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Bates Landscape - the ultimate way to travel in your own backyard

If you are looking for the landscape designer that has been blessed with a sixth sense for creating magical spaces, that speak to you & transform your lifeless surroundings into a journey for your sense, then Michael Bates is the one to see.


This is one of the most epic, large-scale gardens we've ever designed and built, including elements of our signature landform gardening.  Created in conjunction with long-time collaborator Craig Burton of CAB Consulting, the breadth and grandeur of this property is incredible - in fact it took over 12 months to build. Captured by drone camera at sunrise on a perfect cloudless morning, these images showcase a truly stunning property at its best.  Garden designed by Craig Burton & Michael Bates.

"..This is one of the most epic, large-scale gardens we've ever designed and built, including elements of our signature landform gardening.

Created in conjunction with long-time collaborator Craig Burton of CAB Consulting, the breadth and grandeur of this property is incredible - in fact it took over 12 months to build. Captured by drone camera at sunrise on a perfect cloudless morning, these images showcase a truly stunning property at its best.

Garden designed by Craig Burton & Michael Bates."


Michael Bates has a passion for gardening that is hard to miss and has been immersing him self & his business in all aspects of landscaping and amazing creations.

With over 32 years in the industry and over a 1000 gardens under his belt, he is a must to spend sometime with if you are either redoing or doing your garden.


Graduating from his studies in 1986, he followed on and was the first student of Masayoshi Uchiyama, and the Japanese aesthetic has influenced his visual approach to landscape ever since.

Michael continues to travel the world on professional garden study tours, connecting with the best designers in every country as he journeys.

A traditional Blue Mountains hilltop station, this home sits elegantly amidst a classic, peaceful garden design.  With it's croquet court, stand of silver birches and expanses of emerald lawn punctuated by glorious Japanese Maples, this is the perfect example of what a considered and detail-oriented approach to landscape gardening can achieve.  Garden designed by Michael Bates.

"..A traditional Blue Mountains hilltop station, this home sits elegantly amidst a classic, peaceful garden design. With it's croquet court, stand of silver birches and expanses of emerald lawn punctuated by glorious Japanese Maples, this is the perfect example of what a considered and detail-oriented approach to landscape gardening can achieve. Garden designed by Michael Bates."


These travels shine through in his book,

a folio of Michael’s work which explores how Australian garden culture has evolved to become outward-looking, drawing on design inspiration from around the world.

“I'm a garden agnostic. My own landscape design process has always been intuitive, site- driven and client-centric, but there are some broad trends which have influenced the gardens we’ve created recently. They reflect the Australian lifestyle and the materials and conditions you'll find here, especially in Sydney.

These include the enduring love of the indoor/outdoor space. To really foster this, we look to situate the outdoor rooms we design close to their indoor equivalent - such as an outdoor dining pavilion accessible from the indoor dining room and kitchen. This increases the chances of it getting used many times over.”


"..The red garden was one of those gardens that I really wanted to build from the minute it came across my desk - it was one of those concept sketches of Vladimir Sitta's, which really inspired everybody involved with its sculptural form and magic. The commitment of travelling to Central Australia to mine the red stone to come up with a unique material that suited extraordinary design was an adventure in itself. It’s not really landscaping, its sculpting...."



A recent project of Bates Landscape is : NEW REEF ON LAND

The project presented some challenges but the results are stunning


"Our clients are real art lovers. For this project, the brief was to curate from the ground up a garden that was integrated with the architecture, interiors, and art collection as one living place. Everywhere you look as you move through the residence you are aware that you’re within a carefully crafted artistic experience.


Our focus was to use glauca (blue-grey) greens and the lacey canopy of the olives to set the tone for the central courtyard, the most-viewed outdoor space on the property. In the central courtyard, we made the ground gravel which allowed us to blur the edges between the planting and the usable surface. Gravel gardens are becoming more popular in Australia because of their low water requirement and the ability they provide to create void spaces in the garden without the ubiquitous lawn."





When asked what advice Michael had on dealing with a new or empty space he said :

  • "..Locate facilities first, like the dining area, cooking space/BBQ, teenage hang out or lawn space. Then stitch in the garden and void spaces around these identified functional spaces

  • Then look at each green space – how much sun does it get a day? Is it dry or humid? What kind of soil do you have and does it need to be ameliorated? Your answers will determine what can grow in those spaces

  • Finally….“Maintenance is a very important part of any garden. Like any living thing, the more dynamic and exciting the space is, the more work you need to put into it…but the more you get back. Just like any part of a rich family life or any relationship for that matter.”

If you are looking to discuss your landscaping vision - contact Bates Landscape


All photos courtesy of Bates Landscape



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