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Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 2001
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Justin Hutchinson's (+61 (0)3 9326 5585) garden was unashamedly classical in style yet modern in execution. A gilded figure under a classical, pedimented archway was the centrepiece and hedging and restrained planting was used. A canal ran along the front of the garden and to each side of the main terrace two magnificent pots created additional drama. Steps through a canal were continued through sand and up to the archway. A clever and very striking garden that was awarded a bronze medal.

Jim Fogarty's of (+61 (0)419 571 856) designed a more traditional style in response to his view that gardeners want more plants and planting interest in their gardens and while we like to look at the modern designs not many gardeners want to live with one. The design used it corner site cleverly and the eye was led across the garden to a view of the lake in the Carlton gardens or to a seat under and arbour offering relaxation and a break from the Australian sun.

The design won a bronze medal and was admired by many, although stronger plant colours and structural plants, balancing sand-coloured paving and stained wood may have made it more dramatic.

'Urban Myth' by The Garden Company (+61 (0) 3 9425 9242), winner of a Silver Medal, was designed for the Victorian State agency Eco Recycle. An innovative, modern garden that demonstrated that living in the city doesn't mean ignoring environmental issues, and that taking care of the environment doesn't mean wearing kaftans and living in a wilderness. A courtyard designed for a 30-something, inner city couple, the planting was striking, the design contemporary and the materials as up to date as any other

Recycled materials were used, including tumbled glass mulch, recycled crushed concrete and reclamation timber decking; storm water irrigation provided water, low-water requirement plantings, solar-energy lights and a worm farm seat completed the environmentally friendly brief.

Amgrow's series of Patio Gardens designed by James Durie of Patio Landscapes (+61 (0)2 9280 3550) took the visitor through a range of styles from an arid garden to a Turkish garden, an eastern garden, beach garden and a contemporary garden. Small and courtyard gardens are ideally suited to our smaller garden spaces today, and we garden in a range of climates.

A deserving winner of a Bronze Medal the extreme climate, Arid Garden was beautiful and fun. Huge bleached timbers created a striking arbour against deep purple walls. A stand of cacti and pots of agaves arranged at varying heights made an abstract statement with a touch of humour.

The Bronze Medal-winning Turkish garden used a simple internal courtyard space and played simple planting of olives, mondo grass and topiary in striking containers and pots against plastered cool mint green walls. A great touch was the elaborate tracery of the iron window grills.

The Eastern garden used bamboos and clear red screen to evoke a feeling of a Japanese garden. Restrained planting of bamboos and grass contributed to the eastern feel. A wonderful granite rock was used in pebble mulch, although the fussiness and the number of elements used here detracted from a simple concept.

The Coastal garden celebrated the beach and had a sheltered sitting area and a pergola of weathered timber of the door. An outdoor shower ensured that all the sand stayed outside and planting was skilfully handles to cope with, not fight, the coastal conditions. Banksia 'Birthday Candles' poked through the sand along with grasses, gazanias and phormiums, while huge containers held cordylines.

The Contemporary courtyard used glass stepping-stones crossed a moat to decking and seating benches. Australian natives in rusted metal planters gave low maintenance planting and evoked the Australian bush. The garden brought together elements of the rainforest, the coast and the city in a cleverly designed space.

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Justin Hutchinson's classical garden
Justin Hutchinson's classical garden

Stunning Pots - Justin Hutchinson
Stunning Pots - Justin Hutchinson

Jim Fogarty - a Gardener's Garden
Jim Fogarty - a Gardener's Garden
Display Garden Reviews

Urban myth - Earth Friendly garden
Urban myth - an earth friendly garden

Patio Gardens - Arid garden
Patio Gardens - arid garden

Patio Garden - Turkish courtyard
Patio Garden - Turkish courtyard

Patio Gardens - Coastal garden
Patio Gardens - coastal garden
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Last revised 01 May '00