Monday, April 20, 2009

Snippets from the Garden Show Part 2

AQL's "Food for Thought"

As I review my photos of the show gardens I have been trying to analyse what it is that I find appealing about the following two gardens. I am of the opinion that a garden should create a space in which one feels that the only thing possible to do is surrender to a sense of wellbeing and relaxation. This of course does not necessarily mean falling into the nearest lounging chair with book and glass of wine (or cup of tea) in hand but may mean puttering about pulling weeds. However you achieve it relaxation should be an inevitable result of spending time in the garden.

Some gardens I find are more likely to bring about this state than others.

I think the success of the garden below by Daniel Tyrrell is related to its very simple geometry. Of course this only really works in a small or courtyard garden but there are plenty of us with those. Circles. What a great idea. Vertically, horizontally and on different planes. There is also a very narrow use of materials - steel and concrete. The plant palette is focused on texture rather than colour leaving us with delicious greens.

I also liked this garden designed by AQL. I think this is also a reflection of the strong geometry and use of colour. In this case I loved the use of the autumnal colours both in the planting, the wine bottle wall, the decking and furniture. The geometry of the design is very strong, the long rectangle of the site mirrored in the long boardwalk and given an upright expression in the strong verticals of the Maples (Acer plantanoides 'Crimson Sentry').

I can't help but thinking they might have seen the work of Joost Baaker .... imitation being the best form of flattery. Not sure those apples would last long in the Australian heat espaliered against the galvanised water tanks either! Looks lovely though.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Snippets from the Garden Show Part 1

"The Succulent Roof" from l to r, Sedum 'Dragon's Blood', Sempervivum CV,
Sedum Green Jellybean, Sedum 'Voodoo', Sedum 'Gold Mound'

A brief post just to update you on a few things from the 2009 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show - all in all it was a fun day - lucky I went when I did the next day the heavens blessed us with lightning and thunder and pouring rain.

A few of my favourite things - as you may know from my posts I'm a little obsessed with green roofs and walls currently so I was drawn to the following two displays;

Firstly the succulent roof at the Savewater display .... it was a bit of a cheat all the succulents were planted in trays and placed on the roof of the shed. However it was put together by Melbourne University's Burnley Campus who are researching green roofs and green walls and more can be found at their website.

L to R Sedum Green Jellybean, Sedum 'Voodo', Sedum 'Gold Mound',
Sedum Reflexum, Oscularia deltoides, Sedum rubrotinctum, Sedum Green Jellybean

The second was the wall of Lirope muscari in James Dawson's garden inspired by MC Escher's artwork. The wall was very effective but I'm not sure how water wise - the planting material was absolutely sodden. The structure of the wall was supplied by Fytogreen.

The Garden designed by James Dawson inspired by the artwork of MC Escher
and the vertical wall of Lirope muscari

More of my picks of the show to follow in my next post.