Gardens offer joy in a laid-back Aussie life

The Australian Case Study garden was judged best in show. All pictures: Thomas Foster

By THOMAS FOSTER

A Hills Hoist clothesline took pride of place when the best in show award was handed out at this year’s  Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

The winning garden – Australian Case Study, a collaboration between Eckersley Garden Architecture and Australian House & Garden magazine – paid homage to the Australian backyard with gum trees, lawn space for backyard cricket, an entertainment area and that iconic washing line. 

The show, at the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, ends today. 

RNR Outdoor Living’s Finding Your Balance, its 13th garden at the show, is the fourth “wellness garden” designed for BeyondBlue. Designed as a contemporary take on a Japanese outdoor room, the garden featured rock sculptures and a variety of conifers, cycads and rare maples.

The Finding Your Balance garden attracted a crowd.

Winner of last year’s best in show, Phil Withers, was invited back to design MIFGS’s first-ever Welcome Garden. The Welcome Garden is designed as a place for visitors to the show to relax, and is hosting a series of talks each day.

Alongside the show gardens and the Welcome Garden, both the avenue of achievable gardens – back for a 12th year – and the boutique garden competition drew visitors to gardens designed for those constrained by space or wanting something more achievable.

Phil Withers’ inaugural Welcome Garden.

Beauty in a confined space

In the avenue of achievable gardens, 12 students from the University of Melbourne, Swinburne University, the Holmesglen Institute and Melbourne Polytechnic were judged on their use of plants and space.

Wonder Wall, a garden designed by Sarah Jardine of Melbourne Polytechnic, received awards for excellence and for innovative use of plants, while Bonnie Thexton of Swinburne University received the creative use of space award.

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Advanced student competition winners

The live student competitions for floral design saw floristry students from across Melbourne challenged to design a themed floral arrangement in 90 minutes.

With the theme of “opening a business”, the advanced student competition was won by Jordan Macklin from Marjorie Milner College. Tarni Moore and Stephanie Ross came second and third respectively, both also from Marjorie Milner College.

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