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The Bam Stone Garden by Peter Donegan - MIFGS 2023

Presenting The Bam Stone Garden at Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. The Bam Stone Garden is an exquisite representation of a love story that transcends time and distance.


The central boulevard 200 square meter show garden is a contemporary vision of a love story, and two hearts separated by a small island off the coast of Galway to the mainland. Featuring a series of natural bluestone steps that symmetrically weave their way through a rocky landscape, recognisant of the journey made across the Atlantic from the Connemara coast. The destination is a limestone (moleanus) island featuring planting, shelter, and a single 8 metre tall Liriodendron tulipifera reflecting across the black water, a beacon to those who wish to return to their love.

The story albeit interpretive, is that of a man hoping, in reality, in vain that on the island his beau and he will meet and be together. However that is of a daydream and completely plausible by sole virtue of imagination and daydreams where their impossible becomes possible and separation by water no longer exists.

This garden is also representative of love’s many forms - unrequited love, true love kept apart by distance, or unconditional lovers no longer physically together but never forgotten in the heart.


Designed by Peter Donegan

Peter Donegan Garden Design is an international and local garden design, landscape architecture and project management practice based in Dublin, Ireland. Peter is a Royal Horticulture Society Silver medalist and until 2022 Peter was series garden designer for Ireland’s most watched TV show, RTE’s DIY SOS The Big Build. Peter was thrilled to become the first Irish Landscape Architect invited and accepted to design at Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest and most prestigious flower show.

Presented by Bamstone

Bamstone extract and process only the finest quality bluestone in south-west Victoria, to ensure the integrity of form and finish is maintained for years to come. Proven to be pure in formation and excelling in durability and strength, the bluestone is unsusceptible to warping, exfoliation or rust upon installation.


With thanks to The Bam Stone Garden's supporters:

Antique Perennials

Better Exteriors

Bio Gro

Established Tree Transplanters

Gardens at Night

Lilydale Instant Lawn

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

Warners Nurseries


All our gardens at MIFGS would not be possible without the hard work and dedication from all our staff at Semken Landscaping. The build of The Bam Stone Garden was also kindly supported by Newlands Constructions and Nick from Breana Graham Landscape Architecture. We were lucky to be joined by an enthusiastic group of volunteers from Tafe NSW including Tim, Felicity, Tom and Cavell, also thanks to Michaela from Philip Withers for volunteering your time.


Full plant list here.


From a garden construction perspective the design, and build is a daring one on a site where one cannot, penetrate or dig in any way below ground of the Unesco protected world heritage site. This garden features the largest ever garden featuring water in the shows history and the most difficult build Donegan and Semken have ever undertaken.

In numbers:

- Garden Dimensions: 20 x 10 metres

- Tree: Height 8 metres, 40 cm girth

- Feature Boulders: Min 2.78 tonne, Max 3.34 tonne weight

- Water: Volume: 45,000 litres, garden percentage 63.763 %

- Elevation: 400 mm over 20 metres

- Dolmen Stone Structure: Height 2670 x width 3500 mm

- Planting: 35.92 square metres


Check out our sustainability practices put in place to move towards a more sustainable event here.


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Ringwood VIC 3134 Australia

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