Saturday, 21 July 2012

What I do (... a gardener's life for me)

My name is Silas Clifford-Smith and I have been working as a horticulturist in the Sydney region for over 22 years. During the 1990s I was the Senior Horticulturist at Admiralty House (the Sydney residence of the Governor-General of Australia). Subsequently, I was employed as Head Gardener for the National Trust in New South Wales.

The grounds of Admiralty House
next to beautiful Sydney Harbour
While working for the National Trust I looked after several of their gardens including Springwood (the Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum) and Experiment Farm Cottage. While with the National Trust I also acted as an adviser on many of their other regional gardens, including Everglades. As well as many private commissions I have also worked for the Historic Houses Trust at Vaucluse House, Rouse Hill and Elizabeth Farm.

Silas working on the restoration of the
Lewers Bequest garden in western Sydney
In recent years I have been working mainly in private practice around Sydney. Projects include one-off major restorations as well as regular maintenance of new and established gardens. I also work as a landscape consultant advising garden owners on planting plans, maintenance programmes and advice on heritage matters. As well as this, I also prepare land title searches for council development applications. My qualifications include an Associate Diploma in Horticulture from Ryde College of TAFE as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sydney.

Silas was co-author of Interwar Gardens 
published by the National Trust in 2003
I occasionally lecture on garden and heritage related matters and have written widely for a broad range of publications. I wrote Percy Lindsay: artist and bohemian (2011), and co-authored Interwar Gardens (2003) and contributed a series of entries to the Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens (2002).

Regular maintenance is essential
if you want a pretty garden
I don't advertise and rely solely on word-of-mouth from current and past clients. If you would like to make contact please e-mail me at the following address (please note I have altered the format to prevent spamming of this site).  silas[dot]cliffordsmith[at]gmail[dot]com


  1. Wow Silas very impressive. I'm basically a mature age apprentice gardener at the moment and would be happy to achieve half of what you have.

  2. I am in Glebe 2037. Desperately wanting to grow a repeatflowering ,fragrant large climbing Rose on an east facing hot wall. The sun passes over at about midday , so the rose will not be getting burnt. I have looked at so many possibilities and am currently at a loss. I do not want Peace or any thing red. I'm wondering about Devoniensis . Albertine is the last choice. Silas , if you are still there , can you offer a good choice . I know only too well how it is when the wrong Rose is planted !!!

  3. If you can advise..Hoping to hear from your good self.


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