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Canberra’s Boutique Real Estate and Property Management

It’s all coming up roses for Manuka Gardens

Wendy Johnson 23 September 2019

Yarralumla courtyard garden with custom copper water feature, cloud pruned conifers, rendered walls and granite paving tiles. All photos supplied by Manuka Gardens.

Colouring Canberra with beautiful gardens. It’s a dream job for Simon Davies.

Simon is the Managing Director of Manuka Gardens and some of his fondest childhood memories are of he and his grandmother mucking about in her garden and of working alongside his parents in their beautiful gardens in Wagga Wagga. Simon has always loved being outdoors, getting his hands dirty and learning what it takes to grow a flourishing garden.

Today, Simon continues to work with his hands, through his own business here in the capital. Indeed, Manuka Gardens has just celebrated its first birthday.

Simon is no ordinary gardener. He has a Diploma in Horticulture, has more than 16 years in the industry and extensive and varied experience. While working for one of Sydney’s most prominent landscape architecture and horticulture companies, Secret Gardens, he learned the essential need to grow his customer relations skills and nurture attentive, quality design, construction and maintenance — complete landscaping services.

“Canberra is such a special place for gardens,” says Simon. “It’s a satisfying challenge to be able to colour gardens for the four seasons and work with plants suited to hot and dry weather in summer and cold weather in winter.”

Simon Davies, managing director of  Manuka Gardens.

No project is too large or small for Manuka Gardens.

“No matter what size or style of project, the ultimate aim is to make a house a home,” says Simon. “The seasonal gardening we’re able to enjoy in Canberra is rewarding, with loads of colours, different flowers, perennial plants and the deciduous trees that flourish here.”

Simon believes a garden is so much more than just a place to grow herbs or throw the cricket ball. A well-designed garden should be a sanctuary and an exterior reflection of the owners and their personalities, whether that’s calming, ordered and classic, or chaotic and energetic.

“Starting with landscape design, consultation and a concept plan, we create gardens that say something about the essence of the owners,” says Simon, “and we work hard to build harmony with the architecture of the property. We aspire to high-quality, beautiful and functional gardens.”

Manuka Gardens also provides construction and project management as well as meticulous maintenance services.

Front yard makeover with replanting, granite and bamboo water feature, paved entry path and lighting.

Simon’s inspirational work can be spotted in several parts of Canberra, including Yarralumla, Jerrabomberra, Garran and Wright. “No two gardens are alike, but that’s part of the joy,” says Simon, who is supported on-the-job by apprentice Tegan King and landscape architect Jack Simpson.

“When I worked at Secret Gardens, in some of Sydney’s most prestigious suburbs, I learned just how much is involved in creating award-winning gardens,” says Simon. “The experience has held me in good stead and I bring that experience and dedication to quality to Manuka Gardens.”

Simon is supported by Business Manager Victoria Davies, his partner in business and in life. “She’s the yin to my yang and keeps me on task,” says Simon. “Our partnership has balance, just like every good landscape design does.”

Before starting their family, Victoria worked for more than a decade at the Park Hyatt Sydney. She also works here for a multinational professional services firm. Throughout her career, Victoria has developed skills in behind-the-scenes organisation and client relations. She now brings these to the running of Manuka Gardens.

The Davies family is well and truly settled in Canberra now. Simon decided to move to the capital from Sydney a while back, wanting their then-two-year-old to be closer to family here. “We wanted a lifestyle change and are loving it,” he says.

Manuka Gardens will work to any style and budget. For a free quote, email: simon@manukagardens.com.au or call Simon on 0401 489 602.

Jerrabombera garden: Backyard transformation with cast iron fire pit, limestone paving, magnolia hedge and kids’ cubby.


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