MIFGS 2014 :: the gardens, the gardens, the gardens….

I better, heads up, give you a warning that if you don't love gardens,
this post may not be for you.

But if you do love gardens, then this is a most delicious post,
because these are the images which I snapped today at
the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show.

So if you are not in Melbourne over the weekend to see it in person,
read on to see some of the beautiful places in which to get lost….

If you have a garden and a library you have everything you need.
— Marcus T Cicero, 106 BC

The Gardener's Library was inspired by Cicero's words,
written over 2000 years ago.

It seems a most wonderful concept: a library housed at the bottom of a magical garden.
Could there be anything better?

The pleached hedge seen here are Linden trees,
Tilia cordata Greenspire,
and are flanked by deep beds of Geranium x Calliope.
The pleached hedge is a fabulous way of creating texture and greenery
when there is little space available for a wide hedge. 
The lower branches are removed,
allowing the trunk to read as sculpture.

In this case, only the side branches of the Linden trees have been
unclipped, creating a very narrow hedge.

Not surprisingly, this garden won a gold medal for best in show,
as well as best use of plant life. 

But it was this plant, a new variety of Hydrangea,
which was on the border of the Library Garden which stopped me in my tracks.

The flowers are white, but dusted with pink,
as if fairies have been painting them when nobody was looking.

It's Hydrangea Paniculata Sundae Fraise,
and apparently the flowers become a richer colour as we head
into the cold nights of autumn.

They have definitely been ear-marked for my new front garden.

In another garden, a seat made from logs looked
ever so inviting.

Or perhaps a swing made from a slab of timber,
a rocking chair on the deck or a soak in the garden bath tub
would be more enticing?

Paul Bangay explored contrasts in his garden entitled
"Tension: a garden that challenges the formal and informal."

Clipped balls of Buxus Semperverins were dotted amongst
the free form shapes of Hydrangea Paniculata Grandiflora
and Salvia Ostfriesland.
The garden was backed by the pyramidal shape of Magnolia Teddy Bear hedges,
set in front of rectangular-clipped Lillypilly hedges
(Syzgium Hinterland Gold).

The symmetry of the layout provided the formal framework,
while the concave shape of the sheltered alfresco "hut"
provided the informality. 

Meanwhile, the fashion students had had some fun dressing mannequins
with succulents and textured leaves.

If there was a theme apparent in the show this year,
it was the tones of purples, reds and pinks in flowers,
from these fabulous hydrangeas through to the rich reds of the geraniums,
and the rich scarlets of the roses.

It's nice to see some richer colours creeping back into gardens,
after so many years of stark white and green designs.

Because with colours this richly fabulous on offer in the plant world,
I just can't resist the temptation to get lost amongst all that beauty….


all images taken by blue fruit at MIFGS 2014