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 which was expressed subtly or loudly in most of the displays, shifting Australian gardens from the utilitarian outdoor room of the past fifteen years towards a beautiful, blissful informal sanctuary.
Two gardens expressed this concept openly in their design theme. Cube 2 by TC Design and Ordered Nature by Christopher Gursansky.
Cube 2 by TLC Design
Cube 2 by TLC Design won best in show and a Gold Medal for their display garden. I didn’t see why at first. This struck me as a standard urban courtyard. And then I read their concept. This subtle design is contemporary and perfect for bringing serenity and bliss into small urban spaces.
The thing is, this contemporary courtyard is not just a utilitarian extension to the house. There is not a barbeque in sight. This is a garden to chill out in, not to work in.
The carefully selected plants soften the space. The designers are consciously reclaiming our dwindling garden space for planting and enjoyment. This is a space to sit and enjoy a meal with friends and family amidst a lush garden. The spa adds a little glitz.
See how the water in the spa and planting soften the space and add to the form. The underlying structure is very strong and straight. Paving slabs, walls of timber in strong rectangles and squares and the square spa could all add up to this being a very boring space. But the softness of the planting, the quirky use of the timber walls open to the planting and almost random placing of the paving slabs all make this a beautiful and very gentle space.
Finally the planting is very simple and most importantly – will be easy to look after. All adding to a garden for busy city dwellers. TLC Design deserves their Gold and Best in Show.
Ordered Nature by Christopher Gursansky of Gursansky Design
Across the way is the garden which was dear to my heart and I have to say I am not with the judges in that it only received a Silver. This beautiful small garden should have received a Gold and is vying with Cube 2 for Best in Show.
Christopher Gursansky obviously understands where gardens are going in 2013 and has a similar philosophy to TLC Design. This is a garden focused on simple beauty so one can immerse one’s self in nature. No barbeques, televisions or kitchen sinks – the garden is organic and refreshing. A natural outdoor room, where the sky is the roof and hedging create walls. An outdoor room where life is the hero.
And this garden is very beautiful, bringing romance to the world.
Bang on trend. This is exactly what is wanted in gardens today.
Here are some of the details.
As with all good gardens, this one has strong geometric form, in this case rectangles. The walls, hedges, climbers and trees surrounding the garden strongly enhance the shape of the space. The grass, reflection pool and paving are all strong rectangles. This structure is then off-set with the casual and beautiful approach to seating and planting
The casual seating gives an informal invitation – ‘come in and relax in beauty‘.
The chairs seem to float over the reflection pond. I really love this look.
The serenity of the pond is enhanced by the casual rug and cushions on the other side of the pool – ‘Come in and lie in the shade and forget the world‘.
The surrounding planting, hides the seating from many angles, adding to the sense of seclusion and beauty.
Add to this the beautiful planting in a palette which is also bang on trend. Flowers in white, blue and lilac planted with grasses to give a casual feel of a meadow are loved by the native bees.
And, despite the complexity of the look, the plants used are all hardy and would be very easy to maintain. Very clever.
Come on Judges, where were you on this day?
I look forward to taking you round some of the other gardens over the next couple of weeks. The others were just as good.