Sam Cox


Sam Cox

Sam Cox

Sam Cox Landscape has designed natural style gardens in Victoria for 17 years. Sam learned his craft under renowned landscape designer, the late Gordon Ford, and continues the philosophies and practices of noted landscape pioneers like Edna Walling and Ellis Stones, creating the timeless appeal of naturalistic Australian style landscaping.

Sam’s hands-on approach integrates design and construction with all his landscape projects. Designs are based on carefully honed construction techniques learned from Ford requiring skilled applications. Rock placement, earth shaping, and the use of layered and group plantings are essential techniques for creating naturalistic landscapes. Non-defined boundaries with soft edges and plantings connect to the wider environment, blurring the lines visually and creating seamless transitions.

Naturalistic landscaping can be adapted for standard house blocks and small courtyards by distilling essential elements. Mass and void is a principle that applies to all design regardless of scale. Its application creates balance and contrast between the mass—boulder outcrops, mounds and native or indigenous plantings, with voids—pathways, grassed areas, ponds, pools and paved areas.

The small and experienced construction team, headed by Sam, has worked alongside some of Australia’s most noted architects on residential and public projects. His gardens open regularly for the Australian Open Garden Scheme and Rotary’s Garden Design Fest. They have also featured on the ABC’s Gardening Australia program. Sam has been a recurrent guest lecturer at the University of Melbourne to landscape design students and various plant societies and interest groups.

Sam enjoys fine family traditions and was grandson of the late John S. Turner, former professor of botany and plant physiology at the University of Melbourne for 35 years. John Turner possessed an extraordinary range of interests and his influence was felt widely throughout the State.

John Turner and Tommy Garnett, were truly ‘Village Elders’ in Australia as is superbly recorded in the book, From the Country, edited by Professor George Seddon.



PresentationThe Natural Garden: design and construction.

Sam’s presentation will demonstrate his style, methods and principles as outlined above.

Various outstanding examples of his work are provided including the beautifully integrated Munro Court subdivision development at Castlemaine, Victoria, and his own lovely property at Wattle Glen.

Sam will demonstrate how the style of naturalistic landscaping can be adapted to standard house blocks and small courtyards by distilling particular elements essential to the Australian landscape.

Sam’s designs incorporate existing topography and vegetation; cater to spatial needs and complement buildings by enhancing the best features while settling it within its environment.



ABC Gardening Australia – The Natural Garden

ABC Gardening Australia – Naturalism

ArchitectureAU – 2016 Houses Awards: Outdoor

Homes to Love – A Bushland Retreat