MIFGS 2012 :: the gardens...

Oh my goodness...where to start?
The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 
is always an enchanted visit to the far realms of landscape imagination.
And it always makes me want to run home to start planting immediately!
This year's event, 
held last week,
had a very distinct recycled theme
(more on that later),
with a touch of humour sprinkled throughout the designs.
And these fabulous moulded seats,
as part of the gold-winning Nord Garden by Marnie Lewis Design,
were typical of the fun.
(And before you ask,
there were 2 shapes: male and female.)
But beauty wasn't forgotten either,
in the quest for designing gardens which truly invite one to linger.
Enjoying the charms of the garden
from the shelter of an alfresco cocoon is a charming way to linger.
Aptly titled "Conversation",
this garden by Paal Grant Designs
played with the repetition of curves in the corten steel terraced steps,
circular seating & motifs.
It picked up a gold medal too.
The fun & fantasy of floating steps.
How exactly are they staying there???
Another element of humour & wit,
this time from Dan Piper,
in an absolutely beautiful garden which made time stand still.
The event is held in one of my favourite spots in Melbourne, 
in the glorious Royal Exhibition building & the surrounding Carlton Gardens.
My husband's office window overlooks this botanica,
and he reports on the busy progress of gardens which appear 
in merely a few days, as if by magic.
And then just as quickly, 
they are gone.
Like gnomes in the night,
the designers must work swiftly,
and yet the gardens look as if they have been there forever.
There's a mirror here.
Can you find it?
Fascinating Bird's Nest Ferns,
a very ancient plant with the most luscious bright green leaves.
More illusions...a floating bench seat, 
simply growing out of the hill.
Phillip Johnson's "Equilibrium" garden, possibly my favourite,
had winding creeks & billabongs with flowering gums,
with an emphasis on using every drop of water which falls in situ,
rather than pumping in fresh drinking water for the garden.
My kind of thinking!
The cubby house competition included this fabulous one,
inspired by the notion of a bird's nest,
and designed by the Premier of Victoria, Ted Baillieu,
who trained as an architect.
Not your everyday cubby - but it'd be great for bird watching!  
 Mondo grass between paving stones. 
(I took this photo for my clients on the House on the Hill project,
because we are also using mondo plantings on our front steps.)
"Coffee St" by Social Designer was witty & fun, 
using coffee cups to hold the vertical plantings,
milk crates for seating &....
...coffee beans for gravel. 
Oh yum!
(What would Rumbah say? He'd be in heaven!)
Are you still with me?
Because there is one last thing I want to show you!
Oh, I can find hats anywhere, you see!
These were part of the sculpture walk.
Aren't they fabulous?

And they are a terrific reminder 
of the importance of a touch of humour 
in the garden, just as in life itself.

images :: all taken by blue fruit at MIFGS 2012
for more information :: MIFGS