Of late I have been lucky to be able to explore a few new concepts in garden design by designing a garden that’s both outdoors as well as somewhat indoors. ‘Closed in’ you could even say. Imagine a situation such as an inner city courtyard or apartment garden where the walls close in on you and cast shadows over the environment, and where the the light trickles in but only for a limited amount of time…….
I teamed up with the well established Tait Furniture to bring together a garden design to show how you can manage this difficult environment, and we’ve built it as a pop-up garden in the Tait Fitzroy store where it is on display now and for the next couple of weeks. (See details below). It’s aimed at the inner city homeowner looking for a garden that isn’t scared of crossing new borders for both the garden and the extension of the interior.
It’s a garden that represents both Tait and me, as it uses a contemporary colour palette with shape and hints that are of a more outspoken nature. We want people see how with imagination and a bit of daring they can create a back garden that combines the freedom of living, growing plants with great colour and fixed architectural elements to create a feeling of space. A space where they can live the sort of lifestyle they want.
In this sort of space we aren’t lent any borrowed landscape to work with, and are left to build a character all of our own. I looked to create the feeling of cool green in the planting, as when you come home from a long day and you step out into your space, you want to feel refreshed by living plants. We then looked to splash about some colour that would brighten the cold walls and your day, and to provide an area where you can relax and be at one with nature – or entertain into the night.
This space looks to let nature play on the fun side, with plants climbing out of vertical garden towers, and even draping from the string balls that hang and hover in the air for movement. It lets colours change from black and white through to pops of yellow and turquoise including the planters, which also have a hint of spirit, with stripes that interact with the bolder colours. I love to use strong colour but it needs to have some careful thought right across the board, from plants and planters to the green walls, and knowing where to let the eye rest so that it all adds up to an enriched experience.
I’m really glad I was invited to create this garden and I’d like to thank Tait Furniture, and also Bayroad Nursery for the plants, and Pop Plants for the help in setting up.
I think this kind of garden builds a real future for the whole pop-up garden/art experience and what can be achieved from it. I think that there is a whole other side to garden design that needs to be explored in terms of the experience of nature as art, especially within a city environment. Anyway I could talk about this forever but in the meantime…
Come on down and check it out. The installation is at Tait in Melbourne at 176 Johnston St Fitzroy, (10am-6pm M-F, 10-5pm Sat, 11-5pm Sun) up until Sunday, 27 October 2013.