The Australian – The Long Game

By Helen Young.

Michael Bates is an unabashed dreamer who fizzes with energy and ideas; a man who believes that garden-making is “a civilising, earth-changing, powerful force for good in the world”.

Bates’s landscape construction company implements the ideas of notable garden designers (think Bangay, Baffsky and Baldwin) and he’s also a talented designer in his own right. His new book, The New Australian Garden: Landscapes for Living (Murdoch Books, $59.99), is a portfolio of his work, featuring 18 diverse, modern gardens, six of which he designed. In addition to his explanations of each project and luscious photography by Jason Busch, the plans, plant lists and conversations with designers and architects provide valuable insights.