Project Type:Show Gardens
Location:MIFGS - Carlton Gardens
Size:250 sqm
Photography:Amelia Stanwix

Landscape Architecture, Horticulture Procurement & Installation, Project Management

SaltBush is a journey through a landscape, an environment, and a garden. A journey through different terrestrial bioregions and wetlands, from the salty coastal planting, down to an inland bush setting, that teaches us about both local plants and materials. The team wanted to create a uniquely Victorian sense of place, and connect people of all ages to our local environment.

The inspiration for this garden initially came during the pandemic when Phil began actively researching and learning more about the coastline on the Bellarine, where he and his family lives. It was during this time that he developed a stronger interest in teaching his children about the local environment, and how to translate the rugged coastline into a soft and architectural garden.

A discussion with Fiona Brockhoff some time later resulted in her mentorship, with her rich understanding of design and the coastline, and developed into co-designing the educational, local and sustainable garden that is SaltBush.

The natural pool is a key element in SaltBush, which explores the role of water in the garden; both as a vessel for bathing and human connection, but also producing natural water, supporting aquatic plant life and filtration, and becoming part of a richer ecosystem.

Architectural paving and the placement of natural rock elements amongst the planting helps to somewhat tame the wildness of the coastal plants, creating a sensory and tranquil space.

Materials are all sourced locally or made from recycled materials, to reduce the ecological impact of the garden. The conversations that arose during the show relating to the planting and materials – both with the public and peers in the industry – were inspiring, and will hopefully also inspire others to create gardens that tread lightly.

SaltBush was awarded the Gold Show Garden Award, which is a testament to the hard work of our whole team and all our collaborators, and our collective passion for the Victorian landscape. Special thanks to our amazing build team led by Longview Landscapes, for bringing SaltBush to life.

To learn more about the plants and materials used to create the garden, head over to our SaltBush page.