Sunday, April 3, 2016

Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2016 garden designs

MIFGS 2016 

Recently in Melbourne the annual flower and garden show was in full swing in the Carlton gardens and as usual I paid a visit with camera in hand to try and capture some of the amazing designs on display. As usual everything was of high standard with a few of the designs really impressing me. Aside from the garden designs the garden sculpture/art section of the show was also impressive with more timber being used in the pieces submitted. I've covered the show several times before in my blog and this time rather than waffle on about this and that I've decided to jump right in with the pictures which I'm guessing is what everyone really want to see.

Ian Barker garden design

A regular at the show Ian Barker and his team put together this wonderful display which made use of an existing pond in the Carlton Gardens. To my eye the design appeared to be a mixture between sharp / formal lines broken up by the use of herbaceous perennials and a gravel path. Obviously it also incorporated a small boat ramp. Polygonum, Helenium, Salvia, Geum, Verbascum and Panicum were some of many species used.


'The Greenery Garden' by the Greenery Garden Centre. Gold Medal Winner

The Greenery Garden Centre is an establishment in Melbourne's northern suburbs famous for its large range of high quality plants. It isn't the cheapest nursery in Melbourne but the stock is always of good quality. What there design name lacked in terms of creativity was certainly made up for in terms of plant layout and selection. The hard architectural elements of the design were also fantastic with several sections visually separated from each other. This made the design somehow seem larger than it was in its entirety. The shiny dark green foliage of the background plantings highlighted the light coloured flowers in the display. They used time proven classics such as Hydrangeas, Cistus, English box and Magnolia 'little gem'.

'Absendere' by Landscabe Labs. Bronze medal winner

This minimalist design won the bronze. Not really my cup of tea but obviously the judges thought otherwise. It seemed to incorporate more turf and architecture than it did bedding plants and trees. In the beds I think I saw some Sedum, Lomandra and maybe some young Proteas.

GHLD & The Garden Co. Silver medal winner.

This rather tropical looking design was good enough for a silver. One of its main tactics was the usage of large foliage. Ancient Cycads, palms, Agaves, Cannas, Strelitzias and Fragipanis were all used.  The surfer girl in the water feature was a focal point but I'm not sure if many people would appreciate that in their home garden.

BLAC Design and Contruction. Gold medal winner

This very subtle design took out a gold medal. It was a bit an out of the box type of design with not a flower in sight. It was basically a mixture of different green foliage with a few grey / blue plants and some really light almost lime green plants in there to help keep things interesting. I can't really tell from my pictures but lots of the plants in the bed look to be prostrate gymnosperms or conifers to the layperson. There also appears to be several grass plants in there too.

The Aggregata Plants & Gardens blog personal choice award goes to................

'The Retreat' by Paul Hervey-Brookes

Not all the plants used in this design were Australian natives but 'The Retreat' unmistakeably had an Australian aura. This design showcased what I would describe as a wilderness garden come colonial settlers cottage style of garden. It used several Eucalypts for the tall plants and had several beds which bordered a meandering path of granetic sand and river pebbles. Westringia, Anigozanthos, Limonium, Correa and Salvia (I think) were used in the beds. The colour of the sand and the river pebbles seemed to simulate a dry river bed you might find somewhere where the soil has a tinge of redness to it (like parts of the snowy mountains). This splendour was all complimented by a traditional rusty gate.

Garden art and sculpture

I have recently been doing some work for a company called 'Neo Rustic' which sells different Australian  and exotic hardwoods and makes benches, tables and furniture from timber. Maybe that is why I seemed to notice an increase in the amount of timber used in the garden sculpture at MIFGS. I really love the use of timber in garden sculpture as I think it has a much more organic appearance compared to straight stone or metal pieces. Lots of the timber seemed to be Tasmanian in origin (eg Huon Pine).

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