‘Perennials in Australia – The New Naturalism’

Perennials Symposium & Garden Tour

Saturday 30th & Sunday 31st March, 2019  |  Macedon, Victoria


Perennials Symposium

Saturday 30th March, 2019


‘The New Naturalism’, Symposium & Garden Tour, is a new horticultural conference curated by Michael McCoy and delivered in partnership with industry leaders with a deep knowledge and passion for perennials.

Held on Saturday 30th March, 2019, the Australian Perennials Symposium brings together inspiring and knowledgeable guest speakers, and the growing community of perennial lovers in a convivial environment for what promises to be an informative, entertaining and indulgent time for all those hungry to extend their understanding of this potential-loaded plant group.

Perennials are setting whole new directions in garden design.  What we’re seeing coming out of The Netherlands and Germany is totally transforming the way we’re thinking about planting, and it’s time we started thinking together about the unrealised potential of these fabulous plants for our climate.  The New Naturalism Perennials Symposium promises to kick-start this thinking, with the best nurserymen and practitioners in the business in one place, at one time.”

Michael McCoy

The day’s speaker sessions and panel conversations will cover a variety of topics including:

  • An in depth look at the evolution of naturalistic perennial plantings globally
  • The aesthetic principles that guide naturalistic perennial plantings
  • The unique opportunities of our climate (and its limitations)
  • Possible new directions for naturalistic planting in Australia

Delegates will have the opportunity to engage in conversation with guest panelists throughout the day, during a dedicated Q&A session, and during the ‘drinks and mingling’ that will happen at the end of the day’s proceedings.  

Guest Speakers include:

Michael McCoy

Michael McCoy is one of Australia’s foremost landscape designers and horticulturists. A passionate learner and teacher, Michael is a published author, regular Gardening Australia columnist, host of the ABC TV’s Dream Gardens, and an international Travelling Masterclass tour guide.

Matt Reed & Michael Morant

Matt Reed and Michael Morant have a combined 45 years experience in growing plants for Australian gardens. The boys specialise in rare and unusual perennials, many of which are only available in Australia through their nursery, ‘Antique Perennials.’

Jon Hazelwood

Jon is a Principal with the design firm HASSELL, and leads their Global Public Realm Sector.

With contributions from:

Georgina Reid

In addition to her role as the editor and creative director of The Planthunter, Georgina works with clients to help them tell their story and make big creative ideas happen. She’s also a columnist for The Design Files and Country Style magazine.

John Raynor

John is Director of Urban Horticulture at the University of Melbourne. Based at the Burnley campus, John is a passionate educator, has published widely and regularly acts as a landscape and horticulture consultant.

James Hitchmough

James is an expert in the design, ecology and management of herbaceous vegetation. He is also head of the Department of Landscape Architecture at Sheffield University in the UK.

Claire Takacs

Claire Takacs is a multi-international award winning garden photographer. Her work is widely published in magazines internationally, and her first book, Dreamscapes, was published by Hardie Grant in Oct 2017, and most recently Australian Dreamscapes in Nov 2018. 


Location: Jubilee Hall, Smith Street, Macedon, Victoria

Time & Date: 9am – 5pm, Saturday 30th March, 2019

Cost: $285pp (incl. morning tea, lunch and afternoon drinks)

DON’T MISS OUT! Tickets are limited and going fast.

Directions from Melbourne: Jubilee Hall is in Macedon, approx 60min drive from Melbourne via the Calder Freeway (see map below). Car parking is available at the venue.

Public Transport: Macedon is a 55min train ride from Southern Cross on the Bendigo Line. Jubilee Hall is a four minute walk from the Macedon train station.

Accommodation: The local region provides a wide variety of hotels and B&Bs. Look up www.booking.com and search the following locations: Macedon, Gisborne, Woodend and Kyneton.

Contact Us: For further information on the Symposium please contact Ash Knop: ash@thegardenist.com.au / 0406 587 356.

Garden Tour – SOLD OUT

Sunday 31st March, 2019


The following day, Sunday 31st March 2019, affords delegates the opportunity to join a Garden Tour of perennial gardening at its best. Led by Michael McCoy and Matt and Michael from ‘Antique Perennials’, the day starts and finishes at Jubilee Hall, Macedon, taking in the sights, sounds and tastes of the best of country Victoria.

The garden’s we will be visiting are Frogmore (Newbury), Stone Hill (Woodend Nth) and Michael McCoy’s Garden (Woodend).



Location: Jubilee Hall, Smith Street, Macedon, Victoria

Time & Date: 9am – 5pm, Sunday 31st March, 2019

Cost: $185pp (incl. garden entrances, transfers via coach and morning tea and lunch)

Contact Us: For further information on the Garden Tour please contact Ash Knop: ash@thegardenist.com.au / 0406 587 356.


Whilst we regret to inform you this Garden Tour is SOLD OUT, we highly recommend you look at the Open Gardens Victoria alternative Garden Tour below.



Friday 29th March, 2019


Our friends at Open Gardens Victoria are running a Garden Tour to the Macedon Ranges the day prior to our Perennials Symposium (Friday 29th March).

For more information, including the garden list (which includes Frogmore and Stone Hill), times and costs, click the button below or call Open Garden’s Victoria on 0472 997 880.