Meet: Myles Baldwin, designer, curator, Australian Garden Show Sydney
Meet Myles Baldwin. Garden designer and author
Garden designer and author Myles Baldwin always wondered why Sydney didn’t have a garden show that embraced our love of plants and gardens and took advantage of the city’s best locations. Now we do! Myles speaks about the Australian Garden Show Sydney.
What can we expect from Sydney’s all-new garden show?
All facets of horticulture, landscape and design are covered in the show! There will be displays and shows by garden clubs and societies from across the country in a grand Floral Pavilion. Australia’s leading landscape designers and architects have designed epic display gardens. There will be a lecture and talks series, an educational workshop for kids and the ground-to-table movement will be embraced with a 360 degree approach to growing, preparing and eating what comes out of your garden. As well, gardeners will be able to purchase plants and the best garden-related products from a huge array of independent nurseries and suppliers.
Tell us about some of the highlights.
There’ll be international speakers as part of the lecture series and design displays from Europe as well as from local greats. It will also be a proper, stylish event with popup restaurants, a café and a bar. And, as a former events florist I’m very excited by our proposed floral installation. This event will pitch some of the country’s leading stylists, florists and designers against each other to build amazing horticultural creations along a garden walk through one of the Park’s forests.
Centennial Park: site of the Australian Garden Show Sydney. Photo - Chris Cleisner
Did you say former florist?
Yes, I taught myself how to arrange flowers as a teenager and got the gig as the florist at Government House. I spent 18 creating massive flower arrangements as centrepieces for vice-regal functions and dinners. To make a few extra bucks I’d do the odd hotel foyer, wedding and event as well.
An early-garden lover then?
Gardening is in my blood - as long as I can remember I was in the garden getting dirty, pruning, shaping and tending plants. That started my interest in design I think - looking at colour, texture, scale and thematic planning, (even if was only in Mum and Dad’s garden!)
Do you have a favourite plant?
For years I’ve been saying I don’t have one, but deep down it’s probably the Worsleya procera (the blue hippeastrum). I first grew them at the RBG and then successfully propagated them at Bronte House to support and boost the collection at the RBG. It’s a short perennial with scythe-like leaves on a 30cm trunk and it flowers about once every three years with a cluster of blue hippeastrum-like trumpets. It’s an amazing thing to see, and it even has a romantic back story - it’s found naturally on a few granite hillsides in Brazil, where it is kept moist by the spray from waterfalls. It’s just cool!
Myles' favourite - Worsleya. Photo - Carla Petit
And what about a favourite garden to visit?
Stourhead in England. But that said, I still get a thrill heading into my own creation at Bronte House.