• Gabrielle Stannus

A few of our favourite things ...

"Grass trees in halls, and queens on their thrones, Hills Hoists on lawns, and an Elkhorn alone" ... these were a few of our favourite things at this year's Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.


Ludo, Celeste and I trekked around MIFGS last Wednesday, ostensibly so I could report on what was happening in the Achievable Gardens section. I am writing an article for the Nursery and Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) on the trend towards more compact gardens, and what that potentially means for plant breeders. So it was only natural that I took a look at these smaller competition gardens. However, we found inspiration in many different ways ...


"Grass trees in halls" ... Check out this Xanthorrhoea specimen from West Australia!


"Queens on their thrones" ... Me in my element, purveying the fine Flamingo Hotel indoor garden put together by the Biophilia Collective


"Hills Hoists on lawns" ... the very functional, yet highly pleasing “Australian Case Study Garden” put together by Eckersley Garden Architecture and Australian House & Garden.


"And an Elkhorn alone" ... Robbie Lucas from Holmesglen Institure of TAFE found a lovely way to display this Platycerium bifurcatum in his "Life Outdoors" display in the Achievable Gardens competition.


There was so much more to see! Check out some of our favourite MIFGS "things" below!


A gorgeous Guzmania in the Flamingo Hotel


The Collectors' Corner definitely caught our eye with this Tillandsia "tree"!


A different perspective on the Cubby House Challenge


Heads Up! A modern take on the cubbyhouse tradition. By the Buildher Collective, Beirin Projects and Bellemo & Cat. And one of Ludo's show favourites.


Celeste and friends at Emmaline Bowman's "Living Garden".


'Dream to Conquer, Conquer to Dream' by Michelle Simnett


'Antediluvian' by Gavin Roberts


L’orbe Du Plantes by David Figliuolo


Nepenthes in 'Brazztralia'


Texture and tone ... I usually don't have much time for Phormium tenax. However, here its vertical strappy nature goes well with the corrugated fence.


Guess whose favourite this was?


I really liked the way that Charlotte Wiltshire found a way to increase the number of plants on this 'balcony'. Growing shade-tolerant species under the bench adds a lushness in otherwise under-utilised space. Well done!


Seam Lam's naturalistic plantings, seemingly inspired by Piet Oudulf (think High Line in New York), were beautiful. Here Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm', Echinacea purpurea and Perovskia atriplicifolia delight the eye. However ...


I just thought Seam placed her bird-bath in a very awkward position on an extremely narrow path.Yes, I am a mum! All I could think of was bruised heads as tiny tackers took the corner too quickly. The Achievable Gardens are small. But that is the point, make the garden work within its contstraints.


And finally, here we are all together at the Plant Life Balance display where Celeste got the opportunity to create her own "indoor" garden.


I hope you have enjoyed these photos and have been inspired.


Joyeuses Pâques!

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