Carlo GabrieleMy R(h)ope boutique garden for Melbourne’s garden show

This is the second year that Gardenridge Pty Ltd has submitted a project for the Boutique Garden Competition, and it is the second year that we have been successful at gaining a finalist position. This means that our garden, The R(h)ope Garden , will be built at the 2016 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

R(h)ope Boutique garden for MIFGS 2016 - let's break with tradition!

R(h)ope Boutique garden for MIFGS 2016 – let’s break with tradition!

Last year we designed a rational garden, balanced and rich in references to landscape design tradition. We were pleased with the garden and certainly received a lot of positive feedback but in the end the garden failed to win the Boutique Garden Competition. On reflection perhaps the garden was too conservative and did not introduce anything new to garden design.

Tradition is a good thing because you can learn from the mistakes and lessons of the past. But it also can be a limit, like a ‘cage’ that doesn’t allow you to get out from your comfort zone. This year we want to break out of that cage, stretch it, distort it and make it become a laboratory for new ideas.

R(h)ope Boutique garden for MIFGS 2016 Design Gardenridge 3D render

R(h)ope Boutique garden for MIFGS 2016 Design Gardenridge 3D render

A twisted cage is the main structure of our garden. It will be built from a central metal pole that presents metal circles with different sizes welded on it. The central pole and the circles are the skeleton for stretching and linking ropes that define the weft of the cage.

R(h)ope Boutique garden for MIFGS 2016. Design Gardenridge - plan

R(h)ope Boutique garden for MIFGS 2016. Design Gardenridge – plan

Around the central pole the weft is particularly dense and it becomes a circular seating area. On the pole there are hidden lights installed, so the core of the cage will become a tall light feature at night.

Along one of the sides there is a black pond with a fog machine; we want to create a mysterious atmosphere, reminiscent of an alchemic laboratory.

R(h)ope Boutique garden for MIFGS 2016 Design Gardenridge plan - elevation

R(h)ope Boutique garden for MIFGS 2016 Design Gardenridge plan – elevation

Some of the great scientific discoveries have come from mistakes or fortuities, so within the cage we want to use some plants traditionally used in landscaping like Magnolia ‘Creamy Fairy’ with other plants normally considered weeds like morning glory, Ipomoea. Furthermore we also want to grow edible plants like amaranth or artichoke.

The colour scheme we have chosen and the planting palette is just the starting point; we have embraced ‘seeming randomness’ in our garden and hope that this might prepare the way for new inspirations.

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Carlo Gabriele

About Carlo Gabriele

Carlo Gabriele is a landscape designer from Milan, Italy, with formal qualifications in Agronomy and Landscape Design. After completing his schooling he worked with notable Italian designer Niccolo Grassi on many high profile projects within Italy and abroad which have received a lot of media attention in Marie Claire, Maison, Elle Decoration, Vanity Fair, Gardenia and Home Beautiful. In 2010 Carlo started his own design firm, Carlo Gabriele Architettura dei Giardini, designing outdoor spaces from tiny intimate courtyards to entire city parks. He has also designed striking outdoor furniture and exquisite pots; the latter have been produced and sold by the Italian company Laboratorio San Rocco. Most recently Carlo moved to Melbourne Australia where he has established his design company Carlo Gabriele Gardens and his blog I Will Teach You To Design Your Garden.

3 thoughts on “My R(h)ope boutique garden for Melbourne’s garden show

  1. Darren Nichols on said:

    I am looking forward to seeing your non-traditional creation in place and causing delight. Great Work

  2. Brent Reid on said:

    Great back ground insight Carlo.
    The garden was beautiful and diferent again. Thank you. Please come back to the show again. I love watching what you guys do.


    • Thank you Brent! For me the feedback of other designers is very important. We’ll try to come back the next year, but I am not sure if we will be eligible for the Boutique Garden Competition. We’ll see!

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