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Posted on February 20, 2020

Excited to be back at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 2020, building THE GREENROOM for Joby Blackman and Carolyn Blackman - VIVID DESIGN.

To celebrate 25 years of the show a collective of Australia’s most awarded landscape designers, who have previously won the ‘Award of Excellence for Best in Show', have been invited to design a Show Garden.


A forest in your backyard? 

Imagine the feeling of sitting in a garden space, surrounded by trees,… it conjures the feelings of a tree house where one can disappear and retreat into the greenery… a tree house vibe…. but for grown-ups….

That’s the feeling that we are going for with this year’s Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Semken Landscaping and Vivid Design have a strong partnership and history at the garden show and join forces again this year to celebrate the Best of the Best 25th anniversary show.

As twice best in show winners over the event and with many gold medals over the history of the show, Carolyn and Joby at Vivid Design are known for plant use and highlighting the importance of greenery and planting combinations. Gardens provide immense value in our daily lives. Trees shade us and cool our buildings which can reduce the reliance on fossil fuels to cool buildings. Trees sequester carbon and that has a positive role in greenhouse emissions, plants can remove pollutants from the air, cleaning the air and providing oxygen.  Greenery is good for our mental health and wellbeing, proven time and time again with research. Town planners intuitively knew hundreds of years ago that setting aside space for trees and gardens to act as the ‘lungs of the city’ was a good idea for the city’s inhabitants…. the science backs that up more than ever. We aim to highlight the importance of trees in our environment even more and seek to empower people to plant trees in their own private spaces. 

Created with today’s home owners in mind this garden aims to inject a whole lot of greenery into a reduced space, and deal with the views to the neighbours! This garden has a strong feeling of structure with wonderful hedges of Miles Choice Bays to screen and create all important intimacy for softer, seasonal plantings within. Reliable trees hedges and shrubs provide the year-round structure and backdrop for softer, more whimsical plantings with seasonal punch.  A feature forest of trees (Carpinus betulus ‘fastigiata’, a known species for carbon monoxide pollution absorption)  cocoons the garden space and creates a feeling of immersion for people within the garden. A show-stopping modern take on the ancient art of espalier features as the planted architectural feature in the garden. It is  a modern trellis, graced with olives that has been grown by specialist espalier nursery Merrywood Plants. Layers of underplanting complete the scene with flowers to nurture the soul as well as the bee population. A sunken lawn creates opportunities for entertaining and play and the strong geometric curves in the garden link through from the espalier to the lawn adding a sense of rhythm, softness, less formality and generosity. The feature crazy pave references a mid-century vibe and is fused with planting so that the definition between garden and surface is purposefully blurred. As always, we aim to elevate the planting in the garden to smooch more than some 'greenery at the end of the design process.’  We aim to integrate hardscape and softscape, weaving the plants into the architecture and giving the plants the absolute respect they deserve in the landscape design….

Plants are good for people, gardening is good for people, trees are good for the earth - we hope this garden inspires more people to transform their own spaces at home and share in the incredible value that gardens provide.

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