Last week we took a look at a couple of Sandra Ross’ favourite gardens from the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. If you missed it you can see them here. Both gardens made exciting use of flowering plants but were passed up by the judges for the Best in Show Award. That prestigious gong went to CUBE ² by Scott Wynd of TLC Designs. Did the judges make the right choice? Our tour leader Libby Cameron reckons they did.
What struck Libby about CUBE ² was the clever way the garden integrated built elements with the garden. “The spa was gorgeous! I could have leapt in then and there! It was outside, and yet still part of the dining space, because the walls, like an incomplete bookcase, allowed conversation to flow between the two.”
“One solid wall with a long window anchored the design, which allowed the ‘bookcase’ with its square pigeon holes to just hang in space from the squared pergola above. There were squares everywhere, which worked as a terrific design element, contrasted with the rounded sculpture and lights.” Libby also liked the mixed planting, pulled together by bold foliage plants.
A reflective mood
Libby, on the lookout for design trends, noted that designers at this year’s MIFGS left the gushing water to Carlton Gardens’ central fountain, and chose to include reflective ponds rather than moving water into their designs. The pond in ‘ReSurgence’ by Bay Road particularly grabbed her attention. The garden celebrated the romantic style of the late William Guilfoyle, designer and former director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. This garden won the Horticultural Media Association award for ‘Best Use of Plant Life’, and you can see why garden writers loved its loose and interesting planting in this shot.
But it was the pond that grabbed Libby. It was made of black rubber and a funnel acted like a vortex to gently suck water down to be recirculated. Great reflections certainly, but Libby, ever the scientist, was a bit suspicious. “I can’t help feeling there may have been some black ink trickled into the water to make it darker and even more reflective!”
Now is that cheating or is it just clever?
Photo credit: Libby Cameron
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