How to grow The Wrap Up: Australian Garden Show Sydney 2014

The Wrap Up: Australian Garden Show Sydney 2014


Australian Garden Show Sydney offered garden-lovers a big bunch of exciting new ideas to take home and try out. Here are a few we have added to our scrapbook of future projects - and one that went straight to Ross family HQ!



Linda loved the elegant arching pergola in the garden designed by Brent Reid so much she bought it to support the old wisteria whose arbour was destroyed in the renovation. Stand by for picture updates. Photo - Robin Powell

Small space solution

A bar is a clever option for a space-challenged balcony or courtyard. It takes less room than a table and chairs and has a modern sleekness. Kim Earl from Melbourne’s Candeo Design, matched it with lasercut hardboard screens from Outdeco, and a planting to suit a sheltered shady spot, featuring golden cane and bamboo palms, sanseveria, devils ivy and spathyphylum. 


Photo - Robin Powell

Rupert Baywil fitted his bar into a native planting arrangement, starring a fabulously hairy green wall of lomandra.



Photo - Robin Powell

Try for triangles

Often our default planting setting is a straight line. We set things out in rows and are dissatisfied by the unnatural result. Myles Baldwin’s Best in Show and gold medal winning garden was a good demonstration of the value of deviating from a straight line. Plants escaped the confines of rectangular beds and moved into the pressed granite surface of the garden. As well, plants were chosen to form a pyramidal shape, with peaks counteracting the straight lines of the pavilion. We were also impressed by those clever colour choices – the rusty pink of the Viburnum tinus in bud, with the purple of the lorapetalum and silver-brown of the corokia all matching beautifully with the pinky tones in the red cedar batons of the pavilion.



Photo - Robin Powell


Living tapestries

Green walls planted diagonally look terrific, and this one, by Kate Grace, won a gold medal in the balcony garden section of the competition. There’s great texture in the planting, which includes silver-leafed plants, purple polyanthus, delicate ferns and violets, as well as herbs, vegetables and strawberries, and moss filling the gaps. The result was like a hanging carpet.



Hanging carpet: the textures and colours of ferns, soft-leafed herbs, flowering annual and mosses are weaved together. Photo - Robin Powell

Melbourne designer Peta Donaldson built a garden straight from ‘Mad Men’, with an oculus cut into the pavilion and centred over a plunge pool that doubled as water feature. Very cool.


An eye in the sky. Photo - Robin Powell

Wood stack walls

We loved this clever variation on dry stone walls. The walls are made from firewood stacked in rectangular iron frames. The variations in the colour of the wood contrasted with the green of the planting. This was a very serene garden that achieved a sense of having been part of the landscape for decades, not the ten days given to designers to install the gardens. Sydney designer Christopher Owen made great use of borrowed landscape, and the garden’s still, meditative air and elemental forms garnered a gold medal - and many admirers. Indeed one admirer has bought the garden, lock, stock and firewood and will have it installed in his Dural property. 



Photo - Robin Powell


Text: Robin Powell 

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Author: Robin Powell