Garden Symphony was established in 2000 by Sydney Northern Beaches landscape designer Mark Bruwel. Mark, a talented garden designer and horticultural specialist, is also an accomplished classical musician. 

About Garden Symphony

Garden Symphony was established in 2000 by Sydney Northern Beaches landscape designer Mark Bruwel. Mark, a talented garden designer and horticultural specialist, is also an accomplished classical musician. 


Since the company’s inception, Mark Bruwel has developed a reputation for creating extraordinarily beautiful gardens designs that provide ongoing pleasure to their fortunate owners. These are gardens that don’t just appeal to the eye but the soul!


Mark is committed to the philosophy that ‘your garden should be your haven’: a haven where you can escape for solace, contemplation, strength and inspiration, or simply a relaxing glass of wine after a hard day at work! 


The uniqueness of Mark’s garden designs can be attributed to an unusual mix of influences. He draws much of his creative inspiration from his musical background, particularly opera.


He has also travelled extensively, visiting, studying and gathering ideas from gardens all over the world. The very natural, timeless feeling of his designs can be attributed to his love of the historic gardens of Europe, such as France, Italy, Germany and Spain.  He has picked up unusual design concepts in the US and been heavily influenced by the lush tropical gardens of Asia. Even the gardens of the Middle East have helped provide ideas for innovative new ways of coping with Australia’s often unforgiving environment.  

Practicality underpins every Garden Symphony design. Mark uses his extensive horticultural knowledge and technical skills to select a variety of Australian and exotic plants to ensure the garden’s long-term future. He also retains existing features wherever possible, working with the landscape, not against it. Every design is strikingly different, depending on the client’s lifestyle, home and environment. 


In 2003, Garden Symphony was selected from numerous applicants to take part in ‘Sydney in Bloom’ – a premiere gardening event showcasing Sydney’s best landscaping talent.  Mark’s successful design was inspired by a scene from Puccini's opera ‘Madama Butterfly’, and was featured in the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ and ‘House and Garden’.


Mark Bruwel, Chief Designer

Mark Bruwel studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and went on to join the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra as an oboist. Over the last fifteen years he has worked with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and as a soloist with the Sydney Bach Orchestra. He has also recorded numerous CDs, film scores and TV ads.


Throughout his musical career, Mark always maintained a strong interest in garden design. While studying music in Europe, he gained inspiration for his music by spending time in beautiful parks and gardens. It was then that he began to see the fascinating parallels between music composition and garden design. Both require a strong underlying structure in order to provide pleasure to their “audiences”. Even the freest of music, such as jazz, has that structure. In the same way, every effective garden design must have a strong underlying structure.


This interest led Mark to complete his Landscape Design Diploma and develop a comprehensive base of technical knowledge. His local area benefited from his skills when Mark set up ‘Naremburn Park Care’ with the support of Willoughby Council. This highly successful project regenerated ‘pocket parks’ and ‘nature corridors’ around the Naremburn area. Mark is a member of the Australian Institute of Landscape Designers & Managers www.aildm.com.au


When Mark established Garden Symphony it was the realisation of a decade long dream to intertwine his two passions: music and garden design. Mark sees garden design, like music, as a sensory art.  His designs encompass music composition techniques such as rhythm, harmony and melodic structure.


His background in opera has also given him a wealth of specialist expertise relating to staging, lighting and symbolism. If appropriate, he often uses symbolism to reflect aspects of his clients’ lives but only if it works as an effective element of that underlying design structure which is so fundamental to every beautiful melody and every beautiful garden.


Mark’s background in the arts, in tandem with his solid horticultural expertise, allows him to offer Garden Symphony clients a truly special garden design service.