Dream Gardens

###Dream Gardens

Each episode of Dream Gardens sees one unloved outdoor space transformed. From the first spade hitting the ground to the incredible end result, Dream Gardens captures some of the most imaginative and challenging garden designs in the country as they come to life. Host Michael McCoy steps into a variety of garden shapes and sizes to follow the owners and designers as they battle weather, absent tradies, shifting design visions and budget blowouts. Michael provides practical tips, visits spectacular established gardens and celebrates the best of Australian design.

Production credits: An ABC TV production.

Runs for: Eight x 30min episodes on ABC TV and iview

Coming in 2017

Feels like this type of show should be on a commercial channel rather than the ABC.

Dream Gardens

From Thursday 9 February at 8pm

Can changing your back yard change your life? That’s the question asked by Dream Gardens, an eight-part series coming to ABC TV in February. Hosted by Michael McCoy, one of Australia’s leading landscape designers, each episode follows the transformation of a garden and the family behind it.

Watch as ordinary Australians battle inclement weather, absent tradies, shifting visions, budget blowouts, unforeseen obstacles and sometimes, even the designers trying to help them. All in pursuit of the perfect place to relax and feel part of nature.

Commentating on each makeover as it happens, Michael also takes time out to visit some of Australia’s most spectacular gardens, looking for design inspiration, practical tips and clues about how our projects will end up.

“As a garden designer, the greatest privilege and responsibility is being invited into another’s dreaming,” Michael says. “Sometimes the yearning for a beautiful, nurturing outdoor space has gone on for years and is well developed in the imagination. Sometimes it is only the seed of a vague longing. In Dream Gardens you’ll see dreams articulated, modified and challenged. Then you’ll see dreams fully and delightfully realised.”

From the first spade hitting the ground to the incredible end result, Dream Gardens captures imaginative and challenging garden designs as they come to life. This series celebrates the great gardens of today, the best of Australian design and the spaces from which viewers can take inspiration, highlighting the lengths that people are prepared to go to, both financially and emotionally, to get their ultimate garden.

Head of ABC Entertainment Jon Casimir said:

“Dream Gardens is a simple idea with surprising depth. It follows the stories of eight families, showing us how a backyard makeover can soothe, heal, excite, and enrich us. The series, hosted by the amazing Michael McCoy, explores the design of our outdoor spaces and its effects on our hearts and minds. An internal ABC production, we’re thrilled to share it”.

The first episode, on Thursday February 9, follows a rural Queensland couple’s journey to transform a rock hard paddock into an ambitious and extensive kitchen garden so that they can live out their “‘grow it, eat it, live it” dream. The second episode, on Thursday February 16, sees Michael heading to Melbourne where a couple tries to salvage a botched nightmare, turning a hideous, unfinished concrete bunker into a designer garden oasis.

2019 Upfronts

Dream Gardens, Series 2

Hosted by Michael McCoy, one of Australia’s leading landscape designers, each episode of Dream Gardens sees one unloved space being transformed; from the first spade hitting the ground to the incredible end result with some of the most imaginative and challenging garden designs coming to life. Michael McCoy steps into a variety of garden shapes and sizes to follow the owners and Australia’s best designers battling weather, absent tradies, shifting design visions and budget blowouts. As well as following each garden build, the host provides practical tips and visits spectacular established gardens that provide clues and inspiration for the challenges faced by the owners in each episode. The series celebrates the great gardens of today, the best of Australian design and the spaces from which viewers can take inspiration.

Series 2 premieres Tuesday, October 29 at 8pm.

ABC Upfronts 2020

Dream Gardens hosted by Michael McCoy, one of Australia’s leading landscape designers, is back in a stunning new series in 2020 as everyday Aussies share the hard work, challenges, and adventure of making their dream a reality.

Dream Gardens - Season 3

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From Friday 2 July at 8pm

Dream Gardens hosted by Michael McCoy, one of Australia’s leading landscape designers, is back in a stunning new series.

“Good design can totally transform the way we live, leading to truly irresistible gardens that make full use of every square centimetre of our ever-dwindling outdoor spaces. The arrival of COVID-19 has elevated the importance of well-designed gardens still further, as they’ve become our primary safe-places for recreation, refuge and restoration, and a critical part of our re-engagement with simpler, deeper pleasures,” says Michael.

Each episode Michael charts the evolution of a garden from design plan through construction to the spectacular end-result. From inner-city courtyards to suburban backyards and generous country holdings, everyday Aussies share the hard work, challenges, and adventure of making their dream a reality.

And every dream is different. Designers are challenged to produce spaces inspired by the evocative Australian bush, the gritty urban industrial style and picturesque native billabongs. The gardens they create will bring families together, give couples sanctuaries, allow children to play and produce fruit, vegetables and even native bush tucker.

There are owners that partner with internationally recognized designers like Phillip Johnson, Hugh Main and Peta Donaldson, and others who embrace the work of up and coming young designers.

Throughout, Michael is there to share his extensive landscape design and plant knowledge. With an ‘access all areas’ pass, he also tours private gardens created by the who’s who of the design world including Paul Bangay’s remarkable city courtyard, Robert Boyle’s exquisite formal but productive country garden, Adam Robinson’s clever and beautiful solution for a parking space and Jim Fogarty’s stunning native retreat. Along the way Michael discovers techniques we can use in our own spaces.

Follow these incredible journeys from concept to creation and witness the breathtaking results in a series created to celebrate the best of Australian design, inspire a love of the natural, and share ideas to enhance the quality of our outdoor living spaces.

Episode 1 - Friday 2 July

Woodend, Victoria

Michael and Karen decided to turn their back on cramped city living and left their two-bedroom apartment to build a sprawling farmhouse in the country. With their toddler on his feet and ready to explore, they can now create a family garden that includes a play area, vegetable patch and an entertaining space for parents and friends.

The one-acre property is full of potential, but a big space means big challenges. Landscape designer, Kathleen Murphy, will need to tackle a serious drainage issue and address major privacy concerns to turn this into the perfect family retreat. Her ambitious design will feature zones that meet the family’s individual needs, while endeavouring to maintain cohesion, not only within the garden, but also with the house.

It is a balance that has been achieved in Peter Shaw’s home garden, ‘Sunnymeade’, in Anglesea on Victoria’s coast. Michael visits the landscape designer to explore the functional space, which includes everything a family could want, while still maintaining its beauty. The strong design uses the meandering shapes of stringy barks, tightly clipped grey-green shrubs and sculptured mounds covered in turf to set the tone, while flying foxes and treehouses give the garden a warm, family friendly feel.

Michael and Karen are hoping to achieve a similar harmony in their garden, but can they pull together a cohesive design that will still satisfy all members of the family?

Episode 2: Annandale, NSW

Friday July 09 8:00pm

A couple in Sydney are going to great lengths to marry the industrial style renovation of their converted warehouse and the design of their garden.

Episode 3

Friday July 16 8:00pm

After knocking down their home to build a contemporary property, Bec and Marty plan to revive their tired old garden and decide on a country style garden that will envelop and nestle the home into the surrounding bushland.

Episode 4: Gippsland

Friday July 23 8:00pm

Longing for a quieter life on the land, Kristy and Neil bought a fifty-two hectare property in rural Gippsland. But the run down farm will need serious work if they are to create the productive garden they desire.

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