Welcome Garden

Client:Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show
Project Type:Show Gardens, Horticulture, Landscape Architecture
Size:180 sqm
Photography:Amelia Stanwix

Landscape Architecture, Horticulture Procurement & Installation, Project Management

Initial sketching and development of landscape plan

Having the entrance plot to the most important flower and garden show in Melbourne is both an exciting and daunting prospect. Putting aside the fact that this would essentially be the first thing visitors would see, we set out to design the most welcoming entrance to the 2018 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show that we could. An entrance that celebrates Australia and its nature, the rock, the soil and the rich history connecting people and place, as it’s here we find our sense of green and calm. You can wander, rest and pick the richness of the land and its biodiversity.

Nature, rock, soil and plants: ‘the bush’ occupies a special corner in the minds of every Australian. It’s everything, from the herb-laden windowsill, the busy chook pen, or that ramshackle paling fence – it’s the people: the farmers and their banged-up utes – it’s the landscape: from towering Ash forest to parched plains studded by Merino and Redgum. Equally, its rhythms of management once extracted by the true custodians of this land: Indigenous Australians. Colonnades of trees were designed, straddled by rich pasturage to reign kangaroo movement and populations. Dams were dug. Abundant flowery plains were seeded and harvested. Groves of soft ferns, bracken, cycads, lime, figs and palms were nurtured to provide year-round nourishment. A recognition of the delicacy of ecological balances ensured productivity in perpetuity.

Mere vestiges of these practices exist today, mainly in narratives shared through generations. What then, can we glean from the first people’s careful management of this sometimes prosperous, sometimes cruel lands we occupy? Where can we apply their knowledge? Perhaps the answers lay here: amidst the veggies, vines and fruit trees. Or on your own herb-laden windowsill, up by the chook pen, or along that ramshackle paling fence…

The garden was a collaboration of an amazing team of companies all equally important in depicting a very special environment to welcome people in through an important celebration of the Australian environment to the 2018 show.