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

NZ Flower & Garden Show

After a nine-year hiatus, Auckland is again to host an international flower and garden show. The inaugural show will be held at The Trusts Arena grounds in Waitakere and will run from 29 November to 3 December 2017. Showcasing New Zealand's top gardening and landscape design talent, as well as international designers, a visual feast of flower and garden creations is guaranteed. In recognition of our DIY culture, for the first time ever, members of the public can also enter Bedding Displays or the Balcony Garden categories. The Garden Design Society urges everyone to get in behind this exciting new venture! For more information, visit the NZ Flower & Garden Show website.

Passing of Paul Cullen

It is with much sadness that we heard that Paul Cullen died on Monday evening (14 March). Paul served on the GDSNZ Accreditation Board as the required practitioner from another discipline from 2006 to 2012. He served with diligence, thoroughness, intelligence and professionalism. He held to high standards and considered each tendered portfolio and interview with care and thoughtfulness. His design knowledge and contribution to the Board was greatly valued. A talented multi-media artist who exhibited in many galleries both here and overseas, Paul was also a teacher, researcher and writer. He will be sorely missed, especially by his students, colleagues and friends. To read more, click here

Book - The Modern Landscapes of Ted Smyth

It is with much pleasure and pride that we announce the recent publication of a book on the work of renowned New Zealand garden designer, Ted Smyth, by our Accredited Academic Designers, Rod Barnett and Jacqueline Margetts. This book is described as an excellent, deeply researched and well illustrated account of the career and work of Ted and provides a significant contribution to scholarship in landscape design history. To purchase, or find out more, click here. Our congratulations Rod and Jacqueline!

Congratulations to Terry Hatch, ONZM

It is with great pleasure that we announce renowned horticulturalist and conservationist, Terry Hatch, has been awarded an Officer of the NZ Order for his services to horticulture. Terry is highly esteemed for his dedication to the breeding of rare NZ plants, island reforestation and the promotion of horticulture through his writing and speaking engagements. As well as being an active and serving member of a number of horticultural organisations, his nursery, Joy Plants, has been highly regarded by horticulturists and designers for over 30 years. 

Upcoming Hikoi Garden Tour - Italy

Join Ian Henderson and Penny Cliffin on a garden tour to Italy from 29 April to 22 May 2017. Visit gardens, art and architecture of the great Italian cities of Rome, Florence and Venice. Highlights include: Medici villa gardens, Boboli Gardens, Sienna Piazza Del Campo, architecture by Carlo Scarpa, Renzo Piano, Cinque Terra, Roman Forum, Vatican and the opening of the Venice Art Biennale featuring NZ artist, Lisa Reihana. Click here for more details or take a look at their Facebook page.

Announcing our newly accredited member

A warm welcome to Margaret Phillips, our newly Accredited Member for 2016. The Accreditation Board commends you on your successful submission of your portfolio and the high calibre of the work shown. Congratulations on this professional affirmation of your well-established reputation and over 20 years experience in garden design.

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!

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!

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.

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!