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Cluanie is one of a very few surviving homesteads built in the 19th century in South Gippsland. It is listed with Heritage Victoria as having local heritage significance. The surrounding farm and home, created by Pioneer Jacob Thomas from 1878 to 1896, is testament to the fortitude of early settlers in the Leongatha region. The land that was built on in South Gippsland, Victoria by Jacob Thomas from 1878 to 1896 had been the territory of the Gunaikurnai First Nations people for at least 40,000 years, the local clan being the Brataualung people. The story of the development of Lyre Bird Mound, (since renamed Cluanie), is significant as it encapsulates the broader European settlement of Koonwarra and Leongatha South. The clearing of the property, by Jacob Thomas, his sons and a succession of scrub cutters, commenced as surveyor John Lardner (1839-1931), started mapping roads and improving gradients in the South Gippsland Hills from Poowong to Foster. This included a survey of Whitelaw’s Track cut in 1874-75. The Macdonald family owned the property for almost 100 years, they developed a successful cheese manufacturing business for both local and international markets. The property has been restored over the past decade and is now a fully functioning farm with a beautiful homestead and garden.

This is a small print run production. If you wish to purchase a copy @ $40 (cost of production) please contact Anne directly and pay via EFT once stock availability is confirmed.

Gardens of the National Trust

of Australia (Victoria) 

Available Now

The Melbourne garden treasures of Rippon Lea and Como are familiar landmarks to many, much loved for their botanical riches and their idyllic setting for family picnics and garden inspirations. But the Trust owns many other properties that have had historically significant gardens,  and in some cases still have these gardens. This story commences with the oldest landscape in the Trust’s care – Endeavour Fern Gully, 17.5 hectares of natural remnant landscape with an array of middle and ground storey plants and lush fern gully. It includes natural habitats and wetlands and provides a sanctuary for animals, birds and rare plant species native to the Mornington Peninsula. On the other end of the scale is Mooramong, a Western District time capsule that exhibits the lifestyle of its wealthy and glamorous property owners from the late 1930s to mid-1970s. Between these two very different Trust properties, there are early settlement gardens of the 1840s, rural villas of the 1850s, the botanic extravaganzas attached to grand mansions built during Melbourne’s 19th century boom years, and rural retreats of the 1920s.

280 X 280 full colour,  200 pp, soft cover

$49.99 includes  post 


For signed copies direct from Author Anne Vale

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Account name. MD Sidell & A V Vale

BSB: 633000 Account : 164764466

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What readers have to say about

Gardens of the National Trust

of Australia (Victoria) 

Dear Anne
Congratulations on the publication of your latest work, Gardens of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria). It’s a beautiful, detailed and informative work that adds depth to my knowledge of some of my favourite National Trust properties, their successive owners and the development of the gardens. The book is a major work in terms of research and I particularly like your photos and captions. Is (Victoria) the start of a series? That would indeed be a major undertaking.

I hope all is well with you and yours

Mary Schooneveldt Goat Island Gallery & Garden, Wonthaggi

Dear Anne,

I have read your latest book from cover to cover and want to say I think it is superb, text and images so beautifully capturing the properties. What a talent you have!


Shirley Goldsworthy, Melbourne

Dear Anne,

Many Congratulations on the publication of your lovely new book. I have seen it about over the last few weeks, but I have only just now sat down with it, and of course the first chapter I turned to was La Trobe’s Cottage.

We are so grateful for the beautiful chapter you have written, especially as it focuses so much on the history and heritage of the garden and the fact that we work so hard to emphasize that in maintaining it. Your use of original sources and delightful quotes, older illustrations (and the lovely modern one by Jo Reitze) and your wonderful photographs create a most entrancing chapter – one which we feel sure will bring us more visitors. We do indeed run Garden Tours for those who are interested, and we can certainly refer them to your book.   Thank you for including me in your acknowledgements– I am very proud to have been associated, in a very small way, with this book – it was a great delight to work with you on it.

With best wishes

Helen Botham, Melbourne

The National Trust of Australia has produced many fine books over many years featuring their many wonderful heritage properties.  These buildings, no matter what scale of grandeur or humility, are always enhanced by their landscape and garden settings.

It is a joy therefore to see Anne Vale’s insightful book capture the stories and images of the National Trust of Australia, Victoria’s heritage properties’ landscapes and gardens.  It is a collection of research of these landscapes which is long overdue.

These landscapes tell us as much about the history of the heritage sites as do the built forms.  Anne’s book is very readable and informative and all lovers of gardens will appreciate and enjoy it, as I have done.

Elizabeth Peck, Melbourne

Influential Australian Garden People

Their Stories

2016 SEQUEL to the Award winning

Exceptional Australian Garden Makers (2013)

Beautifully illustrated, fully indexed and referenced, Influential Australia Garden People: their stories follows the influences of our current generation of garden writers, media personalities and garden designers. Journey with them as they relate their own experience within the context of increased urbanization, shifts in lifestyle choices and concern for environmental sustainability.

Immerse yourself in the lives of Australia’s Influential Garden Shapers and Creators including Paul Bangay, Myles Baldwin, Jim Fogarty, Andrew Laidlaw and Arno King. These contemporary garden creators may all design totally different style gardens but they share many similar experiences. Influential Australian Garden People is a book full of personal stories gleaned and gathered by listening to some of Australia’s most influential garden people. This generation represents a fundamental shift in the values and beliefs attached by our society to nature, landscape and cultivated spaces.

280 X 280 full colour,  200 pp, soft cover

$39.99 + $13.00 post & packing (includes Express post interstate)

Click on events page to see where you can collect a signed book in person & avoid P&P charges


For signed copies direct from Author Anne Vale

Electronic Funds Transfer

Please email/post or call to notify us of your payment and to provide an address for postage

Please notate EFT with your name

BSB: 633000 Account : 157768714 

Secure Credit Card Option click ORDER NOW below

Order Now

‘What an honour it is to be featured in Anne Vale’s new book, ‘Influential Australian Garden People and Their Stories’. Dr. Anne Vale is a historian, lecturer and garden photographer. This latest book is a sequel to her 2013 award winning title, ‘Exceptional Australian Garden Makers’. I am enjoying reading about colleagues like Jane Edmanson, Steven Ryan and Tim Entwisle. Other Queenslanders featured include Arno King and Paul Plant.’  Annette McFarlane, October 2016.

Click on the link to hear Anne discussing Influential Australian Garden People with Michael Williams on ‘Blueprint for Living, Radio National October 13th 2016

ABC RN: The shaping of contemporary Australian gardens

Who are the leaders in Australian garden design and contemporary thinking? 

Dear Anne

I received your lovely book on Tuesday. It’s a very fine publication and the content is varied and original. I congratulate you on such high quality. I have been dipping in and out and am fascinated by the stories of some of the people about whom I had known very little. I feel quite overwhelmed to be listed in such company, but delighted too as it has given me an opportunity to publicly acknowledge the people who inspired and influenced me. (Merilyn Kuchel, South Australia October 2016)


Influential Australian Garden People: their stories is available from the following select bookshops.

  • Aesops Attic, Kyneton Vic (03) 5422 6059Avenue Bookstore Albert Park Vic (03) 9690 2227

  • Antipodes Bookshop and Gallery, Sorrento, Victoria (03) 5984 4217

  • Aspects Kings Park, Perth WA (08) 94803900

  • Avenue Bookstore, Richmond Vic (03) 03 8456 0627

  • Avenue Bookstore, Elsternwick Vic (03) 03 9523 6405

  • Avenue Bookstore, Albert Park Vic (03) 9690 2227

  • Beechworth Books, Beechworth, Vic, (03) 5728 2880

  • Books in Print Malvern Vic (03) 9500 9631

  • ‘Florilegium’ The Garden Bookstore, NSW (02) 9571 8222

  • Country Tales, Mansfield. Vic. (03) 5775 1701

  • Hill of Content, Melbourne Vic (03) 96629472

  • Jindivick Nursery, Jindivick Vic (03) 56285316

  • Lindfield Bookshop, Lindfield, NSW (02) 9416 4201

  • Matilda Bookshop, Sterling SA (08) 83393931

  • Mostly Books, Torrens Park, SA, (08) 83735190

  • Readings, State Library Vic (03) 8664 7540

  • Readings, Doncaster (03) 9347 6633

  • Readings, Hawthorne Vic 9819 191703

  • Stoneman’s Bookroom, Castlemaine Vic (03) 5470 5134

  • The Garden Shop, Melbourne and Cranbourne RBG Victoria (03) 9252 2341

  • The Rural Bookshop


Catherine Stewart, editor of Garden Drum. (AGHS Journal: vol 28 no 2, October 2016, p 30).

Anne Vale (2016) Influential Australian garden people: their stories

‘Anne Vale’s Influential garden people, a companion volume to the pre-1980s focus of her first book Exceptional Australian garden makers, examines where garden making is today, revealed through in-depth interviews with some of Australia’s most influential garden communicators and garden designers. A few are the ‘usual suspects’ but, refreshingly, many are quiet influencers, less well known outside their own climate zone or city (which shows how parochial we are) but whose ideas and creative reach are already inspiring current and future gardeners.

However it is Vale’s chapter on ‘Unpacking the Themes’ that is the real gem, for what is commentary without useful analysis? We learn what kind of family influence makes a new gardener, of the learning style that should be most valued by our current educators, and the reasons why horticulture lags behind other professions in status and remuneration. And there’s the wonderful exploding of that silly idea of trying to create or even describe that slippery eel of a uniquely ‘Australian garden’. ‘


Review: Influential Australian Garden People: Their Stories


OCTOBER 11, 2016 • 8
Influential Australian Garden People: Their Stories.

Our Australian Gardens, Kim Woods Rabbidge

‘Dr Anne Vale’s just released book, ‘Influential Australian Garden People: Their Stories’, features nineteen current ‘Mind Shapers’ and ‘Garden Creators’ who’ve educated and inspired Australian designers, horticulturists, and gardeners.

It’s an absorbing read, especially when these women and men, in their own words, candidly reflect on who and what influenced their own career paths…..’

Click on the link below to read review

Exceptional Australian Garden Makers



Hi Anne,

I have just finished reading your book and wanted to let you know what a pleasure it was. Although I purchased it about 2 years ago I hadn’t got around to reading it but was able to do that this summer. Each morning over breakfast I devoured a few pages. Although I knew of the garden makers, your research really filled in the gaps. Your writing style was also very easy to read.

Thank you again and keep up the good work.

Warm Regards,

Rosemary Ulph

Garden Designer, Your Garden Oasis, MELBOURNE

The Garden at Dalvui

12 page booklet describing the garden at Dalvui written by Dr Anne Vale and published by the Australian Garden History Society

To purchase go to

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