Each year I get to visit Hampton Court Garden Show and it really is one I love. Why? Well, I think because it is smaller than its Chelsea counterpart and attracts younger and more contemporary garden designers and industry partners. This means it is usually more relevant to today’s younger...Read More »
Well there is no doubt that Chelsea was smaller this year. Gardens were smaller and, in the main, less special.
But there were some exceptions.
Probably the most spectacular was the center piece, the Silk Road Garden. designed by Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins
It deservedly won Silver Guilt.
Photos from Lynne Baldock and...Read More »
There really is a conundrum for today’s gardeners. In today’s world we live in smaller spaces but we still want that outdoor space – for entertaining, to chill out in, to add a touch of elegance and beauty, to grow food and much more.
The question is how to fit everything...Read More »
As always the florists at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show last year were inspirational in giving ideas which would lift any small garden or courtyard.
The best were ideas for screens.
A floral screen
Fashion today is moving away from stark, structural simplicity towards flowing garments, with a...Read More »
Chelsea Flower Show is the most prestigious in the world, bringing new ideas to global, some bemusing but always setting trends.
But Chelsea doesn’t only do that. As with all modern garden shows, Chelsea encourages gardens which promote a long list of concepts.
At the top of the list are the...Read More »
Ideas from garden designers over the world
All art, design and creative composition use the power of design elements to create the foundations of their creations. It pays to know these rules to create balance and harmony and to know when to leave them out.
Garden design is no different. We just...Read More »
Each time I visit the Rotary Garden Design Fest in Melbourne, I have to say it is the gardens of the Mornington Peninsula which give me the most pleasure. 2016 was no exception.
First in line is a wonderful garden in Sorrento by Ben McDonald.
This is a beach house, casual and...Read More »
I think that the best of Hampton Court this year is the focus on small spaces. All the gardens are small but there were at least three categories which specifically asked for small to be dealt with.
Photographs are by David Baldock unless otherwise cited.
Feel Good Gardens
First the Feel Good Gardens,...Read More »
This garden by Richard Bellamy, on show at the Melbourne Garden Design Fest, put on by Rotary in November 2016, is a garden I keep thinking about.
It is an inner-city garden, not that large by many standards and the house takes up most of the block, leaving a difficult space,...Read More »
I know we say this every year – gardens are changing worldwide and the recent crop shown at Hampton Court this year really give an overview of the trends.
Gardens have lost the formality of bygone eras and are embracing a more relaxed feel which also takes into consideration the needs...Read More »
Planting at Chelsea this year built on the trend towards informality.
Massed planting with flowers of many kinds abound. This does not mean there were no rules though, and if you look carefully, the tested guidelines of giving the garden strong bones and restricting planting colour palette also definitely existed.
Photographs are...Read More »
Built to celebrate mathematics, this garden made my heart sing – because yes – plants are not random – they all grow according to a precise mathematical formulae based on Calculus.
And this is a lesson I learned to my cost – maths is the foundation of life...Read More »
It is interesting to note that simplicity, a new naturalism and well-being are key themes in this year’s Hampton Court show gardens.
This is just what is touted by the Garden Media Group from the US as being the biggest trends for gardening in 2016 and I cannot wait to...Read More »
I loved the touch of quirkiness that was on show at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show this year.
First up is Ohana designed by GHLD. The intention was to create a relaxed setting for modern living and this garden really works. Personally I think the huge backdrop with the...Read More »
The Greenery Garden, designed by Vivid Design won Gold and Best in Show at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show this year.
Elegant, functional, wonderfully planted and beautiful, this garden is one most gardeners would love to own.
The garden is designed in four very clearly...Read More »
Getting kids outside and off their screens is a challenge. And living in Australia, where we have just finished our summer holidays and the kids are back at school, I know that in the northern hemisphere you will be really wanting your kids to move outside. So how to make...Read More »
I always love the florists at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. These guys are artists and they are the ones who come ups with amazing ideas to pinch to put into a garden – especially a small garden with style.
I was running through the photos from the florists...Read More »
As a photographer, David has firm favorites when viewing gardens in the various shows around the traps. Funnily enough the things that make the gardens great to photograph also make the gardens great to live in.
Hampton Court this year had some good ones with use of colour,...Read More »
Garden Ideas from my new book
I am just about to publish a new book in My Modern Small Garden Series giving ideas from gardens I have seen around the traps in the last few years.
Modern gardens might be structured but they are not always neat. There is a wonderful trend...Read More »
My visit to Auckland, New Zealand to see designed gardens exhibited in the Garden Design Fest this month was fun. Two days hectically driving from wonderful garden to garden was a great way to see Auckland in the spring.
One of the best was a garden designed by Trudy Crerar...Read More »
Plants are no longer seen to be a luxury. They have taken on the mantle as being necessary for our health and well-being. Plants make us smarter, more productive and less stressed and are showing up in offices, schools and hospitals everywhere. And so the number one reason people select...Read More »
Pretty, Young and Effervescent
Purposefully unstyled gardens have been becoming more and more popular this decade. Blousey meadows have been touted as the thing at garden shows for a long time and I have to say I love the look. It’s Remember this from Hampton Court in 2013
Flopsy, Mopsy...Read More »
Yes you probably have a long list of practical things you want your outdoor space to bring. But think about it – underneath it all we are looking for somewhere to give us happiness, a sense of bliss, some real emotion. We are:
Looking for an entertaining area to...Read More »
I know you want to know the simple effective small garden design system and, I will take you through the great garden design system we refined in Inner City Sydney in the early 2000’s in my second book.
It’s simple and very easy to use.
But...Read More »
When I started garden design was moving from the over-abundance of the late 80’s and early 90’s. Remember those huge sleeved dresses, glittery fabrics and full blown heads of hair – a style also reflected in excessive interior and exterior décor.
Through the late 90’s though, we moved into the...Read More »
How do you find the fairies at the bottom of the garden? Take the stairs of course unless you can use the fairy elevator.
I always prefer the stairs – especially if the pathway winds its way through hidden parts of the garden. Not that there are many opportunities to have...Read More »
Chelsea Garden Show, the biggest and best in the world is about to open again. I am looking forward to seeing what is on offer this year.
Unable to visit last year, I have to showcase the trends from 2013.
In 2013, I watched with excitement to see what was new and...Read More »
Garden Shows do two things for designers.
First, they give a designer a free hand to create a garden for themselves without a client’s wishes and needs interfering with the design process. Second they showcase the designer’s work to potential clients.
In years gone past, I have lamented that most show gardens...Read More »
The Royal Horticultural Society reports that world renowned Garden Designer, RHS Judge and leading gardening tutor Andrew Fisher Tomlin has predicted what garden trends we can expect to see in 2015.
I saw these trends firmly shown in Melbourne in March and I really look forward to seeing what Chelsea and...Read More »
Next week I am spending a day at the wonderful Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show in Australia. I am really looking forward to it. Just look at some of the gardens from past shows here. Each demonstrates important foundations for creating good gardens.
Tip 1 – Work Out What You...Read More »
I love little gardens – those with space for a table and chairs nestled among pots or planting or soaring up into the sky with a view to die for. The Australian Garden Show in Sydney in 2014 had two sections which specialized in these little urban spaces.
Top of...Read More »
Garden art comes in many different forms. These Horses in Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay Indian Garden are delightful.
But you don’t have to buy garden art.
The inspiration from the florists’ hall in any garden show gives so many different looks which can lead to art that is individual...Read More »
I’ve been watching the trends in the gardens constructed for the various garden shows round Australia and New Zealand and Britain over the past three years or so. I go to the shows in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore when I can and David and Lynne go to Chelsea and...Read More »
Versatile and fresh, young designers from Australia and New Zealand have a great place to showcase themselves at Garden Shows. I’ll take you on a journey through some of the trends. The thing that really was noticeable was that each garden made room for outdoor living.
I’ll start with Austerr8anean...Read More »
This year’s winner of the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, The Patriarch’s Garden, is supporting Kidney Health Australia.
It is all about family unity, and the journey through life. It commemorates the life of Graham Charles Browning who died of kidney failure in June 2013. Graham valued family over everything.
The...Read More »
Ellerslie Flower Show is the first of the Garden Shows I visit this year. Held in beautiful Christchurch Botanic Gardens in New Zealand, this international show is marvelous.
Bigger and better this year, the Show proudly gave us more gardens to view than ever. The 19 main Feature Gardens, designed, constructed...Read More »
It’s hot in January – well in Australia anyway.
Added to this we take our long summer vacations over Christmas and into January – schools go back at the beginning of February when we hope things are beginning to cool off a little…
So we spend as much of...Read More »
Sydney has tried to host garden shows over the years but somehow these have it has never succeeded. And so the inaugural Australian Garden Show Sydney is welcomed with open arms. This one, supported by the Foxtel Lifestyle Show, shows signs of succeeding with grace and I look forward visiting...Read More »
Photos by David Baldock.
Modern, fresh and floral was definitely a significant theme for Hampton Court this year. I love the messy, grassy, floral themes which seem to be showing up in all the garden shows lately. Easier to look after – not so much clipping and deadheading – and...Read More »
The thing about the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is that the gardens are more accessible. The Royal Horticultural Society boasts that this show delivers superb show gardens designed on a budget and if last year’s Show was true to form, the gardens are fabulous. Fresh, colourful, floral and...Read More »
I fell in love with this beautiful, colorful, low maintenance garden displayed in the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show this year. Phillip Withers, with his quirky style, has done it again.
Texture and color using cactus, succulents and hardy Australian natives in a cubist structure make...Read More »
Trailfinder’s Garden, Chelsea 2013
I have to talk about Phillip Johnson’s amazing garden at Chelsea this year. It won Gold and Best in Show of course and it deserved to. Phillip definitely deserved the champagne to celebrate.
I think it was so good even the Chelsea gnomes were...Read More »
This year Chelsea Flower Show was 100 years old and what a spectacle it was.
The M&G Centenary Garden – Windows through time. This is a celebration of 100 years of Chelsea gardens. It deservedly won Gold.
Lynne and David Baldock visited Chelsea for me this year...Read More »
Again the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show was fabulous.
I do miss being able to immerse myself in great garden design.
Look at this beauty by Christopher Gursansky called Ordered Nature.
There was an overall theme which came through the most of the display gardens. An overall theme...Read More »
In 2013 we’re looking for bliss.
We want to be happy.
We are looking for bright colors, nature inspired products and tactile experiences. Gardens are softer, like all other home trends.
We’re fed up with fear and the complexities of modern life and we’re searching for things to make...Read More »
You know, I love gardens – all gardens. But I have to say, it is a long time since I put in a garden with exotic plants. Why? Because I love the local animals and insects too.
As I live in Australia, the plants I choose are...Read More »
Art in the garden is difficult I think. Because mostly the garden itself is art and there’s no need to embellish. So often added sculptures or bits and bobs don’t have anything to say or a place in the garden.
Here in Australia so many gardens have classical or cottage garden ...Read More »
I’ve been surprised that so few of the gardens I’ve visited this last year (over 250) have places for people. Especially little places just to chill-out.
Gardens are for people too. Use as much space as possible for people.
Outdoor chill spots don’t need to be this big...Read More »
Summer has just started in Australia and here, in sub-tropical South East Queensland, the humidity and hot days have just kicked in. With the heat, gardens around Brisbane are beginning to show their tropical side. So I visited a small tropical garden in the Australian Open Gardens Scheme which has...Read More »
I love flowers. I always have flowers in my home and garden.
But I have to confess when designing a new garden, flowers are last on my list of things to think about.
Because I want my outdoor spaces to look great all year round, even when flowers...Read More »
Use the cold months to fantasize about your dream outdoor space
And then you’ll be in the position to pull it all
together as the weather warms
Were you able to live in your garden last summer? Did you have a space to relax, entertain your...Read More »
I visited Melbourne this weekend to look at gardens in the Rotary GardenDesignFest.
What a feast. Here is the first garden I want to show you. It’s small and a simple, green garden. Structured but full of edible surprises.
The front driveway gave a little hint on what was to come…balls
Contemporary gardens have that minimalist feel of sleek perfection. And somehow sleek perfection doesn’t seem to fit well with the tropics where plants, all plants, have that tendency to become lush, gorgeous and over-blown.
Some of the most gorgeous gardens...Read More »
Need more room to do all the things you want to outside. But want a flower filled arbor as well. Create your dream and grow up. Vertical gardening has always been used to define boundaries and create a style.
So many gardens I’ve seen lately have some sort of enclosed space for living or to create an entrance. The enclosed space need not be covered or even have walls. But a structure signifies this space is for people – not just for the garden.
I know the gazebo in the...Read More »
I love using pots and planters in a garden. Everything from neat window boxes and hanging gardens to beautiful urns or raised garden beds really turn me on. In fact it was this kind of small gardening which first drew me into to working with gardens.
Used...Read More »
Design for small gardens is really the same as design for any garden provided a few small things are given a little special attention.
All design is based on a carefully considered balance between form and function. Yes, I know that is meaningless so…
Form is...Read More »
This is just my interpretation of some of the outdoor living trends I see around the traps.
Make of it what you will. Here I give my overall view.
In later posts, I’ll look at individual gardens from the various shows...Read More »
Modern garden design in some circles is white, empty and sleek.
I think modern garden design is much more versatile. And so do the best garden designers around.
Each of the gardens festivals I have visited have shown a wide range in...Read More »
What an indulgence and what a privilege it has been to visit so many beautiful private gardens around Brisbane open to the public through the Australian Open Garden Scheme and the various Open Garden Trails associated with festivals. And it’s not over yet; I have more to come and I...Read More »
I actually was quite surprised about the range of style in the gardens exhibited at the Melbourne Flower and Garden Show this year. Flowers were few and far between. Strong foliage and structures made from earthy reclaimed materials were found throughout the show, even among the florists displays.
One of the easiest ways of creating that outdoor living space in your garden or on your balcony is to think of creating an outdoor living room.
In most homes, this outdoor living room is created just outside the main door out to the garden. And so the space is really...Read More »
I was blown away by the fabulous use of metal in the gardens at the Melbourne Show. Many of the gardens featured weathered metal both as structural material and as art.
Paal Grant’s amazing ‘Conversation Garden’ which deservedly won Gold was the most striking example and the video below gives some...Read More »
What a feast. The Singapore Garden Festival was a delight in every sense.
Exhibitors from all over the world built gardens to excite every imagination. The exhibits were divided into several different categories.
The Landscape Gardens featured big show gardens, mostly geared towards outdoor living. But because this is a tropical theme...Read More »
Sadly I didn’t get to the Chelsea Flower Show this year. It really is the best in the world and features the front end of garden design. The other thing that really appeals though is that the British love flowers and use color and light to perfection.