Our popular digitised collections are a well-used treasure trove. It is a complex process, to get a publication to this point – so new titles are a reason to celebrate. Browsing through whole issues is quite a different experience from searching for information – gratifying though that may be! Serendipity, too, can be rewarding.

As the weather warms, and the garden beckons, visiting these titles may be of interest.

The Garden Gazette

The Garden Gazette, first published in July 1902, declared:

Its mission will be to show that both the flower and the vegetable gardens can be profitably and pleasurably utilised. Articles from practical experts will be one of the many features of its columns: these will be written in a clear and concise style, and not above the heads of the multitude. In other words, they will be compiled for the every-day horticulturist and gardener, more than for the mere scientist 1

The publication was sadly short-lived, surviving for just 14 issues.

Banner for the garden gazette, with drawings of garlands of flowers surrounding the words.
Garden Gazette, September 1903, p 27

Every gardener is keen on tips, and the wide-ranging content includes soil health, manuring roses, insects and species-specific information – from ladybirds, to pruning, to advice for the kitchen and fruit gardens; to notable gardens – public and private. Articles include reports from local gardening societies, gardening in state schools, and a regular column entitled The favourite flowers of Australian gentlewomen.

test describing the role of the ladybird in the garden as eaters of pets
Garden Gazette, September 1903, p 29
text describing the different types of pruning - summer and winter
Garden Gazette, September 1903, p 35
text describing the perplexity at causes of failure in the kitchen garden
Garden Gazette, August 1902, p 19

The Journal of Horticulture of Australasia

The Journal of Horticulture of Australasia was published from 1906 to 1911. The Horticultural Publishing Press of Australasia also published Fruit World and The Australasian International Nurseryman, Seedsman and Florist. Its first issue included letters from an encouraging and appreciative public.

image of the mast head of the journal of horticulture of australisia. the title higlighted in red and surrounded by line drawings of flowers and vines
Journal of Horticulture of Australasia, November 1910, p 1

Again, focusing on the flower and kitchen gardens, the journal attempted national coverage, but its chief source of advertising revenue was Victoria. In 1911, a call to the readership was made:

In conclusion we state emphatically that we need more leaf. For even Poppies have their likes and dislikes, and support, and it is in the hands of our enthusiastic readers to make this possible. Who will be the first? 2

From this date the subtitle Home and Garden Beautiful was added – the first combined use of those words in an Australian periodical title. 3

coloured cover of journal of horticulture of australasia and home and garden beautiful a pink oriental poppy.
Journal of Horticulture of Australasia and Home and Garden Beautiful, July 1911, cover

Including practical gardening tips for each state, reports from garden societies, advertisements for tools and various garden potions, the title aimed to cover the gamut of gardening activities and interests. Kitchen gardens, fruit trees and ornamental plants (chiefly exotics) were all covered. The growth of interest and appreciation in Australia’s indigenous flora was developing but was slow to appear widely in suburban gardens.4

Home and Garden Beautiful

The issues following the renaming of the publication to Home and Garden Beautiful, included house plans and detailed descriptions alongside advertisements for furniture and more domestic, rather than horticultural, products.

contents page of home and garden beautiful listing hoses and plans, garden articles
Home and Garden Beautiful, June 1914, p 537

Each issue included at least one feature article on a house, with the name of the owner and architect responsible. Modern homes, plus beach shacks and servantless houses were all covered over the period of the journal.

photograph and floorplan of Residence of T.Purves, Logan Street Canterbury
Residence of T. Purves, Logan Street Canterbury, Home and Garden Beautiful, December 1915, p 211

Sadly, the issue for April 1916 included the notice that the publication would be suspended:

Owing to the heavy increase in the cost of production of ‘Home & Garden Beautiful’, we have reluctantly decided to discontinue publication for a few months. We hope to be able to resume when conditions become more normal.5

The title did not reappear.

Dig deeper into other State Library gardening journals

We do hold other titles, including some published over this time, that survived longer, indicating that the competition and margins were tight in this publishing field.

We hope you enjoy exploring these titles online, and discovering the passions, knowledge and interests of some of the gardeners of the past, as they sought to inspire both productive and beautiful gardens.

line drawing of floral page border
Garden Gazette, August 1902, p 3

More to explore

Our garden related blog posts – Edna Walling, A turn around the garden, Fanny Anne Charlsey
Gardenesque: a celebration of Australian gardening
Yesterday’s gardens a history and bibliography of Australian gardening books
Oxford companion to Australian gardens
Australian Garden History Society


  1. Garden Gazette, July 1902, p 4
  2. Journal of Horticulture of Australasia, June 1911, p 2
  3. Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens, p 340
  4. Aitken, Richard, Gardenesque, p 110
  5. Home and Garden Beautiful, April 1916, p 369

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