a number of decades.

Introducing Jill Rice - our new Chair

Currently travelling in Europe, Jill will be taking up the position as Chair upon her return. We look forward to new and exciting developments during her term.

Heartiest congratulations to our Patron!

Fantastic to see Bev's name featuring again in the Queen's Birthday honours list. Now a Member of the NZ Order of Merit, for services to horticulture, her full title becomes: Mrs Beverley May McConnell, MNZM, QSM, VMM, AHRIH (NZ). We are thrilled for you Bev!

Jill Rice - finalist for 2 Environmental Awards!

Jill's 'Rubbish Garden' has catapulted into the highest realms of Government and is a finalist for 2 Green Ribbon Awards: “Community Leadership” and “Leadership in Education”. She's off to Parliament for a dinner next week for the announcements! Amazing!

Christchurch Memorial Garden

Garden for EQMMember Norma de Langen made it into the shortlist of 6 finalists (out of more than 330 from around the world - some of our top designers among them) for the recently announced Christchurch Earthquake Memorial garden with her entry: Hei Maumaharatanga - In Memory. They were all judged to be of a very high standard - powerful symbols of remembrance and recognition. An amazing achievement!