It’s Our Time, Shanghai

Client:10th China Flower Expo, Shanghai
Project Type:Landscape Design, Landscape Architecture, Show Gardens
Size:+150 sqm
Photography:Atelier 905

Landscape Architecture, Horticulture, Project Management

It’s our time, Shanghai – A garden destined for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show in 2020, has since been adapted to become a contemporary local garden for Shanghai.

This garden design stems from our strong belief that now, more than ever, we must work with nature and not against it. With careful research and curation, a plant list was developed that connects to the local area. The vast majority of these plants are indigenous to the Shanghai province, including edibles and aquatic plants that celebrate and encourage biodiversity. We focused on three core pillars of ecology – local vegetation, geology and agriculture to provide a framework. The end result is a landscape looking to encourage a tale that’s been somewhat lost through the ages, to grow and gather and connect with nature.

The garden will champion the local maker, utilising local materials and labour, such as the custom-built stone and timber table that will draw together the possibilities of generative and contextually relevant landscape architecture.  It’s our time!

It’s our time has been designed to connect to its local setting, nestling into the borrowed landscape as though it had never left. As you enter the garden you follow the river line that sweeps through the landscape. A boardwalk along the river allows you to gather your food from the lower edible gardens, while basking in nature as it leads you towards the lookout. It’s here atop the lookout, where people gather and connect around the table, a place of ritual, connection, an oasis to eat and tell stories into the night.

Vegetation explored in the Shanghai garden has been carefully selected from the China region. There were many, many co-ordination meetings to ensure supply in collaboration with UDream (Landscape team in China) for the procurement of every species. Their incredible/diligent attention to detail will be revealed as the garden develops. Further evidence of their commitment were the extra trips out to growers, (when deleted) after considerations via video conference that we may just require a little bit more colour here or height in the backdrop to help tell the story. They have been pushing as much as we have from a design perspective to honour the intent, and we are so thankful for the efforts of @udream_landscaping

We are very proud to announce that It’s our time has been awarded one of 3 master garden awards.This award means that these 3 gardens will remain in Shanghai permanently after the expo finishes in October. We feel very privileged to have been recognised along with @jamesscapedesign and @xanthewhite and to have been able to create a garden led by an Australian team at the expo amongst the 22 talented international teams represented.

We see this garden as a true testament to the hard work that Cecilia Xia, and our Chinese team on the ground in @udream_landscaping, put into making not only the garden but the relationship come together with the utmost integrity. Given the circumstances and the fact that we could not be there made this a very different install and quite a challenging task for the build team on the ground. We congratulate them as they celebrate the expo with the Chinese public throughout the year and we are chuffed to learn that there will now be the opportunity to visit this landscape in the future.