Charlie has worked internationally and in Australia for the past 17 years, designing and building gardens that are timeless, inspiring and enjoyable to spend time in. In 2015 and 2016, he was awarded two Silver gilt medals for his own gardens at the world’s most prestigious flower show The Chelsea Flower Show.
Following this, Charlie was awarded various AILDM and LNA awards for his work including ‘Best Design and Construction of the Year’ in 2018. Charlie is one of only seven international designers who were selected to design a garden for the Beijing horticultural expo running from April until November in 2019.
Charlie reveals that he’s got some exciting stories to kick off the new season.
“First we’re making over a barren backyard. We’ll be transforming a useless space into a great entertainer’s garden.”
“You’ll also get to meet my family, and I’ll be giving you a look around my country garden.”
And if you’re a fan of indoor plants, you’re in luck: Charlie will be creating terrariums on the show – the perfect way to inject instant style and greenery into your home.
We caught up with Charlie ahead of the new season and asked him to share his expert tips with us.
What are your favourite fool-proof plants?
I like to use euphorbias in garden makeovers because they’re a hardy plant and work well in shady areas, and then there’s Indian hawthorn, which has lovely round leaves and works well in hedges. If you’re after a beautiful ground cover, consider native violets, which are also edible. Great for sprinkling over salads!
What’s the biggest mistake people make with their gardens?
They don’t do enough soil preparation. Think of it like having a healthy diet, where fertiliser works like a supplement. You really need to put time and effort into preparing soil so it can absorb water properly.
How can people maintain their garden with water restrictions?
Prioritising where you use water is the most important part. Let your lawn go, you can always replace that. Concentrate on watering large trees and shrubs. Make sure you’ve got good soil good drainage so it doesn’t get waterlogged. And mulching is also great for retaining water. It's better to give your garden an equal amount of water once or twice a week, instead of giving it a little water every day.
Best water tips and tricks?
- Only water very early in the morning or late at night;
- Water the roots of the plant instead of the leaves;
- Be careful about using grey water from dishwashers as the detergent can affect the pH is the soil; and
- Use drought-resistant plants.
The new season of Better Homes and Gardens starts Friday 7.00pm on Seven with host Johanna Griggs, Adam Dovile (DIY), Charlie Albone (Landscaping), Dr Harry Cooper (Vet), Graham Ross (Gardening), Tara Dennis (Decorating & Design), “Fast Ed” Halmagyi (Chef), Karen Martini (Chef), Pete Colquhoun (Architect), Sam Wood (Health & Fitness), Melissa King (Gardening) and James Tobin (Tech & Motoring).