The 20th Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show certainly showcased the best in landscape design, floral art and garden trends. Held at the end of March, in the magnificent Carlton Gardens, over 100,000 were said to have attended the event.
This year the most prominent themes included the need to look after the birds and the bees and the environment and garden art and sculptures were bigger than ever with the most amazing innovative materials being used. Once again, anything edible is still a major draw card and the power of the flower is resonating with people of all ages and stages.
Photos are in order as per the below trends.
1. 5000 Poppies
To commemorate the ANZACS, Phillip Phillip Johnson Landscapes created a symbolic garden, which was dedicated to those who paid the ultimate price for their country during the war. The garden was anchored by large rocks, a weave of water and a open field all surrounded by trees. The muted colour palette was punctuated with 5000 hand knitted and crocheted poppies, depicting where soldiers fell during the war. A very moving and connective exhibit, this won the heart of all who walked through it.
2. Pumpkin Tower
Towering above the entire show was a 4.2 metre tower of pumpkins from the Diggers Club. The team of Australia’s largest gardening club wanted to celebrate the virtues of pumpkins and bring the pumpkin back into fashion. It was a clear demonstration of how versatile, easy and fun to grow they are.
3. Recycle and Reuse – Water
Water availability and quality is a mammoth issue for Australia, this garden showcased how to use recycled water to run and water feature, and the types of plants that flourish in soils with little or no regular water.
4. Food Forest
The food forest garden by Phil Withers, gave those interested in growing fruit, vegetables and grains at home, loads of ideas on how to bring those elements into modern day life. By using edible hedges, apple trees to climb in and a nifty chicken coop concept, queues of people were always flanking this garden.
5. The Bee Garden
Hand crafted bees made from recycled timber, spoons and old filing drawers by local Victorian sculptor, Georgie Seccull glued this extraordinary exhibit together. The garden clearly showed how vital flora and fauna is in ensuring the cycle of life is maintained and actually how hard bees have to work to survive let alone thrive. Packed full of flowers, renowned as bee fodder, this was my favorite exhibition garden at MIFGS.
6. Cubby houses
Did you ever have one as a kid? In Australia keeping kids out of the harsh sunlight is a challenge, therefore the cubby houses have been created to provide mechanisms for kids to engage with gardens and the outdoors in a sheltered environment. There were six that were on show, all were to be auctioned off to support a homeless children’s charity after the show.
Once again tulips, lilies and hyacinths were in full bloom in a number of displays, with plenty of ideas of how to use them in pots and containers being showcased. Referred to by one garden as the ‘accessories’ every garden should have, it reminded many of just how useful and pretty they are in the garden.
The trend this year was all about the strong use of a primary colour, rather than using multiple coloured blooms in the designs and installations. Less is more. Simple yet sophisticated was the theme in the floral area.
9. Hung Up – Hanging Baskets
Once again with over 500 hanging baskets vying for the title of hanging basket of the year, this section continues to impress. With a far more creative combination of plants and accessories, these head banging baskets kept people engaged for loads of time.
10. Mulch, mulch and more mulch
Gardeners certainly got the message about the importance of mulching your soil. The message featured in over half the gardens, reminding people about how mulch keeps the soil cooler, conserves soil moisture, feeds the worms and keeps weeds at bay. If you missed that message you probably had your head in the flowers!
- Wooden boxes and bird houses - for the shoppers, it was wooden boxes and bird houses that were common choices for people to take home, especially the recycled wooden boxes.
- Ducks, geese and all sort of animals were popular with show visitors.
- Resonate outdoor dining - gold medal winner.
By Rachel Vogan.