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Toorak gardens are luscious, green, leafy and the envy of many Victorian homeowners. Chris Lucas, Garden Designer & Proprietor of Hello Hello Plants has broken down the Toorak garden to its essence, and now everybody can have the luxury and prestige of a Toorak-styled garden in any suburb!

Absolute simplicity is key, using bold design, mass planting, and using just a few well-chosen species that are hardy and easy to grow.

Leafy and green, flowers are mostly white and contrasts are subtle, using shades of green, different foliage textures, and white on green to create the beautiful, classic garden of your dreams.

Due to the simplicity of the design, the hardiness of the plants used, and the semi-regular maintenance, a ‘Toorak’ style garden is within reach of almost anyone.

Planning, for one, is essential to creating a Toorak style garden. So before you rush out and buy a load of lush and leafy plants, plan out where you want your garden beds. 

Do you want a hedge or multiple hedges? How about the lawn or do you prefer a ground cover for less maintenance? Or maybe you want a climber but do you have something for it to climb over or on? All these elements need thought and planning before you achieve a garden like this. And it will pay off big time!

But, if you’re unsure, give us a call! We have a one-on-one free garden design service with Chris himself. We’ll take care of all the planning for you.

Elements of a Toorak Garden


Landscape layering sets Instagram worthy gardens apart from the rest. To layer your plants in the garden is to stagger your plantings in fore, middle and background layers. In a formal or Toorak style garden these layers are well defined, ordered and often have an element of symmetry about them.

Green & White

This classic combo is in every Toorak garden we have seen, and why wouldn’t it be? Verdant green back drops and lines touched with crisp whites from flowers and architecture. It oozes class and sophistication.

Hello Hello Plants Nursery Campbellfield Melbourne Victoria Australia Andrew Stark Landscape Design Ornamental Pear trees pleached hedge banner
Stunning pleached Ornamental screening hedge by Andrew Stark Landscape Design


Highly refined hedges and screens are often pleached, allowing a groundcover underplanting or elegant rocks, pebbles or mulch. The lines of pleached hedges draw focus to other elements in the garden and give a sense of order and formality.

Topiary & Standards

Topiary plants ooze class. This highly skilled technique is used to create perfect symmetrical shapes and living sculptures from your prized plants. They’re the finishing touch to a formal garden and highly versatile, grown in ornamental pots, corners of box hedged garden beds, framing walkways and entrances or as the main feature.

Box Hedging

A must have in the Toorak garden! Box hedging can be acheived using many varieties of plant available on the market today. For the classic formal or traditional look a standard jade to dark forest green hedge is required, often with no or minimal flowers. Box hedges are used to line walkways, edge garden beds to keep the garden edges neat and symmetrical and to add layers.


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Andrew Stark Landscape design with cloud pruned Japanese Maple

There’s nothing more pleasing to the human eye than order and structure, and symmetry achieves just this. Symmetry within landscape is the mirror-image replication of an individual plant or group of plants. A topiarized English Box on either side of a walkway with matching hedging down either side is an example of symmetrical landscaping. Or two feature trees placed on either side of a window or door. Symmetry can highlight a garden feature whilst also creating order and control.


To draw focus to a certain point in the garden, landscaping elements are placed skillfully to divert attention to features such as a garden ornament, statue, fountain or feature tree.
Lines from boxed or pleached hedges and pathways lead your eye towards a certain point. Solid blocks of colour and texture are used to highlight or subdue. Contrasting colours and formal shapes will catch your eye.

What plants go into a Toorak style garden?

Once you have established your plan, you’re up to the most fun part of the project; picking your plants! We have selected and organised the best plants for a Toorak style garden below. Mix and match or choose from over 6,000 products on our online store!


Standards make a wonderful feature. Due to their height and shape it makes room for lower layers to be planted underneath like sprawling groundcovers or feature pebbles.


Topiary expresses an element of skill and care as it takes both to create such magnificent shapes. Plus they can be grown in both the garden bed and in pots.

Box Hedging

Box hedging finishes a garden beautifully and they’re so easy to maintain as most varieties are slow growing, making them a relatively low maintenance feature of a high maintenance garden!


In every Melbourne garden is a hedge and the reason why is for privacy. Melbourne homes are built very close to one another and therefore you can see into each others yards. A hedge will fix that problem in no time flat! Plus they create a beautiful lush backdrop for the rest of your garden, hiding unsightly features.


Climbers are so versatile! They can cover a boring old fence and make it a fresh, living wall of green, a brilliant backdrop or a floral feature archway. Many of the climbers here, such as the Hedera ‘English Ivy’ and Trachelospermum ‘Chinese Star Jasmine’ cane be used as both a climber and a groundcover!


Why have annoying, high maintenance lawn when you can have an easy to care for groundcover! Most groundcovers will remain the same height with little input by you. All you need to do is trim the edges. So easy!

Tall Screens

When you need screens for privacy and still want them to be classy, you need to consider these:

Feature Trees

When you need a focal point, feature trees are great. They draw attention by their unique looks or features. Crepe myrtles have beautiful bark and gorgeous blooms. Feature trees can be a single plant or even a row of them to create a greater impression, such as a row of Magnolias.

Medium to tall hedge Ideal for Topiary

These plants can be grown into hedges, trimmed to your desired height, OR can also be used for sculptures or topiary just like this photo below. The tall pyramidal cone is a Myrtus Luma apiculata.

Hello Hello Plants is an online plant superstore based in Melbourne, Australia. We maintain our own fleet so we can deliver door-to-door all over Victoria. We stock a select range of the plants you see online at our physical retail nursery in Campbellfield (sadly they can’t all fit). We offer a one-on-one garden design service, and our resident garden guru Chris has over 60 years experience in the plant word and is passionate about educating people on plants & gardening.

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